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Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Winston T. Boogie

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Title: Dragged Across Concrete

Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller, Mystery

Director: S. Craig Zahler

Cast: Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson, Jennifer Carpenter, Michael Jai White, Tory Kittles, Laurie Holden, Udo Kier, Liannet Borrego, Trezzo Mahoro, Fred Melamed, Andrew Dunbar, Giacomo Baessato, Primo Allon, Jenn Griffin, Myles Truitt, Justine Warrington, Brett Alexander Davidson

Release: 2018-12-31

Runtime: 159

Plot: Two policemen, one an old-timer (Gibson), the other his volatile younger partner (Vaughn), find themselves suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics becomes the media's cause du jour. Low on cash and with no other options, these two embittered soldiers descend into the criminal underworld to gain their just due, but instead find far more than they wanted awaiting them in the shadows.

 

benbess

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This grim, gritty, and at times brutal crime drama has several good moments, but overall I found it too long. And the ending was not my cup of tea. "B-"
 

The Drifter

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Recently watched DAC. Excellent thriller; Gibson, Vaughn, and the supporting cast were all incredible in this. The incomparable Laurie Holden (X-files, The Walking Dead, The Americans) was almost unrecognizable as Gibson's wife - who was suffering from MS.

This long film definitely had a lot of unexpected twists & turns, and was extremely brutal at times.
In particular, the bank heist scene was truly horrific & sad.

Though the movie took place in the modern era, it definitely reminded me of '70's crime dramas - in terms of the music/soundtrack, the storyline, and the intentionally "soft" film stock used. Very nostalgic & well-done.
 

SamT

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Unbelievable. I'm giving this movie a very low rating just because of editing. This is not a slow burn, this is a very badly edited movie. I have no idea how anyone allowed this to happen. This looks like the first assembly cut where they put everything in. I feel like no one went and edit it further!

You could cut out an hour or 1/3 of the movie and still keep all the sequences in. Every scene, every dialog goes 2, 3 times longer than it should. Again using the term slow burn is misleading. There are many slow burn movies where you do not get bored.

Why on earth they thought they have to have a 2h 39min running time? This aint Michael Mann's Heat.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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Unbelievable. I'm giving this movie a very low rating just because of editing. This is not a slow burn, this is a very badly edited movie. I have no idea how anyone allowed this to happen. This looks like the first assembly cut where they put everything in. I feel like no one went and edit it further!

You could cut out an hour or 1/3 of the movie and still keep all the sequences in. Every scene, every dialog goes 2, 3 times longer than it should. Again using the term slow burn is misleading. There are many slow burn movies where you do not get bored.

Why on earth they thought they have to have a 2h 39min running time? This aint Michael Mann's Heat.

I enjoyed it and I think that the director made an intentional choice to pace the film as he did. It is loaded with pauses, pauses that go on way longer than would go on in pictures made today. I would bet money that was his choice to do that. I get where you are coming from though, Sam.

Off topic but try Jim Mickle's Cold in July if you have not seen it. I mention it because if you took the time to visit this neo-noir you likely would really enjoy Mickle's film a lot more. Not only because it is edited differently but because it is just a really beautifully made noir that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Plus, I'm just trying to get people to watch Mickle's work...:cool:
 

JoeStemme

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I've been hearing about Z. Craig Zahler as the next big thing for a couple of years. I appreciate that Zahler takes the time to set up the situations and the characters, but at 2 hours and 38 minutes it did 'drag'. It's not just the length but the fact that this kind of film works much better the leaner it's told. Zahler (who also wrote) seems to be under the delusion that he's making something deeper and substantive. The action (when he gets to it) is decent, but the acting isn't all that strong even if Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn have some chemistry (Tory Kittles is better as an antagonist). And, the dialogue is soporific, when it's not overstated and far too on point.
So what am I missing folks?
 

Winston T. Boogie

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I've been hearing about Z. Craig Zahler as the next big thing for a couple of years. I appreciate that Zahler takes the time to set up the situations and the characters, but at 2 hours and 38 minutes it did 'drag'. It's not just the length but the fact that this kind of film works much better the leaner it's told. Zahler (who also wrote) seems to be under the delusion that he's making something deeper and substantive. The action (when he gets to it) is decent, but the acting isn't all that strong even if Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn have some chemistry (Tory Kittles is better as an antagonist). And, the dialogue is soporific, when it's not overstated and far too on point.
So what am I missing folks?

Well, I doubt he will be the next big thing as he really does not make pictures designed to be the next big thing. He does, like most of the directors I love, have his own voice and you can tell when you are watching one of his pictures. What I find wonderful is he is not marching to the same drum as everybody else. He does like leisurely pacing but yes, in this picture he sort of takes the pregnant pause to the extreme.

I would not argue that with the amount of story he has here he could have told this in a swift and crisp 88 minutes or so. However, I think he is intentionally not doing that and those silences are meant to add comedy to the film. The tricky thing being that comedy is subjective. I do think the trailer gives away what he is doing here with the exception that trailers are brief and I think the sandwich eating "red ant" scene that is referenced in the trailer actually goes on longer than the trailer...maybe times two.

I don't know Zahler nor have I read any comments from him on what he was doing with this picture but it seemed to me during a period of filmmaking where pauses and silences are certainly not popular nor wanted in most pictures this film is providing what seems to be an abundance of pauses and silences.

You also see in the trailer the very stagy way he sets up a lot of scenes through the odd scene where the woman returns to her job at the bank and gets that funny overly formal welcome back from her boss.

I mean, I think this is all intentional as is the sort of ironic/on the nose use of songs like Shotgun Safari. I was laughing a lot but I expect others may be saying "WTF?"

I showed this picture to a friend and his reaction was a comical "I'm not sure if this is genius or the work of a student filmmaker." which probably is a good summation of how people will react to this.

I don't think Zahler thinks he is making something "deeper or substantive" I think he thinks he is making something funny that sort of deconstructs a well worn genre. But I'd have to go search out some comments from him where he explains himself to know that for sure. That's just how I saw it.
 
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