Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Some Movies

posted by Jazz at 2/06/2005 09:13:00 AM


For what it's worth, I went on a bit of a binge of movie watching this weekend at odd hours. (The perils of joining Netflix. I'm doomed.) In case, like me, you missed some of these films the first time around, I have a few thoughts on them.

The Terminal: I was a huge fan of Forrest Gump and even Castaway. I like Tom Hanks. But this film fell flat for me. The entire premise, while based on a true story, was built in such a fashion that the normal level of "suspending disbelief" wasn't specific to get me to buy into the plot. I never really found the relationship between Hanks' character and Catherine Zeta-Jones never developed to a point where I believed it or sympathized with the characters. The list of "that just couldn't happen" moments was too long for words.

The pleasant surprise out of this whole film was the performance by Chi McBride, who most people might better remember from the television show Boston Public. It was a kind of fun film, certainly safe for the whole family, but I personally think you'd need to be pretty bored to sit through it. I rated it with 2 starts out of five.

Bound: (My own personal "senior moment".... I actually thought I was ordering Blow when I got this one. I planned on getting both, so that's fine, but I was surprised to see it. ) While I never saw it originally, Bound came highly recommended from a few friends, and I can see why. This film was nuts. Unfortunately it starts out rather oddly, and I could see how it might lose part of the audience early on.

In the beginning, it seems like it's nothing but establishing the highly erotic relationship between Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon as lesbian lovers. They are building the shady background of Gershon's character as an ex-con and Tilly as a modern day Mafia gun moll. Joe Pantoliano's character starts out looking to be nothing much more than a random "fill in Mafia guy's name here" person. Now in my case, when you lead in with Tilly and Gershon in hot, naked lesbian scenes, to steal a phrase from Lewis Black, "I'll sit through any commercials that you may have." But, as I said, I can see how some audience members could be turned off. If you give this film time, though, it develops into a serious, hard hitting Mafia movie with a convoluted plot that had me on the edge of my seat. Pantoliano puts in a top notch performance and the rest of his Mafia buddies build a gripping story. DEFINITELY not for the kids. I don't know how they cut it for the theatrical release, but the DVD version should have been rated NC-17. I give this one 4 1/2 stars out of five.

Collateral: This film was ok. I'd suggest it for a rental, though I'm glad I didn't pay full price to see it in the theatre. Tom Hanks Cruise (sorry, Jill) was playing a character, in my opinion, that was a bit out of his depth. I never believed him as the mysterious hit man. Jamie Fox put in an excellent performance as the cab driver, but he really had to carry Cruise. Jada Pinkett Smith might have had the best performance. It was a good, fast moving plot, but it did stretch credibility on a number of points. I enjoyed it well enough and gave it 3 stars out of five, but I wasn't bowled over.