Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
The only times that close matters is with horseshoes and hand grenades.
This movie comes very close to being good. First of all, when you collect
the talents of Ed Norton, Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro and put them in
the same movie and the same scene, you expect fireworks to fly off the
screen. Instead, we get an almost casual scene that could have really
with any actors. Not to say that the actors aren't good in their roles,
just that the sum here is less than the total of its parts. Ed Norton
steals the movie with his performance and his performance within the
performace. Robert De Niro is still in the same autopilot mode that he's
been on ever since Ronin. And Marlon Brando is there only to provide a
little comic relief in it all.
The movie starts off a little slow. The opening heist is very weak and the first third of the movie feels like its nothing but setup - which it is. Things get a little more interesting when Norton shows up on the scene as he adds a little intensity to the mix. The heist scenes are good and the ending is a great idea, but there just isn't enough conflict there to carry the whole movie. De Niro's character is too much in control of the situation and we never feel as if he's in any danger of anything. He's just too cold and collected for the ending to really be satisfying. There are some nice moments of suspense here and there but many of the scenes feel dragged out a little too long and the pacing is just off. Also, the music is not up to par and sometimes works against the film. The Score needs a new score.
That this movie won the Oscar for Best Picture reflects more on the sorry state of Hollywood today than it does the quality of this movie. Don't get me wrong, American Beauty is a perfectly enjoyable movie that occasionally rises above its sitcomy situation, but it is by no means a great movie - or even a really good one for that matter. It's a little pretentious and feels more like a rebellion of classic tv than it does a real movie. Still, the performances are decent and pace is enjoyable. Kevin Spacey, while good, clearly did not deserve to win Best Actor. The reason? The way the chraracter was written, it could have been played by anyone. Spacey does not have to stretch much for the role nor does he offer a real, layered performance. He gets the character in broad strokes and flourishes but lacks true depth in his characterization. It is unfortunate that American Beauty never develops its only truly interesting character - played by the sublime Thora Birch. Instead, it offers an enjoyable, if somewhat stale and pretentious tale of family life in suburban America.
which is as much a commentary on the state of American cinema as it is on the quality of this surprising film. Thoroughly enjoyable as long as you're not looking for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Deuce Bigalow provides a deft blend of juvenille humor and inventive verbal humor and situational gags. I have to say that it has one of the funniest "reconcilation" scenes in a romantic comedy that I have seen in a long time. But the great thing about this movie is that Rob Schneider has created a couple of really memorable and unique characters. On top of that, there are many wonderful and touching moments hidden beneath the more obvious jokes and the many throwaway gags.