Thursday, February 25, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
SPOILERS ABOUND, BEWARE
I’ve haunted by Hollywood lately.
Or to be specific, hack Hollywood writers.
This week marks the third film I’ve seen this year where ghostly daughters visit their grieving fathers.
First there was Creation where the adorable Annie Darwin caused her Papa (Charles Darwin) to be reduced to tears, chasing a phantom across his estate.
Which bring us to today and Martin Scorsese’s pretzel-plotted thriller Shutter Island.
Here we see US Federal Marshall Teddy Daniels visited by not just his daughter, but also his dead wife. As Teddy, Leonardo DiCarprio copes as best as he can with these chalk-coloured phantoms, but there’s a fine line between ghoulish visions and The Ghost Whisper.
So Hollywood hear my plea. Enough with the ghost writing already. Surely you can find another way to show the father’s grief. I know “Show Don’t Tell” is screenwriting 101. But some things are better implied than described.
Friday, February 5, 2010
For a great stab at what's wrong with From Paris With Love, check out this review by Roger Ebert.
Saint John of Las Vegas is a road movie of sorts. Steve plays John, a reformed gambler turned insurance investigator on the case of a suspicous car crash. With his no-nonense partner Virgil, they set off to visit the scene of the crime and interogate witnesses. Along the way you'll meet Tim Blake Nelson, Sarah Silverman and John Cho.
What I liked about this film is that it didn't try to oversell the comedy. This isn't going for a in-your-face laugh attack like the overhyped The Hangover. Saint John is a gentler, more grounded brand of funny. John is just a guy, trying to do a job and get back in one piece. And who better to play the sad-sack hero than Buscemi, a man whose face was built for pain. Like watching Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, you can help but root for him.
As a opposed to John Travolta's over-sized Mini Me character, John fits Steve Buscemi as well as the simple suits he wears. You might say he's typecast from his Mr.Pink days of Resivor Dogs. But I think he's just playing to his stregth.