Posts Tagged ‘James Russo’

My Own Private Idaho – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, Oktober 13th, 2010

Review:

Young male gay prostitutes River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves go on a road trip in this meandering early film by acclaimed director Gus van Sant spanning from Seattle to Portland, Idaho and Rome. Along the way, they learn a lot about themselves and about life, as well as that in the end, you can’t change who you are and that your path is preordained. Or something along those lines. But the plot is not really the focus here, as van Sant experiments with the art form film, often with little success, but with a few truly memorable ideas. Phoenix delivers the best performance in his short career, anchoring a film that otherwise would have been quickly forgotten.

Random Observations:

My Own Private Idaho at the IMDb

Part of the story was inspired by William Shakespeare’s plays Henry IV and Henry V. When the characters go so far as to quote the original dialogue, it becomes a tad annoying.

Also from the experimental department: having the characters appear as cover pictures for gay sex magazines and then let them talk about that for a while. Or telling stories directly to the camera. Or sex scenes consisting of poses for still photograph. Most of these disrupt the flow of the movie even more than the Shakespearean dialogue.

In a world of gay prostitutes and their clients, of course the only truly perverted person is German. Or maybe he isn’t all that perverted and just very, very odd. Also another German trademark.

Public Enemies – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, August 18th, 2009

Review:

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.