Let me be Frank for a moment…then I’ll be Matt again.
*Pause for laughter and cheering*
This film probably isn’t for everyone. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from an outlet dedicated to the promotion of films large, small, and sometimes oblong-shaped (the Koreans can do some odd work ), is it? Well, allow me to further clarify: this film is a Good Time…
*Pause for enthusiastic acknowledgement of clever pun that slowly builds into applause with disparate cheers scattered throughout the crowd*
…but more importantly this is an original film with a clear, uncompromising vision by indie darlings the Safdie Brothers.
“Good Time” stars Robert Pattinson as a not-brooding-vampire-heartthrob (I know I just lost my pre-teen and much of my post-teen audience already) as his character dives into the underworld of New York during a single night as he attempts to free his mentally-handicapped brother from custody after he (the brother) gets caught in bank robbery gone bad. This film is about as nuts as it sounds, and trust me there were no werewolves, vampires, or Taylor Lautners. Whether that was the right choice, is up to you to decide. My opinion: it was.
This film is a neon fever dream beautifully captured in a rich 35mm format and driven by a dark, pulsating 80’s style soundtrack. And “driven” is absolutely the single best word I could use to describe this film. This is a linear narrative in the truest sense, as Rob jumps from one setting and event to the next, pulling in ancillary characters and discarding them just as abruptly, never looking back, creating an exhilarating ride into the warm embrace of desperate mania.
But what’s most impressive about this film is Robert Pattinson. He’s an incredible actor when he’s not feeding on the hearts and wallets of the prepubescent. And if you want further proof, go check out the Australian dystopian (not Mad Max) flick he was in a few years back called “The Rover”.
In my humble yet correct opinion, Rob gives an Oscar-worthy performance as a crafty and resourceful, small-time criminal with an uncompromising love for his brother, and keeping him safe. Which leads not-vampire-Rob from trying to rip off loan sharks with the promise of his suga’ momma’s trust fund money, to breaking into a sex-themed amusement park in search of a sprite bottle filled with LSD, and everything in between. A series of events that seem to suspend time itself and leave you wondering “will this night ever end?” and “is Rob actually a vampire after all?”
And when it does finally end, though at times it feels like we’ll never get there (part of the brilliance of this film) you’ll feel like you just woke up from an intense, Nyquil-induced nightmare. Ya know, the one where a bird person snatches you off the playground, plants you on a tandem mountain bike with Gary Sinise, and sends you down the Rainbow Road with no side barriers and a horde of goat mutants playing Evanescence’s “Wake Me Up” on pan-flutes? No? That’s just me? I’m gonna have a word with my therapist.
But anyway…Yeah this film is pretty nuts.
A fun, heart-felt romantic romp? Nah. A twisted and exhilarating, psychological crime thriller. Indeed. “Good TIme” is, in fact, a good time…well depending on your definition of the phrase. Like I said, probably not for everyone, but definitely worth a try when you’re bored to tears on a Tuesday night 3 months from now itching to torrent some movies. Although you could pay and support the filmmakers’ hard work. Just saying. Off my soapbox now.
* A lone voice cries out from the audience “We still love you” the crowd doubles down with supportive cheers*
Thanks fictional audience and lone fictional audience member. You’re the best. But not the realest. I need to call my therapist.
Post-Script: I really want to know if Good Time could be improved by making Rob a vampire, so when the DVD does drop, I’ll superimpose Edward Cullen onto his Good Time character and let you know how if it’s better or sexier. My bet’s sexier.