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Uncut Gems

"This is me! This is how I win."

I watched Good Times on a whim and was on the edge of my seat with how tense it was, very reminiscent of After Hours. I finally got a chance to see their follow up, Uncut Gems and to say it's just as intense, is an understatement. Even saying the film is intense is a bit of a cliche as everyone and their mother has said the same thing, it's hard to describe the film any other way. There is a scene where a door is jammed and people can't unlock it...that scene is intense and it's intense for no reason. No one is in danger, no risks are involved, it's just a door that is jammed shut. Yet the Safdie brothers find a way to make it one of the more tense scenes in the film with how the music is scored, how the people are frantically running around and how everyone is simply yelling at each other. Uncut Gems is not for everyone, but it's rewarding for those who can sit through it.

Howard is a New York jeweler and he comes into possession of a rare uncut opal stone. In his eyes it's worth millions and he needs that money as he owes a lot to many people, people who violently want to collect faster than Howard can get his money.

Howard is the type of guy who even when he gets the money that is owed, he's willing to put it all on the line to get a little more. It's moments like these that has the audience yelling at their screens "Don't do that!!!" It's like a horror film when that one person yells don't go in there dummy, but instead of it being that one annoying girl, it's the entire collective audience. Everyone is on the same page except for Howard. He's in his own world, wanting to climb up higher and higher and he's willing to dig the hole he's in a little deeper if it means winning big. As a person, Howard shouldn't be likable, but Sandler brings his unusual charm and makes me pity the guy more than anything. Sandler can act and he's good here. He's admitted to making the type of movies he makes out of laziness, but every once in a while he'll come out to play and he plays well.

The film has audiences divided, it's anxiety inducing. Howard is a guy who manages to win and lose everything at the same time. The film will leave you exhausted by the end and that isn't a film for everyone, but it was a film for me.