Tuesday, August 21, 2007

DVDs I watched last week, from favorite to least.

This minor film about a convict who discovers a passion for gardening is so whimsical and formulaic (at least two musical montages) that it would float off the screen if it wasn't anchored by Clive Owen, who's so hot right now. So hot.

Tony Jaa doesn't show much in the way of charisma (his character is a pouty, clueless innocent), so I assume his distinguishing characteristic in martial arts films is either that he's the only Thai one around or that he lands most of his blows to the head, which really seems like more work for his opponents than him. But at one point he kicks someone in the face with flaming feet, so fuck it.

All the shots come from the POV of troubled Colin Hanks' many spy cameras, as he stalks Ana Claudia Talancon, who doesn't seem unworthy of his obsession. It inherently lacks dimension, but its so monomaniacal a formal exercise that it's bound to gain a cult.

"One of the most satisfying Berry films ever made!" - San Francisco Chronicle. "Bruce Willis' most entertaining sex thriller since Color Of Night!" - Anthony Is Right.

A ridiculous Irish mob melodrama (the bloody climax is intercut with a Paddy's day parade) that benefits from the presence of Gary Oldman, Ed Harris and John C. Reilly, each exuding a different kind of magnetism. Sean Penn must have brought Reilly with him from Casualties Of War, which shows an intelligence not evident in his seeming on-screen belief that this is his On The Waterfront. He and future wife Robin Wright also fail to make this their Cleopatra.

Eternal Sunshine has more engaging performances, The Work Of Director Michel Gondry has more fascinating visuals. Which isn't to say this is without engaging performances or fascinating visuals.

There's enough jokes for at least two ten minute episodes here, most of them showing up in the first twenty minutes. And had I been laughing, I probably wouldn't have found the rest of the film's sexual politics so embarassing.


Candice said...

""Bruce Willis' most entertaining sex thriller since Color Of Night!" - Anthony Is Right."

Haha way to damn with faint praise!

Anthony Miccio said...

well god, that faint praise from the San Fran Chronicle (oooh, more satisfying than GOTHIKA?) is on the back cover of the box!