Monday, March 24, 2008

Movies watched last week, from favorite to least.

Penniless NYC new-wavers stumble through what barely passes for a love triangle. A funnier, less maudlin Nights Of Cabiria with instrumental tracks from Crazy Rhythms providing the perfect soundtrack.

Sometimes I think the proof of a great film actor is how they fare in more modest entertainments, not just their legendary roles. Laurence Olivier is basically a British Lenny Briscoe here, navigating the banal surface of a lurid drama, and you never get the sense that he's angling for your attention. Not that he'd get it once people start setting dolls on fire and shrieking through midnight games of hide and seek.

Pierce Brosnan's tired assassin is so twisted that the Bond meta is simply a giggle rather than the selling point, though I was pleasantly surprised by the Remington Steele crack. As much as I enjoyed the contrast between his flailing depravity and Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis' hip wholesomeness, some ironic, Bond-worthy action sequences might have given the film some welcome variety.

The story, two small-towners' attempt to restage a climactic high-school football game they blame for their adult failures, has so little edge that it requires some goodwill on the part of the viewer to see past its familiarity. Kurt Russell makes that easy, Robin Williams does not.

No comments: