Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

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Movie Review

Redbelt dir. David Mamet — 7.3

Mamet is such a weird animal. All the dialog in all his movies is exactly the same; clipped, affected, arty. But it so frequently works. It's regulalry surprising, odd, and a real pleasure to listen to. Except when it's not. And you suddenly realize he uses the same trick over and over, in the way Ricky Jay always turns up in some random scene. The plots are totally repetitions of his earlier films as well. At the same time his ruthless characters, twists, cons, and deceptions still have tread on them, even when they've been recycled 23 times. Redbelt is a smart, engrossing film for about 2/3rds of it's running time. It's a cannibalization, but you can live with it. Except the ending, which is utterly ridiculous and seems like it was cut out of a lost episode of TJ HOOKER. Additionally, the plot device that pits two mixed martial arts fighters in the ring, and one of them has to fight with one hand tied behind his back, is moronic and insulting even for a movie. The tied fighter, no matter who he was, would be beaten half to death within seconds. In an otherwise fairly honest movie about fighting, it suddenly makes Ralphie Macchio's Karate Kid butterfly kick scene look like a documentary on Jack Johnson.
 
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“My name’s Stan. So right there I was more or less doomed from the beginning. You don’t think so? Ever heard of a movie star named Stan?”

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