23 January 2010

Cyrano de Bergerac

This movie is European from head to toe. From the costumes, to the writing, to the pacing, to the dialog (entire movie is in verse), to the agonizing way they make you wait for a final pay off (having just watched Lion in Winter, this really pissed me off). This movie is so French, it must hate itself.

But in all seriousness, it's pretty good. Not great. And not something I'd watch again (except to get another glimpse of Anne Brochet.

Gérard Depardieu plays Cyrano — the well-known fictional character based on the life of a real person — sometimes with aplomb and sometimes with such painfully long dialog, that you forget what the hell he is talking about.

Another long movie with poor pacing and an ending that won't quit. The bonus here is that the characters in this film are likable.

The Lion in Winter (1968)

Setting aside my dislike for Katharine Hepburn, this film is the best movie I've ever seen that didn't know how to end. The last half of the movie could have been cut in half. It just goes on and on and on. I'm rivited to see how it ends, but too much of it is self-grandising on the writer's behalf.

The best way to describe this movie is to think of King Lear, except no one is worth a damn. The father, mother, and children are all so inhumane to one another, that you want them all to suffer. Kurosawa should have done his version of THIS movie.

I know it's considered a classic, and I've researched some of the critiques of the film — but I'm at a loss as to how I feel about this movie. Hepburn is just dreadful. O'Toole outclasses everyone on the screen. The final 30 seconds make you believe the two of them are retards. And the three children conduct the final scene as cowards, betraying everything the movie is working toward.

What the hell was this writer trying to tell us?

Everyone is selfish and despicable. Most are crazy. And the last 30 minutes meander so much, I wonder if the character (or actors) really know what they wanted. Since it opens with some much ferocity, you'd think it would end with it too.

Instead it wimpers and limbs.

Sigh.

I guess I don't like. But I loved it when it started.

17 January 2010

Rush Hour

This movie is the only time I recall Chris Tucker being funny and Jackie Chan making a movie where no stunt men get hurt. The script is tight, the story a little silly, and the action pretty good for what it's supposed to be. As a package, it's strong. When you start to pick it apart… well.

The sequels only get worse from here.

Big Trouble

An infamous, yet amazing ensemble comedy about so much ridiculousness, that the funiest characters are the straight men (hit men played by Dennis Farina and Jack Kehler). A number of stars steal each of their respective scenes, while the director (Barry Sonenfield) and writer (Dave Berry) show how stupid people are in Florida. Speaking of, Andy Ritcher makes a cameo, and Heavy D (while not an actor) does hold his own in some hilarious scenes as an FBI agent.

I can't really detail the script at all. The movie just starts from the gate opening and in only 80 minutes, does what a good ensemble comedy should… never stop moving.

In no particular order, Tim Allen is funny and interesting for a change. Janeane Garofalo does not play herself. Jason Lee is calm and quiet. Rene Russo is sexy (and perhaps the only token character). Ben Foster is an annoying teen. Zooey Deschanel is Zooey Deschanel. Tom Sizemore is fun to watch. Johnny Knoxville entertains. Stanley Tucci goes the distance of depravity. Michael McShane does not play the token fat guy. And Dennis Farina steals the film.

Gator Fans!

Two Good Quotes from the movie:
If I don't shoot someone soon, I'm gonna forget how.

Snake: [remarking on his gun] Remember. I'm gonna have this thing pointed right at you. So, don't do something stupid.
Jenny Herk: How would you even know if I did something stupid?
Snake: I'll just know. Believe me, I can tell the difference.