GOOD TIME [2017]

 

Writers: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie

An independent film done right, this is a tense, dark and gritty thriller that certainly has some unpredictable moments under its sleeve. This is a prime example of a limited budget enhancing the creativity of all involved. One can only imagine what Hollywood schlock is raking in right now compared to Good Time, which is an apt tile.

Pattinson, far removed from his Twilight years, is near-perfect as the hustler Connie, a truly relentless arsehole. His brother, Nick (Benny Sadfie), is intellectually disabled, and the film begins with a power scene with him talking to a counselor of some sort. But Connie pulls him out of the place, telling him constantly as they leave that he doesn’t need it, that he isn’t like those others.

This though is Connie being the supreme hustler he is, as he uses these comments to convince Nick to help him rob a bank. This does not end well, as his Nick is arrested and injures himself badly, while unsurprisingly, Connie flees. Despite his incredibly selfish and manipulative personality, Connie vows to get his brother out of the hospital, which is littered with cops, and his methods to achieve this are unconventional to say the least.

It sounds like a simple premise but the story has enough surprising moments of cleverly written scenarios that strike without warning, keeping the experience very interesting. After one of these moments, the stakes are amplified considerably, and the original plan hits the fan, as it were.

What comes next is more tension and exploration of character as we learn how selfish Connie is, using his hustling abilities to get his brother away from the cops. One of the most terrifying scenes involves a large amount of liquid LSD. Anyone experienced in psychedelic use will be able to imagine how truly scary this moment is.

The stakes become higher as the situation is taken to a fairground. Some quick thinking allows them to leave safely, but they soon find that their plans are about to morph from horrid to nightmarish. They are running out of options quickly. But one gets the feeling the insanely manipulate Connie will find a way out, he has managed to do it so far.

The camerawork may not be for everyone, as close-up facial shots are heavily used. As an actor, this is a moment to shine- how subtle yet convincing can they be when the camera is focused directly on their face, often on their eyes. Both Pattinson and Sadfie display incredible skill.

The screenplay falters slightly in the first act, mainly as a few events seem unbelievable. This soon dissipates as we find ourselves immersed in this tight narrative, where it seems anything could happen at any second.

This extremely tight story is paired with a fantastic soundtrack whose synths are almost a dark throwback to A Clockwork Orange. Wait, okay, perhaps not the best comparison; Blade Runner 2049 is probably a closer cousin. Oneohtrix Point Never have created a unique, synth-filled soundscape that sits comfortably in the background, never overbearing.

Sadfie and Jennifer Jason-Leigh, who seems to perform in every role she is given, are both excellent, Benny Sadfie especially nails home the humanity of his character and just how confused he is, while Jason-Leigh is excellent in playing Connie’s girlfriend… Of sorts.

It is Pattinson though who impresses the most. Comparing this role to The Rover, for example, the incredible range Pattinson possesses is now firmly established, as he proves that he is one of the best young actors working today.


A fantastic ending accompanies the film, with quite the suspense filledfive beer(1) final act. Despite small flaws in the screenplay, this indie is well worth investing your time into. Pattinson is especially memorable, the soundtrack is very unique, and the small cast deliver on every front. It is also extremely polished and well made, filled with bright colours, adding an element of style to contrast against the black nature of the action.

One short of a sixer

5/6

 

23 Comments on “GOOD TIME [2017]

  1. Going to see this soon, so it’s great to see a positive review. Been hearing this has been one of the best films of 2017 thus far, and I’m disappointed I missed this in theaters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you see it yet? Its online if you wanna be a filthy pirate =P

      This movie is relentless. I have watched it again since seeing it and I’m inclined to up the score. This is one of the best of the year. Pattinson is unbelievably good, and the commentary on race is something i totally missed but in retrospect is very much there, but in the background.

      See this when you can mate. You will not be disappointed!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Caught it last week and it exceeded my already high expectations. Definitely is a very astute comment on race, and the best thriller I’ve seen since Green Room. Good call on Pattinson, he was extraordinary in this picture.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pattinson was amazing. That final shot of him, dude, he looked like Manson! He looked truly insane. Amazing performance. And compare this role to his in The Rover. Talk about range!! He is becoming my favourite actor working today, tho no one will top Viggo for me =P

        I really missed a beat regarding the race aspect. In retrospect it seems so obvious, from the masks they wear at the start to the fucked up reality that the cops are going to be more prone to believe a black man is the criminal and the white man is the security guard.

        Heh, I just re-read my review of this, I must have been drunk. Its awful! I think I might edit it, I’m not gonna add anything cos that’d be cheating, but I feel I have grown a lot when it comes to writing about film, and I want to keep improving. There is no ceiling as far as I am concerned. Plus this blog is great for a resume. It shows that I am willing to do something like this despite not being paid (tho I did get tons of free tix when writing for an Aussie site =D!)

        Sorry for the long arse comment mate! I need to watch this one again. You should download the soundtrack if you can, its incredible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The soundtrack is incredible; in fact, I’ve been listening to it constantly over the past week or so. And that Iggy Pop song at the end gave me the chills.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Iggy is just great. Awesome choice of song I agree. Glad to hear you dig the soundtrack, I’ve been listening to it constantly too. Soundtracks have become my favourite genre man, so much variety!!

        The soundtrack from Sacred Deer is also incredible. Very Kubrickian. Incredible use of existing modern classical music, rather than a score written for the movie.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I remember growing up I used to listen to film soundtracks all the time. Drove my parents crazy, as they got tired of hearing of hearing orchestra scores.

        Liked by 1 person

      • haha! That is awesome, my parents had a similar reaction when I was listening to Nirvana at seven years of age =P

        I gotta check if the artist who did this score has done some other stuff, its bloody terrific

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha, my parents also hated it when I started playing stuff like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. Wonder what they would think now that I listen to Cattle Decapitation and Pig Destroyer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hahaha!!! I remember my mother asking why I was listening to such depressing music when I got into doom metal. Kinda dumb question if you think about it! Funnily enough my Dad is kinda coming around. He really digs Melvins and Faith No More, though they are obviously much more easy listening than grind

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s cool that your dad was into FNM and the Melvins. My parents are pretty mellow when it comes to music, mainly listening to folk and soft rock, and they never quite embraced metal and punk like I did.

        And yeah, the CGI Iggy was just a bad idea in general. They should have just done some studio shots, b-roll from the movie, or even a lyric video. I’m surprised someone saw the CGI and went through with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • yeah he looks like a freaking villain from a b-movie!!

        My Dad is pretty damned cool. He also loves Kyuss and Color Haze. He is pretty open-minded, I guess that is where I get it from. He doesn’t like the extreme stuff- but he is always willing to give anything a try. He LOVES all the classics too, Hendrix, Zep, Sabbath, Priest, Maiden, old Anthrax, he even likes some Slayer songs! Mainly the first album cos that has a massive NWOBHM influence.

        Okay I’ll stop ranting now! I’ll get back to my book and try to get my ranting to the end of my story – FINALLY – after starting it over five years ago!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I just remember stopping the video 10 seconds in because I couldn’t take it seriously. Maybe it was cheaper than to get Iggy to be in the video, but just no…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure what you heard, my memoery is not the best but all I can remember is a rotty being a good guard dog, that was about it. Nothing like High-Rise or The Lobster, or even Wilderpeople (which you really need to watch!!!)

      Like

  2. Lovely Review!! I really ought to check it out!!
    Even though not the best comparison to A Clockwork Orange, the mere mention of one of my all time favourite novellas & movies, added to my intrigue!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I admit it wasn’t the best comparison, but ACO is where I first heard that synth style of soundtrack, but this is nothing like It Follows or Blade Runner… much less intrusive. It is a fantastic score, I listen to it all the time.

      And if you like dis-likable characters, this is a real treat. Pattinson’s character is a total arsehole!!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

500 CRAPPY WORDS A DAY!

imperfection is perfection

ZeroTolerance to Negative Vibes

Barber life, struggle, life

Abidings

savior abiding with us

The No Spoiler Critic

Reviews, predictions & rants from the mind of Jason Singer with no plot points given away...ever.

The Cinematic Explorer

The good, the bad and the ugly; an uncensored look at the latest films hitting the big screen.

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

hands in the garden

reflection + romance + release

Rhyme and Reason

Poetry Meets Film Reviews

movies and songs 365

My thoughts on films, music, books, travel. Plus other random stuff

No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen

Art Cinema & Literature site NS

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

Apparently I'm Bipolar

And I thought I just had a crazy personality!

Ranjith's shortreads

Wanderers in the world

Alif Satria

Humanity, Positive, Gratitude

Luke Atkins

Film, Television, and Music Critic

Alina Happy Hansen Writer

A Personal Blog about Writing, Poetry and Life

%d bloggers like this: