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Archive for the ‘Benicio Del Toro’ Category

Guardians Of The Galaxy

29 Sep

Guardians Of The Galaxy – directed by James Gunn. Sci-Fi Comedy/Adventure. 122 minutes Color 2014.

★★

The Story: A club of renegade do-gooders seek a magic orb to keep it out of the wrong hands.

~

Will this never end! This was my mantra as I watched this clunking monstrosity repeat itself over and over. Now we have the orb, now evil Ronan has the orb, now we have the orb, now Ronan – the same ploy repeated interminably, the interminability broken by action sequences so fast you cannot enjoy their elaborations, amid settings so ornately imagined the director dare not give us time to appreciate them. For it’s either back to the orb or into a space battle or a onto a recess into sophomoric humor lead by Chris Platt beating off of the barbs of Bradley Cooper disguised as fast-talking, wirehead Raccoon, who is actually quite funny.

John. C. Reilly, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro and Glen Close freeze-shrink their immense talents to earn their pay playing characters with no discernable character. While the great Lee Pace stands before us in ruins as the villain Ronan, his beautiful speaking voice turned into a steam shovel and his interesting face shrouded in makeup, costume, and shadow.

Everything about the movie is made-up and everything depends on makeup. It’s worth seeing for the makeup. Is it? No.

The film seems not to be based on a Marvel comic strip so much as on a Buck Rogers Saturday matinee kids’ serial. That is to say, it is based on the perpetual repetition necessary for its existence at all. Except here we see all the serials at once, an endeavor that hangs itself on its own cliff-hangers. Raiders Of The Lost Arc with jokes but no humor.

 

Snatch

21 Jan

Snatch — Directed by Guy Ritchie. Action Adventure, Thriller. A diamond heist and a fixed boxing match mix it up in an Irish stew. 103 minutes Color 2000.

* * * * *

Brad Pitt plays a bad brit in this low-life gangster caper-comedy. Brad Pitt is an actor who can do no wrong except to wear a shirt and tie, a suit and vest, into the trap of which here he does not fall. Heaven spares us that, for in playing the members of the lower orders no one can touch him; in such parts he is an actor of genius. He has the capacity to play the fool, as did Gable, indeed to play a virtual idiot, but here he is playing an ace-up-his-sleeve English gypsy in an accent rendered as back-county double-talk. You know those English or Irish or Scottish films where you can’t understand a word said for the thickness of the accent? Well, Pitt takes this and runs with it, so that not a single word is comprehensible. It’s very funny. The two other Americans in the cast stand out as well as even funnier than the English actors themselves, all of whom are very good. Dennis Farina as a New York fence is astounding and Benicio De Toro as the beautiful heist-meister given to fine cigars, exquisite shirts, and craps is delicious. But this is a director-editor-writers’ film as much as anything, and boy do they have their comic chops down. As an example of visual narration it is up there with Lubitsch. Watch it and learn. Or learn, if you can, while laughing so hard.

 

 

 
 
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