Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was like a lot of you -- the first season of this show was absolutely
amazing. Daniel Benzali is a PHENOMENAL actor, although I am partial to
Stanley Tucci as Richard Cross. The style, pacing and storytelling were all
first rate, and seeing almost every episode on A&E only enhanced my memory
of the show.
I had almost forgotten there was a second season -- and with good reason, at first. The first case introduced in the second season was weak by comparison, although I really like Anthony LaPaglia as Jimmy Wyler.
But the show began to pick up steam with the "Ricky Latrell" case, and then they began showing the "Street Sweeper" episodes. WOW. Amazing stuff about a serial killer who only kills criminals. The killer is played by an actor I've only seen once or twice, Pruitt Taylor Vince. He is ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. Vince plays the killer as walking a fine line between brilliant and unbalanced, and at times you feel very sympathetically toward him.
If you get the chance to see the "Street Sweeper" episodes, DO NOT pass it up! To see Vince and LaPaglia in scenes together is to see some of the strongest acting going.
The first time I saw this movie, I was entranced. Basically, I told my
friend that the three storylines (Exley, White and Vincennes) orbit around
each other until they finally entwine. And you don't necessarily see that
I saw the movie again recently and I enjoyed it all over again. L.A. Confidential has a LOT of things going for it -- the look, feel and dialogue of 1950s LA, dead-on casting (I mean, who else could play sleazy Sid Hutchens but Danny DeVito), and a brilliant adaptation of Ellroy's novel -- no mean feat, considering it had upwards of 80 living, breathing characters.
Finally, being a Kevin Spacey fan, this movie is doubly special to me. In that regard, it's like "The Usual Suspects", "The Negotiator", "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and probably like "American Beauty", a movie I have yet to see. It's a great movie, and oh by the way, it's got Kevin Spacey in it too.
For those who try to compare the book to the movie and bemoan the loss of
several key aspects, I say "Try not to". Instead, sit back and enjoy Clint
Eastwood's sampler platter of an incredible book.
Yes, there are problems with it -- why not just go ahead and use John Berendt as a character rather than changing him into John Kelso and saddling him with a love interest? Of course, if you stay completely loyal to the book, the running time zooms up to about eight hours and the movie makes little sense.
Instead, what Eastwood's done is pull vignettes of this cool book and give us the best of what Savannah has to offer. Joe Odom at the piano. A man who keeps his pet flies on tiny leashes. A lawyer who considers Georgia athletics pretty much above all else.
What you get is some great acting -- Kevin Spacey as the genteel Jim Williams, Jack Thompson as the wary, Bulldog-loving Sonny Seiler, Paul Hipp as the rapscallion Joe Odom. Heck, even John Cusack is fun as the reporter, John Kelso.
Just sit back and enjoy.
This movie could've easily been a total mess, but Denis Leary holds it together very well. You can't take your eyes off him when he's on the screen -- there's a scene in a cab when he reminded me A LOT of Jimmy Cagney -- he's just that intense. Actually, I had a lot of fun trying to figure out which Leary pal would make the next appearance -- Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs plays a small role as a killer, while former Bruins star Cam Neely has a cool cameo as well. And I was surprised to find out that "Mouse" was played by Ian Hart, who did great as John Lennon in "Backbeat". But after all is said and done, it's Denis Leary that captures your attention. He can handle leads, Hollywood.
I've seen two of Whit Stillman's three movies -- Metropolitan and now Last Days of Disco. It's been a while since I had seen Metropolitan, but once "Last Days" opened I immediately recognized the style -- young Ivy Leaguers in the professional world waxing philosophical about their lives and everything around them. The good news is that unlike Metropolitan, which I remember to be a little stilted and heavy -- with the exception of Chris Eigeman -- Last Days tries to be a little more breezy. That's saying something, considering Last Days has moments when it does drag. But I choose to remember this movie as having some excellent scenes, such as when the characters discuss "Lady and the Tramp" and pretty much nail it. Once again, Eigeman does a great job with a multi-faceted character, while Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale hold the movie together relatively well at its center.