'Uncut Gems' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital]
(Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Idina Menzel, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2020 / LGF)
Overview: A charismatic jeweler (Adam Sandler) makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime.
In a precarious high-wire act, he must balance business, family, and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win.
Blu-ray Verdict: In 'Uncut Gems,' Adam Sandler plays a 47th Street jeweler whose life is out of control. He's shacked up with his girlfriend, Julia Fox. His wife, naturally, wants a divorce.
He owes huge sums of money to his bookie, Eric Bogosian, who sends his legbreakers around to encourage him to a more prudent program of debt repayments.
He thinks things are turning around when a rock arrives. It contains hundreds of carats of black opals valued at up to $3000 a carat at auction.
Having spent the first half century of my life in the Diamond District - and twenty years before then - I was impressed by the setting; clearly, the ground floor of 35 West 47th Street has not been cleaned since they took out the diner in the late 1980s!
Sandler's character is a schnorer and a momzer, and I am uncertain as to his viability in the everyone-knows-everyone society of the jewelry industry; it was changing to something far less collegial by the late 1990s.
Even before then, we had problem children. One tenant was a particular problem, but we didn't throw him out because he was the best gold smith on the street.
But I digress. Sandler's character is marked for destruction from the start. Once his current lease was up, he would have been gone. The only question is whether this core of opals can delay his end, and by how long.
There's been talk about how brilliant Sandler is in a serious role. Every time a comic actor gives a performance that is serious, people are astonished. I am not.
An actor is an actor, and a good comic actor needs to be a good actor with something extra. Sandler has shown himself more than competent in serious roles - like in 'Anger Management' - but is, of course, better know for his charms as a comic actor.
Here in 'Uncut Gems' though, and Sandler aside, some won't understand the deeper meanings, but there is a real life connection to the uncut gems and Howie (Sandler).
He's a gambler and jeweler addicted to the high he gets by trying to successfully hustle and gamble. The money is never enough and things don't usually work out and the he doubles down.
He is trying to manage chaos (our universe), but he can't manage his marriage, his personal relationships, his emotions, his business … but he is always desperately trying to.
Although Howie is a terrible person in a lot of ways, he has a woman that loves him, his son loves him, he has an odd but endearing charisma with many people.
Ultimately, he lives in a dream state that he can control chaos, but when things finally pay off, he is riding a high and then is ultimately brought crushingly back into reality.
Humans are complex and although he has many bad traits, he has good ones as well down deep, much like the cold rock exterior of the uncut gem and beauty hidden beneath it that started him on his insane, unhinged journey.
The film's score was also fantastic. Drowning out people's voices, creating dissonance and relief from the actions on screen. It's both a wordless narrator and mood piece to the whole movie.
In closing, 'Uncut Gems' is a MUST SEE if you've got a strong heart. It's an immensely well crafted film and a rare experience where almost everything comes together perfectly.
I just found myself needing to breathe an hour after for my blood pressure to ease up! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
• “Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems” Featurette
Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, the 'Uncut Gems' Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be available March 10th, 2020 (via Lionsgate Films) for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.
Amazon 'Uncut Gems' Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Purchase Link
Official 'Uncut Gems' Movie Trailer