Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’

Burn After Reading: Deceptively Incoherent

September 18, 2008
The face that starts it all.

The epitomy of insecurity.

It’s like the good old days when all of the big star names would get together to make a nice bit of nonsense. Everyone here is great. J.K. Simmons, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins…and yes, more. Sometimes I wonder if the Coen Brothers just like to make movies with big stars just to show us they can. We all know that’s not the case.

As Antonio says, “I’m far more serious than my custom.” So are the Coen Brothers.

While watching Burn After Reading a song popped into my head, Eleanor Rigby by The Beetles. It’s a song about lonely people, Burn is littered with the people of this planet that are so lonely and depressed they don’t know how to not dig themselves into a whole. The insecurity factor in this film is so high the first place I walked to when the movie finished was a mirror in the men’s room to tell myself how great I was. Everything in this film – each action and reaction is based on the character’s inabilty to cope with their own decisions…so they make worse ones. It’s really quite amusing to watch, only because I see a lot of them in me.

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“Leatherheads”

April 11, 2008

Leatherheads

Leatherheads the new film direct by and starring that most affable of affable stars George Clooney is a fanciful lark. One that I enjoyed, sometimes tremendously, and certainly enough. With Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski and Jonathon Pryce in tow, Clooney shoots for the screwball comedies of yesteryear and hits pretty darn close; a relative once removed.

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“Michael Clayton”: rolling in the grey zone

October 12, 2007

michael clayton

It used to be that September and October were the graveyard months for movies that just weren’t going to cut it, that down time when little surprises like Saw had a chance. This year however has been wildly different. I’ve already seen some of my favorite movies of the year since late September. Michael Clayton is one of them.

When I initially saw the trailer I was far from wowed. It’s not that the film looked boring, which it did, but it looked like it followed suit with all of those other self-important star driven lawyer movies in which a big company killing hundreds of people will be taken down by the guy who is a lost cause himself. But trailers are deceptive. When I read that George Clooney originally wanted to direct it, I decided to give it a second chance. The one thing I respect about Clooney is that he’s a story teller first. He’ll put his own ego behind and tell something he thinks is important to tell. I’m glad I gave it a second chance. (more…)

Movie review from LA June 3 – June 10: “Hostel: Part II”, “Day Watch”, “Ocean’s”, Apatow’s “Knocked Up”

June 12, 2007

Gosh where do I start from this past weekend. I’ve seen 4 very different kinds of films between last Friday and today…Monday. Not only that but I’ve been going through the worst cold I’ve had in 4 years time. My head is swirling with sharply and poorly acted and written characters, dialogue, styles of directing, images of gore, of the fantastical, of 60’s and 70’s throwbacks, of comical and dramatic moments, of brutally hilarious disturbing images, of sexual intercourse (the kind that leads to really bad things). My weekend has been filled with tension and laughs, escapist fun and reality that’s almost too real to want to laugh at, and then reality that’s too real to watch. For one weekend at the movies, that’s a pretty crazy ride. I’m going to start with the most recent seen and perhaps the least favorite moment of the ride.

Being sick there’s that moment when you think you’re done using the bathroom, so you pull away and to your surprise realize that you may not have been done and end up having to wipe off the floor or your leg a little bit. Eli Roth’s “Hostel: Part II” felt like that dribble to me. Or at least parts of it did. Large parts of it. Only instead of cleaning those parts up and flushing them down the toilet with the other bad ideas, Roth kept it to show the world. Thank you Eli! In keeping some of those ideas there’s a certain kind of inspiration that you find in the Hostel films, one lacking in other films of this recently resurrected genre (Saw and it’s sequels). There’s a joy that Eli Roth takes in the carnage, and in that joy you see moments of someone who has the potential to be a really good filmmaker, which means there are moments of”Hostel II” in which we witness a great film, just as there were in the first “Hostel”.

“Hostel” surprised me. It was in fact a film that I intended not to see. It wasn’t until I was thoroughly creeped-out by the very simple teaser for “Hostel II”…

…that I started jonesing to see the first. That same level of psychological fear that I found in the teaser flowed underneath Roth’s surprise hit. Sure, there was gore to be had, but much of it was hidden in the shadows or cleverly built up to, or used to create emotional gravitas. And this is where Roth excels in part II. (more…)