THE HUGHES BROTHERS

“What’s an underrated movie I should watch?”

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“Besides FEAR AND LOATHING and DEAD MAN, don’t you like any Johnny Depp movies?”

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Though it has some major flaws that keep it from greatness.

“What’s one of the great directorial debuts in American film history?”

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“Any good post-apocalyptic movies that don’t get enough attention?”

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Albert and Allen Hughes have not been as prolific as some directors and movie making teams, but each of their movies together have been original and entertaining. They don’t get nearly the amount of attention they deserve.

I re-watched FROM HELL the other night because when I last saw it, over a decade ago, I thought I didn’t like it, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I think the casting of the villain is poor, Heather Graham is a Hollywood idea of a whote and Johnny Depp does nothing for me. But the art direction, cinematography and direction make Whitechapel come alive on-screen as it never did before for me. The movie is more about the victims than most other treatments of the Ripper story, and the casting of Graham’s friends is impeccable.

BOOK OF ELI has a central gimmick that’s hokey but genuinely surprising. The depiction of a post-apocalyptic world is seamlessly done–this place LOOKS like a planet that’s been cooked and depopulated more than the usual dust-and-leather crap.

DEAD PRESIDENTS is an overlooked masterpiece. You should see it.

 

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2 comments

  1. FROM HELL is very flawed in terms of casting, but the direction is original for this sort of material. The depiction of the environment and those who live in it was powerful. Trevor Jones’ score is crucial to the success of this, too–the music is almost ‘orchestral ambient,’ but it keeps the viewer in the world throughout. DEAD PRESIDENTS is a masterpiece, but I’ve said that already. BOOK OF ELI is another underrated flick, the photography uses the overdone technique of grading in a way that makes sense in depicting the environment.

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  2. Agreed on these guys. I actually have never seen From Hell(My Bad) but I have liked everything else. Menace II Society is much more powerful than Boyz in the Hood(which does not hold up well, IMO) and Dead Presidents is something that I will always leave on when I see it on TV. Weirdly enough, I believe I watched it Wed. Loved the score for Book of Eli. It was weirdly hopeful.

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