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An ambitious, surreal experience. Not for everyone.
I need to start this review with an important statement: I am addicted to James Duval movies. I have watched 29 of them -- and I am not making that number up. So this review is going to be a little bipolar because the Duval fan in me thought it was great, but the film critic in me thought it was dull. Hopefully you can follow along.
From the perspective of a James Duval fan, this movie was amazing. This is the best acting performance I've ever seen from him. Most of the time, he is typecast as either a) innocent or clueless, or b) extremely (almost comically) eccentric. In BLUE DREAM, he is neither of these things. He is an arrogant, self-centered sex addict - and he pulls it off so well! I thoroughly enjoyed watching his slow descent into madness.
The style is reminiscent of a David Lynch or Nicolas Winding Refn movie. It starts off with a little bit of plot and you kind of see where it's going. As it goes on, it becomes more and more surreal until none of it makes any sense. The last thirty minutes of BLUE DREAM is absolute nonsense -- but unlike David Lynch, the director is unable to pull it off in a way that is interesting to watch.
There was potential here, but I just don't feel Gregory Hatanaka conveyed whatever he was trying to say. Or maybe he wasn't trying to say anything at all, but that's just the problem: The intent and driving force behind BLUE DREAM is unclear.
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