Friday, November 04, 2005

Movies opening this week

Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener, dir. Bennett Miller)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I'm always disappointed when I'm really looking forward to a movie and I really admire the people involved and find the concept really interesting, and then the movie isn't as good as I'd hoped. Especially if I also do a very nice interview with the star. This is a fine film, with a good performance by Hoffman, but it relies far too much on the quality of that performance to tell the story. The other characters essentially sit around and react to what Capote does, and only Collins ever gets a chance to do much more than that. Still, it's not a bad movie, just not quite as good as reviews would have you believe, and not as good as I was expecting. Opened limited Sep. 30; in Las Vegas this week

Jarhead (Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx, dir. Sam Mendes)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
This is another disappointment, although I was more prepared for it to be so, and it's not as admirable or interesting as Capote. I think Mendes is trying so hard to be classy and elegant that he's made a film that's actually very timid. A lot of critics seem to think that the film's problem is not taking a political stand, but I don't think that's necessarily the case - the problem is that it doesn't take any kind of stand at all, even emotional or thematic. It's a movie that doesn't mean anything or care about anything, and that's tough to invest yourself in. Wide release

MirrorMask (Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry, Gina McKee, dir. Dave McKean)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
This has been getting a lot of mediocre and negative reviews, and I think some people are being too harsh on it. I'm not just saying that because of the comic book connection; I really think it's a good film, if sort of predictable, and it looks amazing. It's worth going to see in a theater, too, to appreciate McKean's surreal visuals in all their overwhelming glory. Story-wise, it could lose 10 or 15 minutes, but it's still very entertaining. Opened limited Sep. 30; in Las Vegas this week

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