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Falling Down (1993)

Falling Down (1993)

What does it take to bring a man to the breaking point?

A little warm weather? A traffic jam? An annoying fly? A school bus full of unruly kids who throw stuff out the windows? Unjustly inflated prices? An immigrant who hasn't learned your language? An impolite customer experience? A broken marriage? A lost job? A daughter who doesn't want to see you anymore?

For Michael Douglas - in-movie name still unknown, great movies do things differently like that - I'm not sure where the breaking point was, but that's where this movie starts, and we follow him on a walk through the city as he tries to get home, and give a snow globe to his daughter on her birthday.

Meanwhile a police officer is just about to retire. He's on his last day at work when the news come in that someone assaulted a a shop owner with a baseball bat, that someone was involved in a drive-by, that a shop owner's ended up dead... their ways collide at the pier, in one maybe not so fierce but tense and conclusive showdown, and that's the movie.

It's still bad-ass after all this time.

They paint the city in realistic colors. The golf club green; the rest of it sunny but dusty and cluttered, a paradise of poverty and unfair fates, which eventually brings our main character past the point of no return.

The pacing's calm, but never dull. The dialog's never wasted. The glimpses into the mind of a man who goes so over the line... makes you realize this could happen to just about anybody. What if that was me? What if that was my neighbor?

Maybe not really, but it doesn't feel exaggerated. They might not show the full transformation within the runtime of this movie, but it feels like they nail the essentials. The moment that really counts. The turning point. And that feels like one just about anyone could work their way up to. Though maybe they wouldn't handle things exactly as this guy did...

There's not a wasted minute in this. Everything is so balanced and well-timed. And the thing I like maybe most of all - that makes it feel all the more authentic somehow - is that it all takes place in a day. Just like any other. No excess darkness. No excess anything. And with a very linear progression. There's no break. No night's sleep. No moment of rest after which everything changes - or your perception of it changes. However many days it took for them to film this it's impressive they managed to make every day seem like just the one.

I watched this movie years back too, just recently watched Foo Fighter's Walk video, and had to see this again.

And it still stands. It's still the best executed breaking point movie I've ever seen. It should be up there in IMDB's Top 250. Maybe not the top top but somewhere there. And it better never be falling down.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Comments

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  1. S3C
    Thursday Mar/4/2021

    yeah this is a great 90s film...thoughtit might have been one of my "ever seen...?" when I saw it in December 2017, but I didn't make any such recommendation on your page. But I did give this movie a recent shoutout: https://divinorum.newgrounds.com/news/post/926487

  2. Cyber
    Thursday Mar/4/2021

    Hell yeah. :) Definitely underrated. You happen to have any unmentioned recommendations on your mind right now? Catching up a bit with my old watchlist lately.

  3. S3C
    Saturday Mar/6/2021

    how about mentioned- I scanned previous recommendations that you haven't seen yet, ordered by most to least recommended (but all are recommended)

    Titus
    Split (2016)
    Eyes Wide Shut
    Donnie Darko
    Brazil (rewatch)
    Priest (2011)
    The Hours
    Being John Malkovich
    Magnolia

    I think my first recommendation was Cloud Atlas in 2016. Don't think I made movie recommendations before then.

  4. Cyber
    Saturday Mar/6/2021

    Ah that works too. :D Eyes Wide Shut's been reviewed though, I believe you commented on it too: https://cyberd.org/eyes-wide-shut-1999.html

    Five years of occasional movie recommendation this year hmm! Shall commemorate by actually going through this list in full then, though note I do have a little backlog of other reviews to fix up at the moment, may seem like I'm watching other stuff for a while onward.

    Donnie Darko'll be a rewatch too, though I saw that one at a party/sleepover back in the day, don't know if I really experienced it like I should have...

    Dope memories with Cloud Atlas, even if I maybe didn't appreciate it as much as you did. I think I'm somewhat mixing memories there together with this other sci-fi movie I loved but can't remember the name of right now though, some dude who ends up on a desert alien planet and becomes like a superhero since the gravity there is so much lighter and his jumps are totally crazy...

  5. Cyber
    Saturday Mar/6/2021

    Ahh John Carter! Came out the same year as Cloud Atlas too.

    Strange how often somewhat similar sci-fi and/or action masterpieces coincide like this. Thinking of Elyssium and that other Tom Cruise one, or Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, or The Thirteenth Floor and Matrix, Megamind and Despicable Me, The Illusionist and The Prestige, Armageddon and that other one, Interstellar and Gravity, lots of similar outshining cases...



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