Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Amazing Trailers:
The Royal Tenenbaums

I've met very few people who don't see the charm and beauty of the films by Wes Anderson. Most everyone has a favorite. Mine varies, but frequently comes back to The Royal Tenenbaums. I remember seeing this trailer in the theatre and being so charged by the unique look and feel, something that - for a change - couldn't be altered by someone in an editing room somewhere, looking to cut a preview that might deceive an audience and/or give away the whole show. In hindsight, this trailer might not truly qualify as "Amazing", but the emotion it stirred in me then certainly was.

And - as I came across this while on youtube - here's a little bonus....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Not Exactly a Broken Promise, But...

Eastern Promises is truly a difficult film for me to critique. On the one hand, I found the story a bit sloppy, some of the dialogue too on-the-nose, and even some scenes and actions totally unjustified in the context of the characters. Half way through the picture, I knew this was nowhere near on par with director David Cronenberg's last film, A History of Violence. And, in the end, I was more than a bit let down. However, I still recommend this movie. Why? Let me try to explain....

Viggo Mortensen. I could be very simplistic and just say those two words - and it wouldn't be far from the truth. He is amazing in this film - subtle, charismatic, menacing, cool, thoughtful, cypher. Typically, all at once. Beyond his performance, his character's storyline makes this picture. All of the best parts center around his mysterious Russian "driver" - so much so that it sometimes feels like a different movie entirely! The "A" story - that which sets events in motion and carries through the plot - centers on nurse Naomi Watts, and her search for the truth about the death of a teenage girl. This might have been compelling - while watching the film, I even thought of more than a few ways to make it so - but it comes off as just ho-hum, and occasionally even movie-of-the-week, when compared with the tales of the Russian mob. And, I'm not just talking about the story. The nuances, the dialogue, the subtle clues that add up to something big - all are in top form when we're with the Russians, and Mortensen in particular. As soon as we swing back to Watts and her quest, all is blah.

But, I digress a little. See this movie. You can wait for DVD if you like, but it's definitely worth your time, at the very least for Mortensen's performance.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On the Road....

You folks know that this blog does not traffic in dirty laundry controversies. There's never been a post about Britney or Paris or any of that. This one is about as close as we're likely to get - but only because it turns one of the latest trends on its ear.

By now, everyone knows what has been going on with Owen Wilson. I just wanted to lavish some praise upon him for not announcing that he's jumping on the "I'm-Going-to-Rehab!" bandwagon. Apparently, he is buddying up with a sober sponsor, sneaking out of LA, and hitting the road. Kudos for doing something that - in these days when every celeb goes to rehab for the most outlandish behavior - seems like an honest attempt at personal change. I wish him the best.