Tag Archives: Julia Fox

No Sudden Move (2021) Review

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No Sudden Move

Time: 115 Minutes
Cast:
Don Cheadle as Curt Goynes
Benicio del Toro as Ronald Russo
David Harbour as Matt Wertz
Jon Hamm as Detective Joe Finney
Amy Seimetz as Mary Wertz
Brendan Fraser as Doug Jones
Kieran Culkin as Charley
Noah Jupe as Matthew Wertz Jr.
Craig Grant as Jimmy
Julia Fox as Vanessa Capelli
Frankie Shaw as Paula Cole
Ray Liotta as Frank Capelli
Bill Duke as Aldrick Watkins
Director: Steven Soderbergh

In 1954 Detroit, small-time criminals are hired to steal a document. When their heist goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them — and for what purpose – sends them wending through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

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I was interested in No Sudden Move for the talent involved alone. This is Steven Sodebergh’s latest movie, I like the movies from him that I’ve seen, and this would be another crime movie from him.  Not only that but it has a fully stacked cast including Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro, so I definitely wanted to check out. I was expecting an entertaining watch, and it turned out even better than I was expecting.

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No Sudden Move has a tightly written and solid script, making for a really good crime thriller. It is tense, smart, intriguing and filled with twists and turns, which you would expect from a Steven Soderbergh movie. Not only that but it also manages to balance the humour and playfulness with the engaging intensity and grittiness of the story and setting, and I was enthralled the entire way through. The dialogue is particularly strong, it is witty which you would expect from a Soderbergh movie, but its also very reminiscent of a classic noir film in the way everything is written. There’s even some social commentary on display, mainly towards corporate greed, classism and particularly with a lot of cynicism towards automobile industry corruption. That really only comes out strongly towards the end of the movie, but even without it, No Sudden Move works as a twisty crime thriller. It’s not exactly tightly paced but it moves well over its 2 hour runtime.

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There is a large ensemble cast and everyone brought their A-game to their performances. Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro are in the lead roles, and they are great in their parts. David Harbour gives one of his best performances in his supporting role, and Brendan Fraser makes a strong impression in his screentime. Other supporting actors like Kieran Culkin, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta and more all work in their parts. There’s even a surprise major actor who appears in a key role near the end, who actually works very well for his part.

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There is some very solid filmmaking from Steven Soderbergh here. This is easily one of his best shot films with its eye catching cinematography, and the lenses give it the 50s noir aesthetic with the right amount of grain, setting the period correctly. It is a very stylish movie that’s really nice to look at. The score from David Holmes is nice too, adding a lot to the mood and feeling of the movie, especially with the era it is set in.

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No Sudden Move is a consistently entertaining, smart and stylish crime thriller, well written and directed, and with some great performances from the amazing cast. One of Steven Soderbergh’s best films, especially in recent years.

Uncut Gems (2019) Review

Time: 135 Minutes
Cast:
Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner
Julia Fox as Julia
Idina Menzel as Dinah Ratner
Lakeith Stanfield as Demany
Kevin Garnett as himself
Eric Bogosian as Arno
Director: Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie

From acclaimed filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie comes an electrifying crime thriller about Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score. When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.

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Uncut Gems was one of my most anticipated movies of 2019. The Safdie Brothers impressed me quite a bit with Good Time back in 2017, and so I was interested in seeing what they would do next. Also the fact that Adam Sandler was cast in the lead role interested me, because I just knew that he was going to return to being dramatic Sandler even for just one movie, and basing off of Punch Drunk Love, I knew that he would be great. Uncut Gems on the whole was great, and one of the highlights of the year.

Uncut Gems is another thriller from the Safdies, this time it’s a different kind of thriller. There’s a bunch of things going on at once, with lead character Howard Ratner constantly placing bets while being heavily in debt. Although there are moments to breathe (with a movie a 2 hours and 15 minutes long you’d expect that to be the case), you are constantly aware of the danger that is present, and the stakes are high for our main character. Every time things go right for Howard, he does something to put himself into dangerous situations again, usually by placing another bet. The tension just keeps being raised and raised even further. It’s full of energy constantly from start to finish, and the characters are very well realised. The second act does slow down the pace quite a bit for some reason, and while it was fine, it was rather out of place. The third act was particularly great, very suspenseful and effective, concluded by a fitting ending.

Much of the talk is about how great Adam Sandler is, and the talk is well deserved. I’d go so far as to say that this is his best performance, and having seen Punch Drunk Love, that’s saying a lot. While you can definitely tell it’s Sandler all the way through, he performs his character of Howard Ratner perfectly, I can’t see anyone else in this role. Howard is not a good person, he’s not very likable, and he could’ve easily been obnoxious to watch on screen. Sandler however manages to get you to tolerate him and even root for him, even when he often keeps digging himself into a deeper grave. He has this immense energy in him that works perfectly for the character. The movie is already great, but even if it wasn’t, it would be worth watching for his performance alone. That’s not all though, the supporting cast does well too, including Idina Menzel as Howard’s wife, and Lakeith Stanfield who is good as always. Former professional basketball plater Kevin Garnett actually plays himself as part of the plot, and he’s actually a really good actor, he’s great here. Eric Bogosian does some effective work as a loanshark that Howard is in debt to. A standout among the supporting cast (and that’s saying a lot) however is Julia Fox as Howard’s girlfriend. I think this is Fox’s first movie, and he leaves quite a strong impression in this movie, and I hope she gets a lot more roles from her work here.

The Safdie Brothers has once again directed this incredibly. I’m not sure how it’s possible for them to top Good Time on a directing level at least, but they’ve done it here. It’s well shot and edited from start to finish, one of the highlight scenes took place at a nightclub. The tense scenes are made even more tense by how it is directed. If possible, see this in a cinema, though I’m aware that due to some weak distribution that’s not always possible (certainly wasn’t the case for me). The music by Daniel Lopatin worked quite well, fitting the fast paced nature of the rest of the movie.

Uncut Gems is great, and one of the highlights of the year. It’s written and directed incredibly well by the Safdie Brothers, and the cast is great, especially with a career best performance from Adam Sandler. It’s a movie I’d like to revisit for sure.