Sunday, August 12, 2012
My love letter to The Raid
I like seeing movies at The New Bev. If you don't know what that is, it's a movie theater in Hollywood that screens all kinds of 35mm prints from The Birds to '70s 3-d soft core porn to Pulp Fiction like 30 times a month to movies that just came out. Tourists don't go to this theater - movie lovers do. So when you see a film at The New Bev you're already in an audience of friends. And at a midnight screening, it's an even more devoted crowd. It was the perfect way to see this film.
After about 20 minutes a guy in the front shouted out "I FUCKING LOVE THIS MOVIE!" and we all laughed because that's how we all collectively felt. There was clapping, profanity, gasping - it was great fun. I probably said "Holy shit!" about eight times.
About halfway in the audio fucked up and they had to stop the movie to fix it. In that brief time, everybody turned to whoever they came with and discussed this brilliant piece of film we were all watching. "Holy crap, did you see that?"
So as you can tell, I loved this movie. In fact, "love" seems too tame a word. I want to bend this movie over the kitchen counter and fuck it so hard.
You know how some people consider themselves artists when it comes to film? Like, there are film fans who lose their shit over Malick's cinematography or Coppola's intense visuals or whatever the fuck it is that David Lynch does. Those people often celebrate film as an artform and look down on the more commercial fare that rules my world.
Well, I love fight scenes more than anything in the movie world, so to me, The Raid was fucking art. It was a beautiful piece of filmmaking - so elegant. It was like a masterful painting where violence is the brush.
I've never seen fighting so fast and brutal and still graceful all at once. I was in awe.
The plot was razor thin and there were no twists, really, but it didn't need a fancy complex plot or big fancy twists. It had great characters and surprisingly great dialogue. I cared about these characters. I got scared for some, sad when some died, relieved when a bad guy bit the dust. Your plot doesn't have to be complex if the characters are well drawn enough to make me invested in their well being.
And shot composition was fantastic. The angles, the use of light - it was all there.
When this movie ended, I wanted to kick everyone in the face.
On the way home I saw a few posters for movies I had been excited about mere hours before. Now I looked at those posters and realized they would not be as good as what I just watched. Everything sucks now.
I want to rewrite the treatment for my current spec because it's not good enough. The last time I had that reaction to a film in the theater, it was In Bruges.
So all those people who told me I needed to see The Raid - you called it. It was bananas. BANANAS. I'm in love.