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Grey's Anatomy (2005)
Hopefully it improves?
The pilot doesn't exactly fill me with confidence for the quality of this series. Grey's Anatomy tries really hard to seem like ER's hardcore little brother. The senior doctors are so mean to the interns it's like Full Metal Jacket with scalpels; it's barely credible. A "Nazi" surgeon who orders her interns not to wake her unless a patient is physically dying? Nobody behaves like this. Interns who are practically stabbing each other in the back to get "In the game". You're joking right? Grey's is trying way too hard.
Honestly, Grey's Anatomy's characters remind me a lot of Scrubs. But while Scrubs' Cox character was a superficial bully written with humorous intent, he is the only character behaving as such in that show. The pilot of Grey's features a hospital full of venomous, bullying doctors (aside from the heartthrob lead male doctor of course, ouch). It just looks silly. Indeed, while originally Scrubs was simply a sharp medical satire, when watched under the shadow of Grey's Anatomy it becomes an unbelievably accurate parody. I can hardly believe the local hype about this being the new number 1 show in the US. Is TV really getting that bad?
I certainly hope Grey's Anatomy improves after episode one, though I can't say I'm remotely inclined to find out.
Empire Records (1995)
I was excited to see Empire Records for the first time a few years ago. I had several friends and acquaintances who raved about it and I was more than impressed to see Toad the Wet Sprocket and Gin Blossoms on the soundtrack. Talk about being disappointed. This is a dull film with little merit beyond the obvious appeal of its idle fantasy. "We're young and we have problems but we stick together and straighten ourselves out with a party" seems to be the single puerile point this movie drives for.
The characters are almost without exception completely unlikable and poorly developed (although the bald girl is rather cool). One character blows all the record store's money at the beginning of the film, no reason given. Liv Tyler wants to sleep with her aging pop idol and elicits no sympathy. Zellweger actually does sleep with him and elicits even less. I wanted to slap them both. The artist with the coins in the floor is in love with Liv but I just wished he would see how impossibly stupid she was and date someone else. Maybe the bald girl, since she was the film's single redeeming character (and that's not saying much).
Worst of all is the erratic, potentially mentally ill manager played by Anthony LaPaglia. This is by no means a criticism of fine actor Anthony, but his character is appallingly written, shifting from nurturing and understanding father figure to angry and psychotic manager type between - and even within - scenes. Nothing about the film feels consistent or worth caring about.
If you want to watch a good film about music try High Fidelity or Almost Famous, where the characters are actually entertaining and well written and the stories not the stuff of ridiculous adolescent fantasy.
Wing Commander (1999)
Not as horrific as it is made to appear
Wing Commander is ultimately let down by some bad casting and a weak third act. Prinze was a rotten choice for Blair, undoubtedly selected to give the film more attraction to a younger target audience, but his inclusion feels like the film is trying too hard to project to that particular audience. With such a fine supporting cast (Karyo, Prochnow, Warner) it's a shame the leads are a real let down.
Unfortunately the plot is cliché-city with some poorly drawn characters (Maniac, Vagabond, Hobbes, Flash and Hawk were a far more interesting bunch in the games), but I feel this can be forgiven to an extent given the film's attempt to mesh more with classic war films than contemporary sci-fi. Of course, the film hardly accomplishes this, but again, with little other than Picard's continued adventures and the awful Star Wars prequels to compare with, Wing Commander at least deserves a little credit for trying. The film also feels like its struggling to find a satisfying conclusion. Obviously with the tight budget there's no room for a sequence par the climactic battles of Return of the Jedi, but even so the film needed a much tighter and more satisfying third act. As it stands, the final 40 minutes feel like sand bagging to hold the weak ending off for as long as possible.
The more cost effective advent of computer generated graphics has seen a shift in space stories to the arena of television productions (Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1, Space Above & Beyond, Galactica, DS9 & Voyager), so it is at least nice to see a space story on the cinema screen outside of regurgitated Trek offerings. The effects are quite reasonable and the battles entertaining, again taking a lot of WWII influences such as the torpedo battle between the Tiger Claw carrier and its opponent at the film's climax.
Yes, it's a weak, poorly acted story, but there are some interesting visual elements to the film; the costume and production design are superb and there's a reasonable amount of energy and tension in the battle sequences. I like that Wing Commander tries to create its own unique style of sci-fi universe. A few decent performances from the elder statesmen of the cast boost its credibility a little, and ultimately while the ingredients are all a little below average there's enough of interest to make the film entertaining and worth some more praise than it's earned.
Enjoyable, but not without flaws
It's no mean feat, but Smallville works both as a believable coming of age drama and an engaging science fiction drama. The stories thankfully moved away from the Buffy 'Monster of the Week' formula after the first season to provide more engrossing narrative arcs and better character interactions. Smallville provides a genuinely entertaining and increasingly compelling re-imagining of the Superman mythology.
Visually the show is always interesting to watch thanks to stylistic choices made early in production. No doubt attempting to bring the resonance of comic book tones to the screen, Smallville's color palette is always bold, bright and vibrant; Kent Farm with its bold red barn and green fields looks torn right off the page of a comic. This extraordinary use of color extends throughout all of the show's locations and onto the character's costumes too, even so subtly far as dressing Clark week-to-week primarily in the reds and blues iconic of his future hero costume. As far as production and style design go, Smallville succeeds admirably, and is especially refreshing after the rush of dark-themed series that followed The X-Files and Buffy.
To go along with the evolving sophistication of the show's storytelling and its excellent design, the casting is almost perfect. Michael Rosenbaum is a genuine standout; his portrayal of Lex is compelling at all times. This is the character everyone knows will mature into a man of evil and who will come to loathe Clark's alter ego Superman, but in the Smallville series - thanks in spades to Rosenbaum - he's the guy you can't help but feel an affinity for. The viewer sees equally two facets of his being; both the ruthless and underhanded Luthor we know him as from our 'future' experience of the character, and as a young man crippled by his tempestuous upbringing and equally ruthless father. Smallville's stories can only become more compelling as we witness Lex's journey into evil, and I assume the breakdown of his relationship with Clark and the rest of Smallville's characters. Not to sound sadistic, but it will be an absolute joy to watch.
Likewise, the rest of the supporting cast are sensational. Alison Mack is outstanding; her portrayal of Chloe is funny and vulnerable at the same time. Utterly believable as a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, Mack is one of the most talented young actors out there at the moment. Unfortunately her position in the series as 'the other girl' means she doesn't get the recognition she deserves, but I certainly hope to see more from Mack in her career post-Smallville.
Kreuk is a woman you can't help but fall in love with and is luminous on screen. Fortunately in addition to her looks, Kreuk brings a genuine humility and warmth to to Lana Lang, and she feels a worthy object of Clark's affection. It's unfortunate that the overall story arc exploring Clark and Lana's relationship sometimes feels a little superfluous since we already know he ends up with Lois Lane, but Kreuk still helps make the stories compelling, and we genuinely want to see Clark and Lana together.
What's unfortunate is that with such a strong and capable actor bringing Lex to the screen, and two gorgeous and supremely talented women either side of him, Tom Welling in the main role of Clark Kent just doesn't cut it. He has a lot of natural charisma and brings us a likable, everyman Clark, but the shortcomings in his acting talent become fatally clear, almost to the detriment of the show from the second season onward. In the scenes where he needs to show some genuine emotion (Season 2 episodes "Ryan" and "Skinwalker" are a pair of prime examples) we get simply an emotional black hole from Welling; a lifeless semi-frown that brings no sense of impact to the screen. It's unfortunate, because Welling looks the part and most of the time his flaws aren't even apparent, but when they become clear on screen, it is PAINFULLY clear.
Ultimately Welling brings the show down a few notches from what it could and perhaps should be, but Smallville is still compelling, entertaining and gorgeously filmed. It's got the engrossing relationship drama of the early Dawson's Creek seasons (and thankfully not the try-hard edginess of the awful OC) with the mystery and intrigue of Roswell (without its writers obviously fumbling with the mythology). Smallville is certainly deserving of high praise.
A few problems in an otherwise excellent film
They've done a hell of a lot right. That's my response to Singer's X-Men films; they're slick, funny, emotive and a real blast to watch. Without overdrawn character introductions and explanations, X2 launches right into seventh gear and doesn't let up.
Admirably, the film allows the majority of its characters a genuinely engaging storyline amongst the bigger picture, and although the story is not without its fault (using Cerebro as a major plot point two films in a row is like building the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi; been there, seen it before) it is certainly worthy of high praise. It's amazing that in just two films we already have a real appreciation for the relationships between such a considerable group of characters, and it is for the continued development of these relationships - and not the cool story line and action sequences - that makes me look forward to another X-film.
I would love to say that it's the casting that makes the films so brilliant - and it's true, the casting is great - but a couple of these characters have been woefully miscast. Iceman stood out for me, bringing an uncomfortable Backstreet Boy vibe to the role, and although his role in X2 is small, James Marsden just doesn't seem to have it in him to hold a commanding and authoritative position among the X-sters as Cyclops. In the first X-film he managed to at least stand beside the Wolverine with some great gags, but he's been left in the gutter for X2, and in the single scene toward the end of the film where Marsden is allowed to genuinely act, his emotional response feels awkward and forced. I am sure he is capable of more than this, and hopefully when X-Men 3 comes around he'll have more to work with. I've never been happy with Halle Berry as Storm, and she looks bored out of her skull in this film. I hope not to see her return.
Thankfully, most of Singer's new cast are admirable. The recast Pyro is great and Nightcrawler is fantastic. In fact, Alan is the only actor in the film who comes close to matching the quality of Jackman's Wolverine and McKellen's Magneto. These wonderful actors all appear to genuinely revel in portraying their characters. Janssen steps her performance up a notch too and it helps the film no end. I really hope to see her in the next film.
Ultimately, there are just a few slip-ups here in an otherwise classy and supremely entertaining film. With such an established canon of characters everyone is going to have their own opinion on how particular character should be portrayed, and for the most part X-2 does the job. Hopefully the bugs will be ironed out and we'll see a sequel of equal or greater quality in a few years. I'm certainly excited at the prospect.
Creepy, quirky and utterly gorgeous - Spoilers
If you're anti-Potter you owe it to yourself to see this film. Get past the issues you might have with the immense hype around the franchise and sit down for two hours to be captivated by this creepy, quirky and beautiful film. If you're a Potter-fan and you're unhappy with the film, the novel is probably on the table in front of you and you're better off reading it again. This is a wonderful film despite your expectations or opinions as to how it 'should have been done'.
This review contains spoilers pertaining to the novel version of The Prisoner of Azkaban; if you haven't read the book, you have been warned.
What makes this film work far more than the previous films are three key aspects - the acting, the screenplay, and the production design/cinematography - and all of them I credit directly to Cuaron's new vision. Suppsedly it was Cuaron's work on A Little Princess that won him the gig to direct this film, but I would honestly say that Y Tu Mama Tambien is equally if not more to credit. While he doesn't get the caliber of Tambien's performances in the young Potter stars, Cuaron does far better than his predecessor Chris Columbus. Most importantly, this film features a far more relaxed performance from Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. His confidence, surely thanks to Cuaron's demonstrated ability to direct young actors, lets him speak and react in a far more genuine manner than we saw in the previous films and helps the film enormously. Hopefully Dan continues to improve with each film.
With the more assured Radcliffe able to hold a scene together, Rupert Grint matches him admirably. Having been relieved of the Culkin Syndrome he was afflicted with in the first two films (the fault of Columbus, no doubt), he brings a more entertaining and believable Ron to the screen; both a joker and a noble soul as he is portrayed in the novels. It's wonderful to see that Grint has a genuine sense of comedy about him, and has made Ron more than the one-dimensional, face-pulling joke Columbus would have him. Emma Watson holds her own with the boys, giving a fantastic performance, and importantly bringing a lot of needed emotion to the central characters. Hermione now feels like the glue in the trio rather than the outsider.
The new Dumbledore is a little uncomfortable, simply for the fact that he has a very small role in the film, and we don't have enough time to entirely digest this new portrayal. Richard Harris brought a wise kind of grace to the character, but perhaps in his physical state the character did come across as a little too frail. There is nothing wrong with Michael Gambon in this role, and I believe with his increased parts in the next film he will prove to be a satisfying replacement. I was wary of casting for Remus Lupin, one of my favourite characters of the novels, but David Thewlis makes this role his own with a delightful portrayal. Likewise, Oldman is perfectly cast as Black.
There are edits and reshuffles with regard to the Azkaban's story compared to the book, both in terms of how the story fits together, and what information from the overall seven novel arc is in the film. I don't see how these changes matter much, the identity of the Marauders will undoubtedly be revealed, and potentially in a fashion that has a greater impact than it did in the novels. The reshuffling improves the pace in a huge way compared to the Columbus films which were quite plodding in parts because of their tenacious grip on remaining accurate to the novels. The dialogue is similar to the previous films. The "sudden" ending is satisfying enough; there really isn't any need for the over-done end of year banquet scenes, and seeing Harry happy at the end of the film is all I think we need.
Some have complained that the continuity between the first two films and the third one has been spoiled by changes in the production design. I really can't see the problem here, the look of Hogwarts is far more immersive and emotive in Azkaban than it was in either The Philosopher's Stone or The Chamber of Secrets. Cuaron brings a twisted visual style to the screen and draws on his Mexican heritage to add further layers of interest to the look of the film. He could be called overly indulgent, but rather than being distracting, these additions simply bring more life to the screen, making Azkaban a gorgeously vibrant film. The production design is simply oozing with the filmmaker's obvious delight in creating the creepy magical atmosphere that this darker story requires. If after all that you still can't accept the changes to the production design, think simply of this; "The stairs like to change". If the stairs at Hogwarts like to change, why not the rest of it? It is a magical place, after all.
The cinematography though, is what makes the film so beautiful. There's barely a shot in the film which isn't utterly gorgeous. The scenes of the Dementors floating outside Hogwarts are inspired, the moonlight scene after the return from the Shrieking Shack, the flight scenes with Buckbeak, the first Dementor scene on the train; all are captured beautifully and put Columbus with his squeaky clean vanilla take on everything in first two films to shame.
This film was one of the highlights out of Hollywood in the last year. It's, dare I say it, compelling and well acted in a beautifully realized and shot fantasy world. You owe it to yourself to see it once; and if you're a fan holding a grudge, maybe you should give it another try.
And pray to your Gods that George Lucas never gets his hands on the reigns to a Potter film.
Uneven but enjoyable
Signs is somewhat uneven, delivering a well directed, superbly acted and genuinely creepy film that is let down by an ultimately disappointing story.
Signs offers a unique approach (in my experience) to the 'aliens invading' formula of your typical summer blockbuster. It is an intimate, almost claustrophobic story, told using just four central characters while the bulk of the actual 'horror' that is key to the narrative (the invasion itself) unfolds in the outside world and almost totally off-screen. This approach enables Shyamalan to impress in the audience a heightened sense of helplessness for the characters as they are so isolated from the world outside and is a very effective vehicle in telling the personal and emotional side of the story.
Once again Shyamalan's understated style in bringing chilling moments to the screen is the film's biggest highlight. I won't spoil these for you now, but rather than dishing out cheap scares the film does manage on occasion to ooze a satisfying creepy vibe thanks to some great camera work, particularly the lighting, and a good score. Gibson and Phoenix really sell the story with great performances, while their young co-stars are endearing and enjoyable to watch. The girl playing Bo in particular with her disturbed angel character brings again a wonderfully understated yet extremely satisfying performance to the screen.
The story is ultimately a let-down, weak and unsatisfying in its climax with some pretty blatant plot holes and inconsistencies. Still, with some great camera work, performances and a genuinely engaging first half, Signs is worth a rent.
Overblown, overhyped and overdrawn; the worst Star Wars yet
While George Lucas's previous Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace, was not without its faults, it at least had its heart in the right place. It retained some of the sense of fun and excitement the original films had about them, even if it was too childish for most of the series' long-time fans. The original films were all about the entertainment value, and even in these films' darkest parts during the third acts of Empire and Jedi these films were engaging and supremely entertaining.
In his fifth Star Wars film (the second in the story chronologically) Lucas mistakes drawn out melodrama for emotional engagement and replaces entertaining sequences with action that seems tacked on as an afterthought and often feels redundant and out of place. The romance between Padme and Anakin is downright painful to watch, the Jedi apprentice's first steps toward the dark side are handled in a clumsy manner, and neither Christensen nor Portman connect with the audience - or each other for that matter. This is like a very bad fan-fiction with expensive special effects.
The screenplay is rotten. The charming one-liners of the original trilogy are replaced with lifeless and ridiculous pieces of dialogue Lucas mistakes for wit. While the lacklustre delivery in almost every scene doesn't help (even the usually brilliant McGreggor is drab and uninteresting), the terrible screenwriting just makes it worse. "This party's over" (Mace Windu); "This is such a drag" (a beheaded C-3PO) and the overplayed dialogue between Kenobi and Skywalker during the speeder chase are just a few examples of the supreme cheese this screenplay offers.
The effects are good, but used badly. I love a good special effects sequence as much as the next guy, but I'd rather watch something that's clearly physically real on camera (a good model sequence for instance) augmented by computer effects. The likes of The Matrix and The Fifth Element and to a lesser extent Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy delivered here where Lucas depends on computers to a fault. Jackson's films are shot wherever possible in real locations using real actors and excellent creature make up (like the original Star Wars films) rather than horrible clearly computer generated creatures like 'Dex' and 'Jar Jar' and computer generated environments (Geonosis) in Lucas's films.
The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, like the recent Matrix sequels Reloaded and Revolutions make the mistake of doing everything with computers and the illusion of a believable world is lost. It just doesn't look real. The battle sequences at the end of both The Matrix Revolutions and Attack of the Clones suffer from too much computer generated effects and the illusion of a 'galaxy far far away' is replaced by the 'computer game lookalike at the arcade'.
At the end of the day though, beyond the special effect-heavy visuals and clunky screenplay, Attack of the Clones basically suffers mostly from poor storytelling. It's a boring story that's paced badly through Lucas's poor direction and let down by crap dialogue and acting. We can only hope that Lucas responds to criticism and delivers a third prequel that actually delivers on some of the promise created in the original trilogy. At the moment however, there's nothing to indicate there's anything more on the way than another wooden computer generated feature film to put the final nail in the Star Wars coffin.
Batman Forever (1995)
My eyes! The goggles do nothing.
In terms of production design and cinematography, Tim Burton's adaptation of Batman (1989) is easily one of my favourite films because its combination of gothic, industrial and mobster imagery is absolutely brilliant. The sequel (Batman Returns, 1991) was also a Burton film and despite shortcomings in its plot, it thankfully retained a similar style to the original which helped it immensely. Joel Schumacher took over the series at this point, helming Batman Forever (1995) and its appalling sequel Batman and Robin (1997). With these additions to the series, Schumacher all but spits in Burton's face, blowing off the brilliant visual style of the first two films, and replacing it with ridiculously over-the-top techno sets and a dreadful lighting design that places far too much emphasis on neon lights.
Batman Forever does to some extent retain the dark look of the earlier films - after all, Batman is well known as 'The Dark Knight' and to shoot him in entirely bright surrounds would not be effective. However, as though feeling the need to differentiate his Batman efforts from Burton's, Schumacher turns away from the style mentioned above and creates his own 'New Gotham', featuring outrageous sets that are almost always lit with fluorescent lights and bright colours. Not even the new Batmobile (with it's dodgy-looking dorsal wing that wobbles and bends) is immune to the neon insanity. The style on display here is not nearly as effective as that of the first two films and does not serve the narrative as effectively as Burton's brilliant vision of Gotham.
It's hard to say whether Val Kilmer is worse in the title role than George Clooney in Batman and Robin; it's a very close call. He gives the gruff Batman dialogue with enough cool toughness to make him an appealing caped crusader, but his portrayal of Bruce Wayne is rotten. His delivery of dialogue is too stiff, and while its obvious he was going for 'Upper-class with a Dignified Air', he instead manages merely 'Dull and Wooden' - he fails miserably in comparison with Keaton. Likewise Keaton's agony over telling Vicki Vale of his double identity in Batman was excellent and beautifully sincere, while Kilmer's similar angst is brushed over briefly by director Schumacher and lacks the sense of fear and anxiety that should be associated with Wayne letting anyone in on his secret.
When looking solely at the scripts for the four Batman films, Bruce Wayne is at his most tortured in Forever, and the audience comes closer to understanding his motives, his torture and his misery than ever before. Unfortunately Schumacher's direction mostly fails to give these scenes the sufficiently gentle, yet dark touch they require, and Kilmer's acting serves only to bring them down further. This is an opportunity sorely lost, as it held an opportunity for some wonderful emotive scenes that could have at least dragged the film up to the level of Batman Returns. Still, these scenes are easily one of the film's highlights because they bring more of the Batman/Bruce Wayne conflict to the screen than was managed in any of the other three films. Wayne's relationship with Dick Grayson, who's personal dilemma mirror's Wayne's own is dealt with surprisingly well and is another of the film's strongest elements. O'Donnell puts in a solid performance as Grayson.
Nicole Kidman has very little to work with in her role, and the two villains are pretty silly (as if Danny DeVito and his army of rocket-armed penguins in Batman Returns wasn't silly enough) and feature some colourless and uninteresting back-stories. Thankfully, Two Face and The Riddler don't reach the point of becoming absolutely ridiculous - Schumacher was holding that ace up his sleeve for his sequel. Tommy Lee Jones is reasonable as Two Face, but he's got nothing on The Joker (a very similar character) in terms of being a psychotic, bloodthirsty villain. Carrey's Riddler seems a little too much like his zany character in The Mask (1994) and while his screen presence is strong and his delivery of dialogue generally appealing, the character is too over the top. Like Nicholson's Joker he is insane and outrageous, but unfortunately he is also not even remotely believable, and his plot to steal the brain waves of Gotham's residents is just plain stupid.
The same goes for the set action pieces which, while I'm sure are looking to emulate a comic book's style of unbelievable situations overcome by the hero's power, come across mostly as stupid and contrived. You're looking at the likes of the Batmobile driving up a wall in this film - all up it's pretty dumb. Indeed, Batman Forever is studio film making at its most gross and negligent. "Here we have two films that did well at the box office, let's make them bigger and flashier with more ridiculous set action pieces and a well known hunk actor and the audiences will come in flocks. Who cares if we're making films that are absolute crap?" I do, for one. The set action pieces, poor script and casting and new visual style really hurt Batman Forever. Long after my first viewing, my most dominant memories of the film were the overwhelming and off-putting use of bright colours and the stupidity of the brainwaves plot. Not exactly the way directors hope their work is remembered.
People often remember the 1980's as a decade that was responsible for many crimes against fashion, particularly for the garish colours that made their mark on the fashion of the time. It's as if the films of the Batman series found themselves in a strange time warp, and the Burton films, a product of the 80's, were stylistically brilliant, while the Schumacher films, a 90's product, found themselves unfortunate victims of 1980's excess and unsightliness.
Major Payne (1995)
No Payneful puns here...
This film is a lot better than most would expect, largely because of two factors - the screenplay and the star. The script, while not particularly original in terms of its narrative, is superb in terms of its humour which is quite dark and dry in parts. "There's a monster in my closet" complains a frightened child. Not after Payne puts five bullets into the closed door.
Payne's unconventional character is a riot and the film is balanced just right so that he doesn't become too annoying. And believe me, he has the potential to become very annoying, especially with THAT voice. Wayans delivers his dialogue in a manner almost reminiscent TV's The Nanny - nasal and grating. However, he performs with such dry sarcasm and a fantastic permanent grimace that he is a real stand-out, and ultimately the film probably wouldn't work as well with another actor in the role.
For light entertainment value, 7/10 for Major Payne.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
12 Monkeys is a rare treat that diverts from the traditional Hollywood fare one might expect from the film, being directed by Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame) and starring big-name Hollywood stars Willis and Pitt. However, rather than tell a 'time travel' story that deals with consequence and effect, 12 Monkeys instead tells an ambiguous tale of a central character walking a fine line between reality and insanity. The viewer can easily make a conscious decision while watching the film to buy into the time-travel story and Cole's plight, or they can interpret the film as the delusional visions of a clinically insane man. Gilliam's fantastic work offers evidence to support both interpretations, and the film can be enjoyed many times as the viewer picks up the many clues to determine their own interpretation of the events.
The acting is fantastic; Willis plays Cole with both alarming savagery and arresting sincerity. Stowe is as talented as she is hauntingly beautiful, and her role as the non-believer gradually accepting an unbelievable reality becomes increasingly compelling, as we see her own grip on reality crumble as Cole's does. Pitt is outstanding; his delivery of complicated machine-gun dialogue is both funny and disturbing, and although his character takes a back seat for a large portion of the film, he nonetheless greatly enhances the film with his presence.
12 Monkeys isn't a film that has broad appeal. Its imagery is largely very gritty and dirty - a stark contrast to the early scenes that are exceptionally stale - its story ambiguous, and there are plenty of simply bizarre scenes and characters. Still, it is a film that will reward the patient viewer with a clever and moving vision of a tortured soul and his heartbreaking struggle.