Unlike last week’s mirage of hair in a wasteland of wigs, this Friday (September 12th) is a race. Three opening movie horses are striving to win your green ribbons. First up, the old veterans: DeNiro and Pacino in Righteous Kill.
“Equally gritty old school crime thriller and flashy seductive post-modern whodunit noir, along with De Niro’s off the job kinky rough sex lover forensic babe (Carla Gugino) who likes him to role play criminals in bed, Righteous Kill delivers the goods.” Prairie Miller NewsBlaze
No one should be surprised to see an R rating after reading that. Sounds nuts, but I want a little nuts when two legends are on the screen. However, as good as it sounds the bad news is written on the wall. After Heat, both actors haven’t really been on their A games. Remember Hide and Seek (a psychological thriller with DeNiro) and 88 minutes (a cop thriller with Pacino) which finished at 13% and 6% respectfully? That’s what they’re up against. The question of whether or not this horse can win comes down to the actors. Do they save the picture, or that other thing?
“Not surprisingly, what’s right about Righteous Kill begins and ends with Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.” Cathy Jakicic Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“The novelty of watching De Niro and Pacino team up wears off pretty quickly.” Keith Phipps Onion AV Club
The vote’s not in yet. You’ll have to check the comments to see who wins. Next up, the dark horse. While you probably haven’t heard anything about The Women, you’re about to wonder why, because it stars Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett Smith. How can a movie with this much star power have a dim result (even if it is a remake)?
“Even though English completely changed Luce’s intent from savage satire to ‘celebrating women,’ and it’s far too long, it has a terrific performance by Mendes and some funny lines.” Tony Medley Tolucan Times
That sounds mostly positive. What’s the opposite side say?
“The original was a tart dipped in acid; this one’s a biscuit sprinkled in Splenda.” Keith Phipps Onion AV Club
AUTHORS NOTE/QUALITY SPOILER WARNING: Unfortunately, I cannot continue a positive/negative back and forth for this movie. It’s a distant third in the running and nearly every reviewer is wearing their heckler’s cap. Skip past the examples if you’re interested in hearing about the final horse: the Academy winning thoroughbred.
“No cliché, no matter how it screams and pleads for mercy, makes it out of this baby untapped.” Chris Cabin Filmcritic.com
“It’s a movie of one-shots, with the ladies staying in their flattering light, delivering their lines to someone who reacts to that clever line in the next one-shot.” Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel
Last into the gate, but first in marketing is the Coen Brother’s newest: Burn After Reading. It’s got a lot going for it, including a super cast (Clooney, McDormand Pitt, Malcovich) and uber-directors (fresh from No Country For Old Men). Is this the best bet or the biggest hype?
“The Coens are so hot right now they could probably sell the idea for a comedy involving the changing of fish tank water.” Rebecca Murray About.com
True, but what about the movie?
“Shot, scored and edited like a paranoid conspiracy thriller, but acted with comic exuberance by a brilliant ensemble cast, it presents itself seriously while making hardly any sense at all.” Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune
So it’s the best kind of nonsense. Anyone else want to chime-in? How about someone with a made-up last name.
“Mostly we’re along for a curious ride. Individual scenes are enjoyable, some laugh-out-loud funny. But it’s not a story being told, really, so much as an exercise in ongoing and increasing stupidity on the part of the characters.” Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic
Thanks Mr. Goodykoontz. Please don’t leave Arizona anytime soon; we’d have to lock up our children. Someone want to sum up, before we see who wins?
“[Burn After Reading is]..a comedy classic that can stand with “Raising Arizona,” “Fargo” and “The Big Lebowski” as memorable.” Michael A. Smith Nolan’s Pop Culture Review
Big words. And it’s a big weekend for movies, but which one should take home the triple-crown?