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Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, Hillary?
I am so amazed at how America is so in love with Clint Eastwood and his films. Mystic River was very good. Actually, far better than this one. But only Unforgiven was a true classic. Now, I know he's old and we think each film might be his last, but please, people, no need to heap praise upon anything he cranks out of a camera.
His performance is measured a craggy. Hillary is good, but not Oscar worthy, unless one gets an award for body morphing. Then, Anna Nicole Smith deserves one, too. All the supporting actors are two dimensional. The script is a patchwork from a book of short stories, and it feels like it. Whose perspective is the film supposed to be? I get two, sometimes three.
Don't get me wrong, there are good moments in the film and the cinematography is wonderful. It's just not the Best Picture of the Year.
I love Clive Owen!
Dear God, he was so damn sexy! Owen plays many delightful, unpredictable
notes as Larry, making him as playful and charming as he is
sinister and brutish; he offers the kind of effortless intricacy
that great screen acting is all about. He's got such volcanic charisma in this film.
You know the story from the previous reviews, so I'll just state for the record that "Closer" is a must see for any Clive Owen fan. He outshines Russell Crowe any day! Now, as for Julia Roberts, I'm not sure she captured the rhythms of the text. She seemed the only one who was a tad out of place. Also, it's upsetting that they changed the ending! Hollywood is so cowardly sometimes.
Duck, Duck, Goose! (2005)
A friend dragged me kicking and screaming to this film short screening in Los Angeles. I usually hate film shorts. I expected some 20 minutes of naval-gazing with arty camera angles. But, what I saw was a well-crafted and breezy story, some good acting, and most importantly - a funny film!
It centers on three single people who meet via speed dating. (Never heard about that before, but my American friend assured me it was a common activity in L.A.) One thing leads to another and you have three rather silly characters at odds. I would write more, but it's a short - don't want to spoil it for you. What makes it so enjoyable is the fast pace, the retro look of it and the MUSIC! Wonderful French classics with a spin. The opera singer was hysterical!
I should think it will do well in festivals. Too bad they didn't have the budget for 35mm, though. The story is larger than Super16. Too much grain.