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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Reviews    Movie, Television and DVD Reviews  ›  Dragged Across Concrete (2019) Moderators: Nixon
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  Author    Dragged Across Concrete (2019)  (currently 284 views)
Posted: March 23rd, 2019, 9:04am Report to Moderator

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If you're into a tense, violent, action-crime-thriller that takes its time and drags a bit (2,5 hours), then, this is the movie for you.

I really liked Brawl in Cell Block 99 from S.Craig Zahler. Bone Tomahawk was also good, but I felt the ending was a bit flat. I will revisit it now to see if my opinion still stands.

I really enjoyed this movie and didn't mind the running time one bit. In fact, I'm of the opinion that it helped the movie because I became more engrossed in it. I know most will disagree. Some of the dialogue is like it's from some neo-noir comic book. It sounds and feels fake, but that's kinda the point. These Zahler movies don't strive for realism, they're modern exploitation films. Like his previous movies, this one also has a lot of gore.

If you're into this kinda stuff, watch it.
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Posted: March 23rd, 2019, 4:09pm Report to Moderator

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I like Zahler's writing - one of the more interesting writer/directors out there right now and I'm glad he's getting to do his own stuff.  Been looking forward to this for a while.  Read the script a little while back - interested to see how it translates to screen.  I remember a similar feeling to the ending on the page, but I trust his storytelling skills that the journey would be worthwhile.

Would love to see this on the big screen.  The biggest problem is finding somewhere near me (in the UK) that's actually playing it.  I might get lucky with a London showing - fingers crossed.

My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:
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Posted: March 24th, 2019, 10:11am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Southern California
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thanks - will check it out when available

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: March 25th, 2019, 6:02pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
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A thumbs up from me. Brawl remains my favourite of his, but Concrete definitely delivers the hard-boiled goods.

Has the same simple story, slow pace appeal of Zahler's first two, but for me it didn't quite have the steady rise of tension that the others did. That said, the second half is bang on and the main setpiece is well worth the wait. Unsurprisingly strong performances all around, though Vaughn doesn't have nearly as much to do. And Michael Jai White is in it, which is awesome (though he got to have a lot more fun in the recently-released Triple Threat).

A lot of reviews focus on the political grandstanding, but I thought it worked well. Felt authentic to me -- all those dumbass movies from the 70s and 80s do the same thing. Gibson's wife ranting about how she's a racist now, and how their daughter is going to be a rape victim or whatever, was exactly like something out of Death Wish 3.

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Posted: July 5th, 2019, 2:01pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Slow day at work due to the Holiday yesterday, so decided to watch this on VOD.

I have very mixed feelings...

Run time is just way too long, and it's so clear why - literally every scene runs about twice as long as it needs to, plus so many very little side plots and character intros that go nowhere (more on that later).

Dialogue is mostly very poor...stilted, OTN, and loaded with exposition.  It just doesn't sound remotely realistic, which is a problem for me,m as the material is very dark and played for reals.

Plot is almost non existent, and much of it feels very staged and phony.

BUT, it also delivers on what you're expecting, pulls no punches, and is intense when it wants to be.

It also didn't end as I all, and that's a trait of solid, creative writing, which I respect.

In alot of ways, this comes off like a horror movie.  The pacing, the characters that pop up, only to be quickly killed off, the backstories included only to make us like/care for/fear for the Protags.  The dread of the slow pacing at intense times just feels like watching a horror movie.

Even the Antags - 2 of which here who were never shown without their full black bodysuit and masks, come across like horror Antags.  They were definitely menacing, scary, but because we never got to see them (they didn't even have names), it's rather odd, and especially because of how they were taken care of.

Is it a great movie?  No, definitely not.  Is it a good movie?  Yeah, I think it definitely is.  Is it for everyone?  No, not even remotely close.

Grade - B-  

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: July 9th, 2019, 3:29am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

--> Over There
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Hell is freezing over and the sky is starting to fall because I actually agree with Jeff for once.

I liked Bone Tomahawk when I first saw it, liked it much more the second the time, the writing is superb, the dialogue so sharp, witty and idiosyncratic. Brawl is good but I haven't revisited it since. I felt like it was shocking just for shocking's sake, particularly in that last 20 minutes...but after having watched Concrete for the first time a couple of weeks back I was pretty let down by it.

Running time aside, I just don't think the writing is as clever as it thinks it is thus the scenes tend to, wait for it, drag. They just don't grab you like his previous work. I was waiting for it to kick into gear but it never did. It just sort of plods along. Maybe that's the point, I don't know. I can't say I wasn't engaged but when it ended I did have that "Is that it?" feeling. A whole lot of nothing really. The Jennifer Carpenter side plot just seemed like a bit of a sick joke. As in, let's drum up some sympathy for her, show her struggles...before mercilessly blowing her head off. The performances are solid and the closing extended sequence with the van is pretty good but this is definitely the weakest of Zahler's 3 films in my opinion.

My friend saw this in London at the BFI and Zahler did a Q&A after where he said he has written over 250 screenplays so hopefully we'll see more and better work from him in the future. Despite this misfire, he is definitely one to watch. I'm encouraged by the fact that a fiercely independent auteur who seemingly doesn't compromise his vision is being allowed make the films he wants. We always need more of that around.

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Posted: July 14th, 2019, 2:09pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Colkurtz8

I liked Bone Tomahawk when I first saw it, liked it much more the second the time, the writing is superb, the dialogue so sharp, witty and idiosyncratic. Brawl is good but I haven't revisited it since. I felt like it was shocking just for shocking's sake, particularly in that last 20 minutes...but after having watched Concrete for the first time a couple of weeks back I was pretty let down by it.

This is about where I'm at. Except I'm much more down on Concrete.

The Western dialogue in Bone Tomahawk sounded about as realistic as it gets. The characters were so well drawn and unique, their exchanges so entertaining, I could've watched a three hour movie of them roaming the countryside without any cannibals.

I wasn't sure about Brawl for the first thirty minutes. Didn't find it engaging enough to warrant the super slow start. Then he snapped that first guard's limb in half and it got a lot better. Every time I thought there was no way he's going to break another person's limbs in half, it's too many... he went and did it again!

Concrete was a huge letdown. I'm woefully ignorant as to conventions of exploitation films or neo-noir or whatever these are. Maybe this is noir and his other two weren't? Death Wish, Sin City, LA Confidential... I just think of these as well-written movies. The dialogue doesn't have to be realistic depending on the world you've built, it just has to work. Concrete did not work for me, at all. The characters are not interesting or complex enough to warrant the pace. The dialogue... it wasn't for me, I'll leave it at that.

That rug really tied the room together.
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