Posts Tagged ‘Channing Tatum’

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – Minute Movie Review

Freitag, Oktober 15th, 2010


Throughout this partly autobiographical film, writer-director-lead character Dito Montiel tries very hard to push the boundaries of cinema – with often disastrous results. Through the story of how he abandoned everyone at his Brooklyn home when going to Los Angeles and how he returned when his father was very sick, he tries to present a message that is completely lost in the over-ambitious, often pretentious drivel the film largely resorts to. There is a good story somewhere and a few scenes hint at what could have been possibly in that story about growing up in hard times, but the film is much too clever for its own good to ever reach the heights it aspires too.

Random Observations:

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints at the IMDb

The film is based on the book Montiel wrote about his life, where apparently the title makes some kind of sense. Here, it is just more pretentious drivel.

The cast is headlined by the solid Robert Downey Jr. and includes a for once middling Shia LaBeouf. Considering that he is normally the worst actor of his generation, that is quite an accomplishment.

Considering that Montiel first made his name (and a lot of money) through music, it probably would have been a good idea to explore that theme somewhat more than in a few throwaway lines.

Public Enemies – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, August 18th, 2009


Based on the life of notorious 30s criminal John Dillinger (and taking extreme liberties with the real story), the film is supposed to show the hunt for Dillinger by the newly established FBI. But what could be a promising thriller, especially considering director Michael Mann’s previous work, is a confusing film that is more annoying than anything. The cinematography is appalling, with barely a shot held long enough to see the expression on an actor’s face, except for a slew of close-ups that come at inappropriate moments and show expressionless faces. The acting is often atrocious, especially considering the top talent that is on display. But at least the movie succeeds as a comedy showing police ineptitude, because these FBI agents don’t even notice when Dillinger walks into their office or is standing ten feet away from them.

Random Observations:

Public Enemies at the IMDb

Johnny Depp and Christian Bale in the two lead roles are both far from their usual greatness, but their acting is great compared to Marion Cotillard’s. I know she won a Best Actress Oscar, but I have seen more convincing line readings in high school plays.

I was going to suggest that cinematographer Dante Spinotti should never be allowed to work again, considering how horrible this movie was filmed. But then I took a look at his résumé and now I hope it was just a fluke.

I am fairly certain that at least one of Dillinger’s henchman was in a scene after he was shot and killed, but since you never really get a good look at them, I might have seen that wrongly.

The film touches on some interesting issues with the mafia/mob/syndicate connections, but none of those are really allowed to have any impact on the storyline, so they might as well have been dropped.

I was really excited to see this film and am now utterly and completely disappointed. I have seen worse movies, but never when my expectations were that high.