movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I like movies, music and everything esle... ; ) oh... and i can't spell, so, please, no comments

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

TORONTO - day 5

Another actor turned writer/director? This time it is John Turturro and the movie is ROMANCE AND CIGARETTES. The basic plot of this movie is it centers around a husband (James Gandolfini) who is cheating on his wife (Susan Sarandon) with another woman (Kate Winslett) and is forced to choose between his wife and his mistress. Before I get any farther I have to get this out of the way. THE FILM IS TOTAL GARBAGE!

Okay, now that is out of the way and I can move on. The plot is basic, but what Turturro attempts (and I stress ATTEMPTS) is a unique tone, the movie ripe with ‘comedy’, musical numbers and dramatic situations. I will give him credit for trying something new. A film like this is not something that is easy to pull of and it takes courage to try. That being said, Turturro does not have the skills as a writer of a director to make this film and I will never get back the two hours of my life that I spent watching him try. The cast for this film is fantastic… and fantastically wasted.

Gandolfini seems like he really is enjoying himself with all of the goofy situations and singing and dancing in this movie. I wish that I enjoyed it half as much as he did. As an actor I am sure that it was fun for all of them to be able to let loose and have the chance to do things that they are not usually able to do in other movies. But there is a reason that they don’t do this in other movies… IT DOESN’T WORK.

Sarandon and Winslett also seem to have a good time and really get into the singing, but fun for them does not always equal fun for the audience. The other actors are… Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Eddie Izzard, and Bobby Cannavale. There are many problems with this film, but I think that most of them can be summarized by this… it is way to self-aware. The tone for this film is a tricky on e and they miss the mark by about a mile. It tries for comedy, wacky characters, song and dance sequences, heavy drama, and fails with every one. By trying to do everything, the movie turns into a muddled disaster.

Some people might like this film… I don’t know. All that I do know is that I am not one of them.

So I could see pretty much anything after that one and it would seem like a masterpiece…

SLOW BURN is the directorial debut of Wayne Beach and stars Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Jolene Blalock, Mekhi Phifer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. I don’t want to get into the plot at all because I don’t want to give anything away, but it is basically a film noir set in an LA like city and gets into things like betrayal, corruption, murder, so on and so forth. This is not a great movie. For the most part it feels like a straight to video film, but there are times that it elevates to another level. The cast is really strong and the look of the film is good as well. The movie is shot by Wally Pfister (Batman Begins, Momento, Italian Job) and he seems to get the film noir look without getting lost in the cliché of it all. The direction is adequate and the writing is fine. The actor that I was most impressed with is Ejiofor and Liotta. With this and Narc a couple years ago, Liotta might be finally fulfilling the promise that he showed to the world fifteen years ago in “Goodfellas”. He is strong in this movie, but there is a lot of weakness to the character.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things) has a fairly small role in this film, but steals every scene that he is in. He is such a talented actor and I can’t wait for him to have the opportunity for mainstream success. That chance might come on September 30th when he plays the villain in the Joss Whedon sci-fi film “Serenity”. Like I said before… this is not a great movie, but it is a good time. If you do check this out, either on dvd or in the theater, you will have a good time.


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Anonymous Teresa said...

Who knew the spam commentators would find you so soon!!

Let this be the beginning of your Canadian following! Great reviews - good to know what's worth checking out. I hope you're loving Toronto!

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