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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Top 1 from December 1, 2013

All is Lost – dir. J.C. Chandor, starring Robert Redford

Cast of one. Crew of thousands.
Redford is man who's boat is hit by a shipping container while sailing alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Fortunate to know how everything on his boat works, and how to fix them, he makes a mighty, noble struggle to survive. Does he? Good question. This is the most spare movie that can remotely imagine being called “commercial” or “mainstream”. Or, perhaps the the most commercial, mainstream experimental film to come around in a long time. Dialog consists of an opening voice-over, a radio call, a cry for help, and a cry of exasperation and that's it. Takes William Goldman's advice to “start as late in the story as possible” to heart. (Also, by having the container smash through the spot containing all the radio, computer and other electronic equipment saves a lot of time, too). I wish the folks over at “Gravity” had had a chance to check this out before they started, to learn that things like character development, back story or even character aren't all that necessary and just stick to the action, please (especially if your action scenes are that awesome), the lost shoes of dead children are unnecessary. All is Lost also compares favorably to The Perfect Storm in the sense that, not knowing how this film was made (I'm sure they weren't shooting in a real typhoon), I was always at least convinced they were actually outside.

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