Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Opening Soon

It's so many weeks past the film festival, I'm embarrassed to keep doing my quasi-reviews, but watching TV right now, I saw an ad for Pride and Glory, opening this weekend, and it inspired me to try again.

So, Pride and Glory.

Ed Norton and Colin Farrell, I thought reading through the festival program. How could this not be great?? And it was good.

Me? I liked the performance of Noah Emmerich who I think is an underrated actor who I've been a fan of since I saw Beautiful Girls back in the nineties. (With Timothy Hutton and a tween-aged Natalie Portman as love interests. But it wasn't creepy. Honest. Rent that film if you haven't seen it.)

But back to Pride and Glory. I think this was a decent film and the performances were great. My issue was that I feel like I've seen it before. Perhaps I'm just getting jaded. Perhaps I've just seen too many movies, and read too many books, and watched too much TV, so little seems fresh to me anymore.

It's a story of a family of cops who must face the fact that one of them is a dirty cop and they all must decide whether to put family or justice first. Haven't we seen this before? I used to think Ed Norton could do no wrong... but I didn't even see the recent Hulk film after it got so soundly trashed by the critics...

Looking through my not-yet-reviewed list... I don't actually think any others are opening soon. But, in related news one film I saw at the 2007 fest just opened. Here's a link to my review last year of Battle in Seattle. Okay, it's less of a review and more of a discussion of the star watching that evening. My biggest beef with Battle in Seattle (if memory serves, it's been more than a year since I saw it) is that I felt the big, emotionally-charged moments of the film were fiction masquerading as non-fiction. And that felt a tad dishonest to me. But it did have some great, make-you-gasp moments and didn't too aggressively take sides. The film blends actual footage of the riots at the WTO meetings with the film's footage, and I guess that's why I felt manipulated by some of the story elements.

Okay, one more from this year. One I really liked but might not get a theatrical release. $5 a Day.

Full disclosure on my thumbs up endorsement of this film. I totally heart Alessandro Nivola. In this film, he plays the estranged son of a small-time hustler, played by Christopher Walken. The son ended up doing some time, after taking the blame for one of his dad's failed schemes and has moved on with his life, with a boring job as a restaurant health inspector and a fiancee (Amanda Peet) who's perfect, except she's on the verge of dumping him because he won't open up and tell her anything about his past. Because, of course, he's completely hiding his shady past and his embarrassing dad. But dad calls, claiming he's dying, and the fiancee takes the message, and the son ends up getting pulled into helping his dad, who's convinced he can live on only $5 a day, either by running little scams, or taking advantage of free offers. What transpires is a very unique road film, meeting Sharon Stone and Peter Coyote on the way, and of course, some family bonding.

I thought this film really worked, so I hope I'm wrong about it not getting a very wide distribution. The screen writer also wrote Calendar Girls, so who knows... Check it out if and when it does open.


Barrie said...

I bet I can get Beautiful Girls from Netflix. Thanks for another little dose of your film reviews. I'll miss them.

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