If one had no other reference with regards to the American West, they might gather from this movie that Jesse James’ notoriety came from his ability to talk people to death. Well, most of the jaw-jackin’ in this movie comes from the titular coward, but there is no shortage of talk and a relative dearth of the gunplay that one expects from a typical horse opera.
2007 appears to have been the year of thirds, meaning the third entry in some highly visible film franchises. We had a third Shrek movie, a third Jason Bourne movie, a third Pirates of the Caribbean movie and a third Ocean’s Eleven movie. What does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing. It’s just a coincidence but I needed a way to open this review.
The real pleasure we get from watching movies like Ocean’s Thirteen has very little to do with storytelling, but derives from watching a lot of rich, good-looking people having a lot of fun doing things most of us just dream about. It’s fortunate that this is actually entertaining because there’s not a lot going on here in terms of story. Continue reading
Babel, the third and probably final collaboration between director Alejandro González Iñárritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga, is a well-acted, beautifully shot film that somehow manages to hold you at arm’s length for more than two hours. It is frustrating because you do want to know these characters better but the movie never lets you get close enough.
Job-related stresses can be murder on a marriage. John and Jane Smith (probably not their real names) learn this hard lesson in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, a tongue-in-cheek actioner that borrows from True Lies and adds a dash of War of the Roses. It doesn’t really matter how derivative a movie like this is, as long as it keeps you laughing over all of the explosions. Mission accomplished.
John and Jane (tabloid couple du jour Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) have hit a rough patch in their marriage. They just don’t talk anymore. It doesn’t help that both spouses have jobs of the “If I told you, I’d have to kill you” variety. Continue reading