Like its protagonist, Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) this movie can’t decide if it should mercilessly mock the idea of an Army unit researching psychic phenomena as an alternative to war or cheer for the collection of oddballs who threw their lives into the endeavor. Director Grant Heslov tries to have it both ways and comes close to pulling it off.
Looking for Richard
Not long before this movie came out, I spent a couple of weeks in London and, among other things, took in a production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at Bankside. And unlike my wimpy travelling companions, who splurged for box seats, I experienced the play in true groundling fashion, huddled against the stage in a rain storm. Okay, I don’t think the groundlings of Shakespeare’s day covered themselves in plastic bags, but they would have if they’d had them.
For about the first forty minutes, Superman Returns looks and feels like a worthy successor to the 1978 classic, right up until the point Superman actually returns, then things start to go wrong.
The opening rescue, involving a space shuttle and airliner full of press (including Lois Lane, of course), is exactly what you expect and want from a Superman movie. If only you could say that about the rest of this film.
It’s probably appropriate that the film adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel L.A. Confidential contains a fictional TV series that’s an obvious riff on Dragnet. This film seems like it wants to expose every dirty secret about the LAPD that Jack Webb ever whitewashed.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Speaking as some who worked in retail sales for few years out of college, I can certainly vouch for the authenticity of much of what transpires in James Foley’s film of David Mamet’s play Glengarry Glen Ross. The scene in which Alec Baldwin’s character verbally emasculates the sad sack salesmen is reminiscent of any number of sales meetings or visits from the district manager.
Okay, I can’t ever recall being called a “cocksucker” in those sessions (it was often mixed company, after all), but the message was same. Selling is everything. A good salesmen should be able to sell water to a drowning man. Excuses are for losers and low numbers are the way out the door. You might notice that I don’t work in that field any more.