Monday, February 21, 2005

Cutaways, Take 6

Saw Hitch. ... Aside from Will Smith being criminally miscast as the master of suspense, it's a pleasing enough romantic comedy.
A few brief observations on it:
1. Apparently, there are six people of any real consequence in New York City, and they are inexorably linked somehow.
2. Gossip columnists do not make for innately sympathetic characters.
3. Not to get all feminist-sounding (please, God, not that), but why is it a given in Hollywood movies that unattractive, annoying male schlubs are allowed to salivate over and appreciate a great-looking woman for the sole reason that she is hot, and yet great-looking women are supposed to forgo a guy's appearance in favor of the inner soul?
4. Be wary of movies with voiceover narrative.
5. Kevin James steals the movie -- but that isn't to say anyone was really guarding it in the first place.
6. In romantic comedies, sometimes cute is enough. And Hitch is cute enough.

While The New York Post's Lou Lumenick is a bit harsher than I'd be, I think his review correctly highlights some of the film's more absurd conceits.

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The brains behind The Aviator -- Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and screenwriter John Logan -- are now looking to remake Akira Kurosawa's 1948 cinematic classic, Drunken Angel. Currently, both Scorsese and DiCaprio are slated to remake the Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs. Martin Scorsese is arguably the greatest American filmmaker currently working, and he has two remakes in the hopper. What's wrong with that picture?

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Another potential remake. George Clooney, who is having waaay too much fun channeling the spirit of Ol' Blue Eyes, has bought the rights to another self-congratulatory Rat Pack flick, Robin and the 7 Hoods.

Dear Lord: When will it end?

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Let the inner comic book geek come out and play. With thanks to Ain't It Cool News, here's the trailer for The Fantastic Four movie -- and whadd'ya know, it looks promising.

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USA Today tracks the treacherous love affair between Hollywood and war. It's an interesting reality balance to the shopworn rap on the movie business that it is hostile to the military. A whole new crop of films and TV programs based on the Iraq War (the latest one, that is) are in the works -- all of them concentrating on the heroism of American soldiers and shunning negative ruminations on U.S. foreign policy.

"Not since World War II has Hollywood so embraced an ongoing conflict. It took years for pop culture to tackle the Korean and Vietnam wars, and it took time before the country was ready to be entertained by those politically charged conflicts.

"With Iraq, however, and after 9/11, 'all bets are off,' says film historian Leonard Maltin. 'Whatever happens in real life inspires and affects our storytellers.'

"With no resolution in sight, Iraq remains a timely backdrop. Audiences are hungry for glimpses of history in the making. March 19 is the war's second anniversary.

"But not any and every angle of war is being depicted. One aspect is glaringly absent from most projects: negativity. The U.S. soldier is the hero; his cause is just. Storylines featuring the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal or war protests are no-nos.


"'That gets you into arenas of policy,' says [TV producer Steven] Bochco, who has written four episodes of 'Over There,' which is filming in Santa Clarita, Calif. 'I've always tried to stay off a soap box. I don't think proselytizing is good storytelling.'"

And if there's one thing you can say for the man who gave the world "Cop Rock," it's good storytelling.

5 Comments:

At 2:24 AM, Blogger Bruce said...

I don't know, RE: voiceovers, I'm just getting into director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, finally renting Amelie and liking IT enough to venture a theater screening of A Very Long Engagement.

Both films make extensive use of voiceover, as well as two of my other all time favorite movies, Fight Club and High Fidelity.

Or it could mean I have bad taste in movies and would be clueless without someone directly telling me what the plot is all about?

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger Chase McInerney said...

Bruce - Amelies, Very Long Engagement,Fight Club and High Fidelity are all among my favorite movies, too ...so let me amend the voiceover thing to just my belief that it pays to be "wary" of them. I guess my view is that: that a voiceover, for it not to be cringe-inducing, should provide information to the viewer that isn't coming from elsewhere.

That's why I think voiceover probably works so well in the movies you mentioned.

Of course, there's always the possibility, too, that I am literally talking out of my ass.

 
At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for the latter.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Jessica Hart said...

I like Will Smith. I can't wait to see this film.

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would gladly watch all 11 episodes of cop rock in a row than put up with this movie. Ronnie Cox the misunderstood love crazed for the mayor chief singing cowboy songs. Homeless obviously kicked off the show fame and left to live in the streets of LA with poinant lyrics "I tired and I'm hungry and I don't know who I am nobody here seems to give a damn." The love triangle of 2 partners and the husband that keepg getting in the way! It makes me want to sing!

 

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