Monday, May 29, 2006

Screen Queen-Some of what I'm watching this Month

Broken Flowers (2005)
Starring:Bill Murray Jeffrey Wright Sharon Stone Tilda Swinton Julie Delpy Jessica Lange Frances Conroy Brea Frazier Jerry Fall
Director:Jim Jarmusch
Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch delivers one of his most pleasing, accessible pictures. Winner of the 2005 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the film tells the story of Don Johnston (Bill Murray), a man overflowing with wealth but void of emotion. So Don sets off on a personal journey to visit the former partners who may or may not have mothered his child. My Thoughts
For those expecting another Lost in Translation this film will be a huge dissapointment. The film is paced so slowly that it’s almost in a coma and whilst, a plethora of supporting actresses attempt to enliven the proceedings, here and there, Bill Murray’s performance is so stagnant that you wonder why they bothered. Add to this an infuriating lack of answered questions and you have dud of a movie on your hands. Special mention, should be made, of the efforts, of old troupers Sharon Stone and Jessica Lange to add some spice but sadly their brief moments are not enough to salvage this dreary mess.
*** Stars
Buy the movie at Amazon
Broken Flowers [2005]

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
Starring:Bill Murray Owen Wilson Cate Blanchett Anjelica Huston Willem Dafoe Jeff Goldblum Michael Gambon
Director:Wes Anderson
This odd drama exists in the same strange, whimsical world as Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums. It's centred on famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (played by Bill Murray and obviously inspired by marine pioneer Jacques Cousteau), who embarks on a Moby Dick-style quest to hunt and kill the mysterious sea creature that ate his best friend.
My Thoughts
You either like Anderson’s films or you don’t and I’m afraid I don’t . I gave this one a shot because of Bill Murray but I should have learned my lesson with the equally odd Royal Tennebaums. This was more of the same, a few vaguely amusing scenes interspersed with a lot of very un-funny ones, a dreary plot and characters that grate on you. I got the feeling I should have liked it but something was missing (maybe a plot and decent characters)and I just couldn’t bring myself to. Well I won’t be sampling Mr Anderson’s work again.
** Stars
Buy the movie at Amazon
The Life Aquatic

Network (1976)
Peter Finch Faye Dunaway William Holden Robert Duvall Wesley Addy Ned Beatty Beatrice Straight
Director:Sidney Lumet
A bravura performance from Finch, who was awarded a posthumous Oscar. He was given full flight by Paddy Chayefsky's daring, sumptuously satirical script. Finch plays an ageing anchor man driven to the brink, who announces his intended onscreen suicide to the nation, resulting in a ratings surge. Sidney Lumet directs with wild aplomb keeping up a furious pace.
My Thoughts
This film is pure genius, Finch is fantastic as the anchorman with great support from Bill Holden and Robert Duvall but it is Dunaway who sets the screen on fire as the rabidly ambitious executive who exploits this tragedy to build her powerbase. Why oh why can’t Dunaway get decent roles anymore? Maybe a few casting agents should take a look at this particular film and remind themselves just how great she is. She literally wipes everyone including Oscar winner Finch off the screen and very few contemporary actresses are able to raise a quarter of her intensity on screen. Somebody go watch this film then cast La Dunaway in the great role she deserves and save her from reality show crap like the Starlet!
**** Stars
Buy the movie at Amazon
Network [1976]

More Rank & Bile

1 comment:

Gareth said...

I remember watching 'Broken Flowers' at the cinema and it never really got going.

I think the main problem was that they advertsied it as a comedy possibly trying to cash in on the success of 'Lost in Translation', It clearly was no comedy and at best I would describe it as a rather dull.