Thursday, January 24, 2008

Movies opening this week

Pierrot le Fou (Jean Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
I like a lot of Godard's early work, but he's so prolific that I am nowhere close to having a handle on his entire erratic career (which is still going). The cinematic playfulness of his work is probably my favorite thing about it, and while this movie has a bit of that, it's also just too obtuse and full of itself to be all that much fun. Roger Ebert has an interesting reflection on being wowed by this movie when it first came out and now seeing it as sort of empty. I don't have the benefit of that much distance, but I agree on the sort of emperor-has-no-clothes aspect of this film. (Side complaint: As happened with the re-release of Antonioni's The Passenger, this is coming to town in a nice new 35mm print, and I had to review it on a DVD-R screener - for the Antonioni film it was VHS. Oh well.) Re-release opened limited June 15; in Las Vegas this week; on DVD Feb. 19

Untraceable (Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, dir. Gregory Hoblit)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
One of many things I don't understand about this movie is the blatant, awkward product placement of OnStar and Microsoft that eventually finds the killer hacking into both of their products in order to better stalk and torture the heroine. I guess it's possible that it's not paid placement, but the use of both is so obvious and forced that I don't see how it could be anything else. I suppose it just goes to show how misguided every aspect of this movie really is. Wide release

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