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The Tall Man (2012)
The director spends so much energy trying to confuse and confound us, that he looses sight of a potentially compelling story. The villains and their goals don't come off as sinister as they are and consequently, many viewers have taken offensive. The director, in his attempt to be clever, abandoned good storytelling and gives us a poorly-constructed film. The acting is choppy as well. Biel mostly holds her own but many of the supporting cast are playing such stock roles that they come off hammy and overwrought. One thing that did work well were the opening titles...overlaid on aerial shots of the locations, it helped give a real feel to where the film takes place.
I've watched lots of TV about Italian food and this is the best episode of ANY show about the true spirit of Italian eating. The segment about anchovies was enlightening and inspiring. It makes me sorry we don't have a fresh alternative on the US west coast. The scenery around the Amalfi coast was astounding.
The wedding crashing was funny and proof that all Italian are not chic and fashion-forward. One of the best extras is getting a few minutes with Bourdain's charming Italian wife. What a lucky guy! I also like the way he ties the Italian food of America to the food of Campania and back again. It made me nostalgic for Sunday ragu with my family. Viva Napoli!
Flawed premise, missed opportunity
The success of the Motown sound was equal parts amazing songwriting, dynamic performers, tight production, talented musicians and Barry Gordy's genius for creating a sound and marketing it. This documentary would like you to believe that the success of Motown relied solely on this corps of studio musicians. Not only untrue, but the musicians are likely the least critical contributors to that success.
A more interesting film would have a complete telling of the Motown phenomenon giving the musicians their due in proper perspective - or even an exploration of studio musicians in general.
The performances are fun, but the esoteric singers seem to draw attention away from the Funk Bros. and end up making a stronger case for the greatness of the songwriting than for mastery of the musicians.