Saturday, February 10, 2007

Movies opening this week

Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan, Nazan Kirilmis, dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
This is the second week in a row that CineVegas has booked a slow, methodical and minimalist film that I was excited to see and ended up finding boring. Like Old Joy, this isn't a bad film per se, and it has its strong points, including an interesting sound design and a lovely visual style. But, also like Old Joy, it seems to think it's saying more than it really is in its quiet moments, which are unfortunately flat. Still, I remain impressed with the bold and varied choices of movies that CineVegas is bringing to town, even if I don't always like them. Opened limited Oct. 27; in Las Vegas this week

Norbit (Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Terry Crews, Cuba Gooding Jr., dir. Brian Robbins)
Although this is certainly an awful movie, and it's pretty offensive to overweight people and Asians, I think the degree of its offensiveness has been exaggerated by people like Walter Chaw and Scott Tobias (although I appreciate their vitriol). Ultimately I think this movie is too stupid to be worth getting so worked up over, and that its stereotypes are merely exaggerated versions of what you can see in a lot of other - also awful - movies. The sad thing, then, is how unfunny and unoriginal this movie is, simply tapping into those lazy stereotypes and hitting them over and over again. It's got a contrived and slapdash plot, and nothing resembling real characters. At least in something like Coming to America, in which Murphy played multiple roles, the main character had him unadorned, and seemed like an actual person. Not so here, where every Murphy role is a distracting affectation that never overcomes its obvious manufactured nature. Wide release

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