From 2015, one of this past weekend’s movies:
I think I’d started this once before, maybe last year, and hadn’t been able to get more than 15 minutes into it, but, this time, I really responded to it. Loved it, actually. Maybe I just happened to be in one of those loopy, 3 a.m. kinds of moods when I watched it.
It’s a very talky, character-driven comedy-drama, concerning the murder of a stripper who’s connected to the private investigator that’s trying to bring justice to her killers.
Currently available for viewing on Netflix, this seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it movie with viewers. Even critics were polarized.
For instance, there’s a scene early on that involves an ex-stripper/trophy wife walking around her house naked below the waist. Certain critics were appalled at this scene, insisting it was exploitative and gratuitous.
The sequence was presented so matter-of-factly, the nudity not always visible in the frame, that I simply saw it as the character having an emotional breakdown which leads up to her gunning down her geriatric gangster husband for his infidelity.
I thought having her stressed out, pacing back and forth throughout her house with her pants off, and not giving a damn who’s made uncomfortable by the nudity, gave the scene an added edge of tension. The context of the scene is what kept it from being exploitative, but if you watch movies on the lookout for nudity, there it is.
Some critics hated dialogue in the film where characters referenced other movies, á la Tarantino. I didn’t mind this aspect, either, since it’s been a while that I’ve encountered a movie which does that. Having drug dealers discussing the plot of Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead wasn’t that big of scene-killer to me, i.e. something that took me out of the movie by reminding me about other movies.
In my own experience hanging out with potheads years ago, pre-Tarantino craze, they did talk about popular movies, music, and TV shows. Some of those potheads wound up selling drugs to earn a few bucks. I’m sure they continued to talk about movies, music and TV shows. Just because one particular filmmaker became famous for having his characters talk like that doesn’t make the gimmick off-limits for subsequent filmmakers, especially 25 years on from Reservoir Dogs.
Unlike the 1997 feature film Running Time, which was supposedly filmed in one long take but actually featured several hidden edits…
…Too Late was the real deal, apparently, shot in five 22-minute single takes on 35mm. I’m not as impressed with the technical feat of that as some folks were, but I did feel it added an interesting visual punch to the story.
Overall, I found the characters and the plot very compelling, well written and performed. The timeline of the plot jumps back and forth, but not arbitrarily. Given the revelations about certain characters, the fractured timeline was entirely appropriate and handled well.
My only real gripe with the movie has to do with its limited availability. You can watch it on Netflix or rent/own it in HD on Amazon, but it’s had no DVD or Blu-ray release apart from a Region 3 Hong Kong release, which currently runs for over $30 on Amazon:
In this day and age, a new movie not receiving a DVD or Blu-ray release is simply bizarre and unfathomable. I’d love to have a physical copy of the film, but not if I have to spend that kind of money.