The Summer of 02 - At the movies
Newman as Mr Rooney reminds us that he was once the biggest star of them
By the by Is there
no way to stop the marketing departments showing ever longer trailers?
If you have sat through Mel Gibsons new trailer for Signs,
believe me you have seen all thats is worth seeing. Can we start
a campaign for subtle trailers that leave room for imagination? There
were 30 minutes of trailers before Men in Black. Enough is enough. I just
don't want to see Van Diesel as a CIA spy in XXX - no matter how
many times you show it.
movies have been a pretty mixed bunch this year so far. Everyone
was waiting for Men
in Black11 and wouldnt you know all the good stuff
had been in the trailer, as ever. Laugh, I thought Id never
start. Good to see Michael Jackson on screen totally fitting in
but just where did the money go? Not on the script. Lara Flyn Boyle
just isn't very evil. Everyone else looks bored.
So whilst Dragons rule the earth in Reign
of Fire directed by Rob Bowman (of the X-Files movie)
the trailer luckily shows us just how bloody awful this stupid movie
is; so save your pennies and wait for K-19,
which as it is directed by Katheryn Bigelow may also be an expensive
turkey. We will reserve judgement on that since Harrison Ford is
always worth watching.
So what is worth seeing?
Conversations about One Thing directed by Jill Sprecher.
Starring Alan Arkin, John Turturro, Clea Duvall, Mathew McConaughey
its a film about fickle fate and unhappiness, although each
member of the cast things they have a handle on what happiness really
is. Its inventive, talky, strange and very, very real. You
may not come out of the theatre cheered up but you will have seen
artistry and gained understanding. Alan Arkin as the luckless manager
of an insurance department is particularly worth watching and the
film is shot like Momento, out of sequence and backwards
which can catch you off guard, but does keep you on your toes.
To come out of the theatre smiling you could try the fluffy but entertaining
Dir Alan Taylor.
am not usually enamoured by French movies starring British actors
al la Chocolat but this is an interesting premise
and Ian Holm is reprising his role as Napoleon (first aired in Time
Bandits). Holm is funny, bombastic, stubborn and ultimately
humanised by the woman who takes pity on him. Yes everyone does
look and sound as if they strayed from a Dickens production, but
it is pretty, amusing and there are some wonderful photographic
moments that really make you believe you are in Napoleons
over The Sum of All Fears which is a dumb Tom
Clancy style movie that proves without doubt that Ben Affleck cannot
carry a movie and moving right past
Mr Deeds which proved that Adam Sandler and Winona Ryder
are critic proof, we desperately search for something with meat
on it and we get The
Road to Perdition; which almost has meat hanging off
At once moody,and brilliantly shot by Conrad L Hall who also shot
American Beauty. Sam Mendes has adapted the graphic novel
of the same title with all the dark broody cross-hatching of the
genre. Tom Hanks as Mike Sullivan is a bully boy and hit man for
a rich booze runner, Mr Rooney played with verve and quiet calm
by Paul Newman.
We should probably not celebrate gangsters and their lives, but
this portrait of the American Irish is immensely subtle and underplayed.
Everyone deserves credit. Stanley Tucci as Frank Nitti is very restrained,
Daniel Craig as Newman's wayward son is almost to be pitied for
his stupidity. It is a tale of loyalty and betrayal. Hanks's wife
and one of his children are murdered after Hanks's son Connor witnesses
his father and Connor murder some 'business associates'. Now the
Connor want's Hank's son Michael killed to protect himself. Hanks
feels betrayed because he has come to regard Newman as his 'father
mentor' but blood is always thincker than water and the trust evaporates
into hatred. This is the tale to two father son relationships with
surprises and subtle shifts in emotions
Hanks as Sullivan on the road, training his son Michael to drive
the getaway car so he can rob banks is amusing and evokes a reminder
of the brilliant Bonnie and Clyde movie. Michael, the son
is sensitively played by Tyler Hoechlin and the two of them are
as convincing a portrait of grief, fear, bonding and loyalty between
a father and son youll ever see. Hanks and Hoechlin work very
well together in this prohibiton road movie. Jude Law as the hired
killer/photographer is well studied and macabre. His walk and manner
The plot might be a little thin, but this is a movie about people,
like all the best movies and everyone is believable. Sam Mendes
may not have come up with something as electrifying as American
Beauty but he has come up with the first genuine Oscar film
of the year that is stunning to watch. See where the money went
on Hanks and son driving into old Chicago. Paul Newman as Mr Rooney
reminds us that he was once the biggest star of them all.
Hanks and Paul Newman as Michael Sullivan and Mr Rooney in Road
© Sam North
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