March 26, 2009
In Celebrity, Woody Allen continues his reinvention as a young goy with Kenneth Branagh taking on the writer/director's eccentricities without a hint of nuance or shame. Even the most interesting scene between Judy Davis and Bebe Neuwirth as an uptight New Yorker and her hooker/sex teacher (guess who played who) seems poorly directed and photographed. The story concerns a bunch of celebrities and hangers-on in New York City which, in the end, feels presumptuous, pretentious and predictable.
March 5, 2009
There is not one character with a redeeming quality in Catch Me If You Can which is why I initially wasn't enthralled by it; then I noticed a bunch of filmmaker flubs and watched a number of well paid actors acting sub par (excluding Christopher Walken) which was really annoying. Steven Spielberg is not the most original filmmaker and the way he films this story seems almost like a throwaway. Certainly in light of today's economic crisis (and con man Bernie Madoff) I can't imagine anyone thinking this is an enjoyable movie to sit through.
March 4, 2009
Oscar Hammerstein II took the music from Bizet's classic opera Carmen, added his own lyrics, rewrote the book (transporting the story to Louisiana in the 1950s) and came up with a pastiche called Carmen Jones. Otto Preminger filmed the musical redux with singer/actors Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge in the lead roles only to have them dubbed by two white singers with a more operatic range. All of this stitching is very present in the movie which feels listless, has less than memorable songs and, despite a sultry performance by the aforementioned Dandridge and a funky one by Pearl Bailey, ended up putting me to sleep.
March 3, 2009
When the first few minutes of Psycho II turned out to be the shower scene from the original classic, I expected trouble. What I got was a tensionless movie that was somewhat interesting but whose first major twist was predictable and the later sub-turns not enough to keep the story moving forward. The ending though is perfect.
March 1, 2009
The Departed is much ado about a micro processor that will blow a missile up a camel's ass. A lot of well-received actors earn their paychecks but it's been done before and done better. Director Martin Scorcese won the Academy Award, et. al. for this film but it was most likely for his long and prestigious career and not this standard cop movie with way too many Boston accents per screen time.