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Another opportunity wasted. Who is Gaghan anyway?
This movie is an monumental miscalculation. Our country knows little about the Middle-East and it's problems. I hoped this film would be somewhat instructive. Silly me. This mess was assembled by the same hack (Oscars do not impress me) that emasculated the informative and exciting BBC series Traffik into a Steven Soderbergh (what happened to the director of King of the Hill etc?) vehicle. I have never witnessed so many people walking out on a film. Never. I consider myself somewhat aware of the world that Gaghan attempted to portray, and I had trouble following the narrative. This wasn't a movie but a "film" that no one will remember next year--a Vanilla Sky kind of film-maker indulgence.
War of the Worlds (2005)
A big, expensive disappointment. What has happened to Steven!
I am not a particular fan of sci-fi or loud action films. Because of Spielberg and Cruise, though, I was anticipating this one--maybe they would get it right this time(after the equally disappointing Minority Report). That outing was pure genius compared to this melange of clichés--adolescent ex-husband, still sympathetic ex-wife,devoted and resented new husband-father,angry and insolent children,an automobile that never runs out of gas, crazed "old" codger(here the not so old Tim Robbins) ad nauseum. Does the world really need another one of these overblown, overlong disposable entertainments? Did the mind of the same man that surprised and delighted us with Close Enounters and ET(Not to mention Duel,Jaws, Sugarland Express)conjure this weary accumulation of special effects? Where is the imagination and adventure of the earlier film-maker? War of the Worlds is not only trite and tired,it is very boring. Not one real scare in the near 130 minutes.Before the family gets in the car,there is a lot promise; but, once they hits the road the film truly hits the skids.
Entertaining and impressively acted(look at the Cast).
There are two parts (or two one-acts)to this piece. Both are well done but the first part (Fear)is somewhat unsatisfying and smacks of the beginner's one-act play syndrome. The second half is less inventive but somehow more engaging."Fear" deals with a neighborhood-meeting presided over by the NYPD;the second takes place in a high-class brothel. The only tie-up between the halves is Richard Dreyfuss, who excuses himself from the neighbor-hood watch meeting and leaves before the session begins. His character is the central one in part-two. Both he and Rosie Perez are quite remarkable. Rita Moreno and Blair Brown(in the first episode)are expectedly fine in supporting parts. Well worth the ninety minutes or so "Copshop" occupies.
An American in Canada (2002)
A wonderful discovery!
I have only recently come upon this series thanks to a PBS station. It is well written,deftly acted and paced perfectly. Such a welcome change from US situation-comedies which grow increasingly shrill as they become more and more predictable. While there are echoes of Northern Exposure and various news-room shows (The MTM Show,Sports Night,News Radio et al),An American in Canada manages to be fresh and interesting. The performers are just about perfect.
An unexpected delight.
I am not familiar with Canadian television and wonder what other worthwhile series there are. I was an original fan of SCTV and am addicted to Kids in the Hall.