God, I wish I was as cool as these guys. I seriously do.
Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New Jersey penitentiary, the wry, charismatic thief is already rolling out his next plan. Following three rules – don’t hurt anybody, don’t steal from anyone who doesn’t deserve it and play the game like you’ve got nothing to lose – Danny orchestrates the most sophisticated, elaborate casino heist in history. This is where the fun begins in Ocean’s eyes, and you know what? His eyes do not deceive him a single-bit.
Heist flicks are and have always been a favorite of mine, and to feature a cast with the likes of Clooney, Damon, Cheadle, Pitt, Mac, Reiner, and even Affleck (Casey, that is), you know I was even more excited because it seemed like the perfect-opportunity for a bunch of guys to just pal-around, have a good time, and pull-off some neat-o heists. However, just to make sure that this isn’t one, long bro-sesh from start-to-finish, we got Steven Soderbergh at the helm to keep everything under control and honestly, what better man to do that then the guy who has made one of the greatest heist/crime flicks of all-time, Out of Sight? Well, you could probably argue Tarantino or Scorsese, or plenty of others, but if you were to really get down to the nitty-gritty of it, I think you would be pretty damn fine with having Soderbergh behind it all, because I definitely was.
Having a guy like Steven Soderbergh doing your film means one thing and one thing only: it’s going to have a crap-load of style. And that’s not really a bad thing at all, because with a generic and relatively conventional story like this, you need that to add more pizzazz and spice to the whole-product, even though it’s obviously apparent that’s what Soderbergh is relying on the most. However, it didn’t get in the way of material and you can’t help but just love the fact that Soderbergh gives the flick a more-polished look than you are used to seeing with heists, but also realize that it makes the setting it takes place-in, all the more beautiful and smoother in it’s own, coolio way. Soderbergh is the man of being cool, looking cool, and filming cool, and he was definitely the perfect-choice for material like this.
There’s also a great-deal of fun and entertainment that Soderbergh brings to this flick and it’s not just all about the style, either, it’s more about the actual heist itself, and keeping you constantly wondering, guessing, and figuring-out how it’s all going to play-out in your mind and on-screen. Soderbergh definitely does a little-job of trickery here and there with this heist and the twists and turns it takes, but that just adds more to the overall enjoyment of what we all see and it’s perfect since everything until then, was all just one, big lead-up to what was going to go down. We see bits and pieces of how this heist is going to go down, but not enough, so that when the heist does go through and we see everything that goes-down, we’re not only surprised, but pretty gripped to our seat, as you don’t really know how it’s going to turn-out for this cats in the end. Sooderbergh has as much fun with this as his cast does, but by doing-so, he allows us to just revel in his enjoyment in making the material and it’s no surprise that the guy came-back for 2 more of these flicks. However, more on them later as the reviews keep on coming, so just you wait DTMMR readers/follows out there!
Topping-off this cake of coolness, with a sweet, little cherry on-top is the cast that is filled to the brim with the coolest mofo’s on the planet, and some, you have yet to even know are cool just yet. George Clooney is the brains behind the whole operation as Danny Ocean and is cool, lean, and suave, exactly as we know and love him to be. Clooney sort of takes the background in this flick and allows the rest of his cast to show-off and do their thing, but whenever he gets a chance to show why he’s so cool, he does it with perfection. Damn that George Clooney. Playing the “other” brains behind the operation is Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan, a dude that knows it all, can walk the walk, and talk the talk. Pitt’s good at playing cool and smart, we all know him for that, and we all love him for that. ‘Nuff said about that. Matt Damon is the new-blood of the gang and does a great-job at playing up that cocky-rookie look to him, while also being able to put-up, when shut-up time is right there, in front of his face. Not the most memorable performance from Damon but the guy sure as hell can act and make any role, seem like the perfect-fit for him.
Playing the opposite-side of these fast-cats is Andy Garcia, aka, the guy who owns the casino that they are robbing, Terry Benedict. Garcia is a tough-guy that you really feel like can’t be out-smarted, no matter who the person/people doing the out-smarting are. Garcia’s got a lot of intimidating-looks in those eyes and you never quite know if he’s going to pull-off the win in the end, or just give it to Ocean’s dudes. Once again, it’s a tense-ride to the finish that you never quite know where it’s going to end-up or how, for that matter. Julia Roberts is fine as Benedict’s gal/Ocean’s ex-gal, but does her usual, “I’m-Julia-Roberts-And-My-Shit-Don’t-Stink” act that some love her for, some hate her for, and some are just tired and bored of her for playing so much. Me, I linger somewhere around the latter and as juicy and spicy as the scenes with Clooney may be, her character is still Julia Roberts, playing Julia Roberts.
Everybody else in this cast is pretty damn fine as you’ll see a crap-load of familiar faces pop-up, do their thing, and be done with it and continue onto the road. Seriously, everybody is good except for Don Cheadle as Basher, who is supposed to be channeling this wry, British-accent that goes in-and-out like a you know what, and is even more distracting to this character, because every time he’s talking, it just sounds like Don Cheadle trying hard to sound British. And yes, Cheadle does have a very distinctive voice that is easy to point-out as to when it’s real, when it’s being fake, and when it’s trying to be British. Oh well, I guess this cat needed to have one bad performance to throw in there for his whole filmography. Bastard.
As fun and exciting as this flick may be, you really do just end the film, happy as a fly, and continue on with your day as if nothing happened. In a way, that’s not such a terrible thing to have in life, considering it’s a happy-thought, but in other ways, it’s a bit of a disappointment considering the cast and crew that was on-display here. Yes, it’s fun, exciting, and entertaining for the 2 hours it’s alive and well on the big-screen, but other than that, you don’t have much else to really hold you over or make you think of anything afterwards either. I don’t know, maybe I was just expecting a bit too much more than I was given, but I definitely feel like there should have been more for me to seize-onto at the end, no matter how conventional or obvious it was trying to be.
Consensus: Ocean’s Eleven is no game-changer in terms of heist movies, but is still entertaining, fun, exciting, well-acted, and just really, really cool, almost to the point of where you feel cool for watching it but you soon realize, that you’re just a poor college student who drives a 2005 Scion, and has about $20 in your wallet as you speak. Yeah, I’m speaking from my point-of-view, but if only I wasn’t. If only dreams really could come true, after all.
Those travel-book store owners are always getting the hotties.
When shy Portobello Road bookshop owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant) accidentally spills fruit juice over browsing Hollywood star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), it’s the start of a tentative, faltering, on/off relationship.
Basically, this is just a premise that is based on pure fantasy where the average, middle-class dude ends up nailing the hottest celebrity of the century. However, some of those fantasies only last for one night of sexual passion, this movie lasts until these two end up falling in love and that may be taking it a bit overboard.
I can’t say that this film isn’t funny because there were plenty of moments where I found myself having some pretty big laugh-out-loud moments that made me realize that I surprisingly do understand British wit after all. Writer Richard Curtis is a dude every person with a funny accent knows and with good reason, because he’s a damn funny writer. Plenty of scenes here don’t even seem like they should belong in here and are more or less used just to get some laughs, but they are used well and made me enjoy this flick even more than I expected. Richard Curtis is definitely a guy I need to check out more of because he is able to somehow always make me laugh no matter what the film may be.
The problem this film hits is that it’s whole romantic drama aspect of it is very weak mainly because the main relationship just never felt like anything as genuine or as special that this film was trying to throw at us. It’s one of those diamond in the rough stories but after awhile, it goes on to get more and more serious and indulged in this romance that doesn’t have much love backing it up in the first place. Why does this chick decide to give this one random dude a chance? Why does she care so much? What’s attracting these two to each other so much that they can’t be away from one another? All of these questions never get answers because we barely ever get any glimpses into why these two feel the way for each other other than the fact that she’s hot, rich, and famous and he’s just something new and different for her. Then again, I don’t even think they bring that up about him so that’s just all me saying that.
It wouldn’t have been as bad if the film didn’t really hammer us over the head by the end with all of these corny and predictable love monologues that seem to go on way too long. Oh, speaking of going on for too long, did I forget to mention that this flick is also 123 minutes?!? That’s right people, 123 minutes of a predictable romance between a celebrity and a regular dude. I don’t know why so many rom-com’s feel the need to just make their films longer and longer as the years go by because I can barely stomach an 80-minute rom-com, let alone one that’s over 2 hours.
The real saving grace for this flick that did win me over was this cast. It’s strange that Julia Roberts took this role as Anna Scott because she is basically portraying herself. Scott is famous, good-looking, talented, and very much in the press with just about everything she does and Roberts is exactly the same person. However, Roberts is very good in this role as Scott and tries her hardest to give her some dimension but the script doesn’t focus on her all that much except for the fact that she is famous and wants a dude in her life that isn’t in the same social class as her. Hugh Grant really saved this flick for me because he’s so funny with all of his quirks and wit that made me laugh just about every time he used one of them and actually had me enjoy this character William, actually, maybe a lot more than Scott. Their chemistry is pretty good together and even though the flick never really develops their relationship and show exactly why it is that they love each other so very much, you can still depend on their work together to show you the reasons why. The rest of the cast is also very funny especially Rhys Ifans who plays Grant’s house-mate, Spike, and is a disgusting and vile person but he’s also damn funny and a delight to watch on-screen every time.
Consensus: Notting Hill has an underdeveloped romance that gets very predictable by the end, but the chemistry and performances from Grant and Roberts both save this film and make it an enjoyable rom-com. But then again, aren’t they all?!? Maybe not.
Who’s the fairest of the two Snow White movies that nobody asked for?
An evil queen (Julia Roberts) steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess (Lily Collins) enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.
So here we go with the first of TWO Snow White films for the year of 2012 and I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but I hope Kristen Stewart can do a better job as Snow White.
One of the strangest things about this film is that it’s directed by visual artist Tarsem Singh, who has done flicks like The Cell and Immortals. Those films, much like this one, are all about the visuals rather than the actual story itself but it’s not always a bad thing either. Singh brings a very colorful flair to it all with vibrant set pieces and costumes that makes you feel as if you are watching a children’s book being brought to life. Visually, this film is a treat even though it does feel like I’ve seen this done before but it’s still Singh and he can’t really do much wrong when it comes to making things look pretty though.
The one department that he is obviously trying really hard to work on is his writing, and I think this is a clear example as to why. The story isn’t really a loose re-telling of the usual Snow White tale we all know and love but it still offers a lot of cheeky/campy jokes to give the audience plenty of winks. The film does have its witty moments where it made me chuckle at times and I can definitely say that it’s a step-up for Singh considering all of his other movies consist of little or no happy emotions.
Problem that I with this comedy is that it tries way too hard to go for this campy feel that it just ends up being annoying. All of the anachronistic jokes placed within a fairy tale story is a device that has pretty much beaten to death for the past decade ever since Shrek came out. Don’t get me wrong, I love Shrek but there is only so much winking you can do towards the audience when you’re telling a story like this until it seems like you have nothing else to really rely on. There was also something off about plenty of this comedy as well because I don’t really think that Singh understand comedic timing let alone put it in a film where it’s story depends on it to be different. A lot of the jokes just felt strange and whenever they missed the mark, they really missed it and it was pretty noticeable. There was also a very strange George of the Jungle joke that I don’t know if I was the only one to catch but it was just another case and reason as to why this film was trying too hard.
I think the rest of this problem also has to do with the cast and that some had good comedic timing, while others just couldn’t seem to get it right at all. Julia Roberts was the prime example here as the Queen. Roberts is obviously taking a lot of joy in a role where she gets to play an evil and powerful bitch but a lot of the jokes that she makes, either falls flat or come off as if it was some high-class chick who doesn’t really do comedy but is trying her hardest at it for once in her career. Roberts also wasn’t as evil as the Queen and I couldn’t help myself think that she was more likable than she was unlikable, but I guess that just goes to show you the kind of charm Julia Roberts has.
Even though she wasn’t given much comedy to work with here, Lily Collins also comes off pretty flat too. Collins obviously hasn’t had much experience so I guess I should take it a little bit easy on her but she’s so damn bland, so damn boring, and so damn generic here as Snow White that it almost feels like this role could have been played by anybody else in the wholest widest world and it wouldn’t have even matter, which is something I shouldn’t feel with such a character like Snow White. She should be likable, cute, witty, smart, and full of charisma, which are all things that Collins does not have except for huge eye brows. I’m sorry to point it out but I honestly could not believe that those things were real!
The cast that did get the comedy right actually were the best parts of this flick in the end. Armie Hammer went all out for his role here as Prince Alcott and it shows because this guy really did have me laughing. I like how Hammer was able to mess around and poke some fun jokes at his All-American boy look he has sported on so well and it brings out plenty of laughs considering you don’t see an actor that is so young and good-looking as him going to the same depths just for a laugh. Hopefully Hammer continues with his comedic side but also not forget about his dramatic side either because it’s very obvious that he can handle both pretty well. Nathan Lane is also great with his comedy here as Brighton, but then again, when isn’t this guy funny?!? Lane is such a professional that it didn’t seem hard for him at all to bring out a laugh here and I just wish that he chose a better movie to be apart of. This is also one of the rare movies where they actually give dwarves something to do that isn’t just being on the end of every “short” joke known to man. Hopefully this gives Hollywood the idea that maybe they should start giving dwarves better in roles because you never know if they could be any better than any other regular sized, A-list name. You never know!
Consensus: Filled with some campy laughs and nice-looking set pieces, Mirror Mirror will obviously entertain most kids and adults who go out to see this, but it also tries way too hard for its comedy and results in a very strange and bland attempt at trying to wink at the audience while telling a legendary story at the same time.
Forrest is all old now, and out of a job.
After being laid off from his longtime job at a soulless retail giant, average middle-aged guy Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) decides it’s time to change up his life, so he heads back to college. There, he finds a new perspective — and a new romance with a professor (Julia Roberts).
This is Tom Hank’s big return to the director’s chair after almost 14 years, and although it’s not a perfect welcome back, I still have to say that I’m glad he’s still happy.
The screenplay was co-written by Hanks and buddy Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and for the most part it had me smiling more than I actually rolled my eyes. What I liked about this film is how it was sort of a comedy, with just the slightest hint of romance, but in the end it was about a dude re-discovering himself amidst this huge recession the country is going through.
For the most part, I liked watching Larry Crowne just interact with everybody around him and just go about his day with such a smile, and mainly because it had me going on through this film with a smile as well myself. There were a couple of chuckles here and there but to say the least, it’s nothing hilarious which isn’t really what this film was gunning for.
However, there still are plenty of problems to be had with this one. I thought this was a cute little movie, but there were too many parts where I felt like this film just had the forced “cuteness” to it. Like the snapping motorcycle gang, or the romance with Roberts and Hanks, and the little supporting characters that chime in every once and awhile. This sort of bothered me because I didn’t think the film had many fresh ideas that could actually be viewed as funny, so instead Hanks and Vardalos just aimed for sweet and thought they could get away with it. Not so much.
I also still don’t know why this film is being hugely advertised as a rom-com when the whole romantic angle only comes in the film when there’s only 30 minutes left. Once the romance gets started, you know exactly where it’s going from there, which is no surprise to anyone who goes to see a romantic comedy in today’s world. They could have left that angle totally out of the film, or done something with Roberts’ character that would make her less of a romantic lead and more of a bigger part of the story that had to do with Larry Crowne’s impact on the others around him.
Tom Hanks is still incredibly likable no matter what here as Larry Crowne. In some ways, it would have been very creepy watching this 50-year old guy walk around with kids 20 years younger than him, but Hanks just has that appeal that makes it seem less strange and more cool. Hanks is a pro no matter what, and he makes Larry Crowne so damn likable that I just wanted to hang with him more throughout this film. Julia Roberts is playing her usual hot and sexy, but still sassy and spicy diva as the always drunken teacher Mercedes Tainot. Roberts has that appeal about her that even though she’s playing a bitch she still knows how to make her character so damn likable despite her looks. These two chemistry feels easy and relaxed to work with which really benefited a lot of their scenes together.
The rest of the supporting cast is filled with a whole bunch of crazy names like Wilmer Valderrama (could have swore he was dead), George Takei, Pam Grier, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, and Taraji P. Henson. They all do a good job but I have to say that I was incredibly surprised by a really good performance from this chick named Gugu Mbatha-Raw (a name I still can’t pronounce). She’s cute, funny, and keeps the film’s heart running the whole time. Hope to see more of her.
Consensus: With it’s problem’s of being way too cute for no reason, Larry Crowne may not be the funniest thing to see, but the cast, especially an always likable Hanks, a cool and relaxed pace, and good themes make this a good watch for people who just had their mid-life crisis’, as well as for people who just want a smile.
Total chick-flick, but hey sometimes chick flicks aren’t so bad.
After deciding to reshape her life, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) travels the world in search of direction. She heads to Italy, India and Bali, indulging in delicious cuisine while seeking the true meaning of self-love, family, friendship and forgiveness. Along the way, she meets a bevy of characters and, possibly, her true love.
I’m probably the only human being alive who still hasn’t read this book, and for the most part after seeing this, I don’t mind if I ever do.
This is writer/director Ryan Murphy‘s second adaptation of a book, and I don’t think he quite knows how to get to the emotional core of a story. The film looks very, very good with beautiful shots of Italy, Indonesia, India and the vibrant colors and glorious shots really do have us feel like were right there with her in this place.
However, the scenery may look beautiful, Murphy still doesn’t know how to direct this film in actually becoming something involving. At times, the plot and the flow of the story felt very fragmented to me, as if I kind of felt like I was just jumping from location to location with Julia, and there was no depth to the story. I didn’t feel totally involved with this story, because Murphy doesn’t do a good job at actually creating a love story we can all care about. I must say though that there are many times where I actually had a good time with this film with some moments actually having me laugh, and a little bit inspired.
This chick gets out of her marriage one day and just says I want something new, and decides to run off to all these beautiful locations to search for love in her life, and the meaning of it all. I wish I could do something like this, and just not give a damn about anything, because going with the flow is so much better than caring about so many things in your life.
Julia Roberts is perfectly cast as Liz because she can talk to you about pizza like she’s your best friend, and you totally forget she’s a movie star. She’s not over the hill, but she is over the bullshit and watching her in every scene was great. The only problem is that I feel like the film doesn’t do her much justice because we needed more insight to her life before all this changing started happening, to actually get a real sense of who she actually was. Still, somehow Roberts as always makes this babe very likable.
The men in her life all seem like premise conveniences but they all have that charm to do something about it. Billy Crudup’s character, Stephen, is kind of an ass, but you can kind of see where he’s coming from in all of this. James Franco does an alright job as Liz’s boyf David, and although the writing kind of makes him out to seem like a drag, he still does try with this character. Javier Bardem plays Felipe, who is just sly, sexy, and cool. His chemistry with Roberts is very good, and actually had me believe these two when they were together on screen. Viola Davis doesn’t get enough scenes like I would have hoped for, but she tries her best. However, the best out of the whole supporting crew is Richard Jenkins, the guy who shows up in about 10 films a year. He plays Richard (unique name) from Texas, and right from the get-go you are laughing your ass off at everything he says, so you think he’s just going to be the comic relief of the whole film, but it’s actually more than that. His character has a lot more of an emotional depth than you would expect and Jenkins sells it so well, in a perfect scene that totally won me over. This guy is always amazing in no matter what he does.
Consensus: The cast does their best with this script, and the scenery is just beautiful to look at, but the film feels a little bit too shallow to involve us in this emotional romantic story, and parts feel more rushed than others. However, there are still some pleasant moments, and you will enjoy yourself if your looking for a good date movie.
I guess good-looking people can find love on Valentine’s Day too.Very surprised.
In this Los Angeles-set comedy from director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman), the tripwires of modern love are exposed in a carousel involving relationships and the single life on the most romantic day of the year: February 14. Proposals, infidelity, loneliness and more are explored.
Valentine’s Day isn’t an actual holiday, I hate to break it to all of you romantics out there. It is a lame excuse for Hallmark to sell more gift cards, flowers, and of course those dark chocolates that the person doesn’t eat. This movie is kind of like those dark chocolates.
The writers of this film have a lot of stories going on here, and in all honesty I think they only care about probably two or three here, the others are just let’s throw random big celebrities in this film. It was probably about 30 minutes into the story and I noticed that they were still introducing characters here. There is also of problems with script because it does hit almost every single rom-com cliche you can think of, but you can’t really hate on the film for that, cause it’s what you expect.
From the beginning, I knew how this was going to start, fizzle, and end. But it does have its moments of likability, and surprising charm. For this type of film you just have to take it for what it is, and that’s just a film that keeps you mildly entertained even though you know what’s going to happen in the end. Yes, some moments are just cheesy and obvious, but it all ends well in a film where you expected it too. If you also need a perfect date movie for you and your girl, just sit, watch, and laugh at this when she laughs, and you are all hers for the taking.
The cast is humongous to say the very least. There is a lot of good people such as Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, and Topher Grace among others. Also you have the funny side performers that aren’t really doing anything but just there to make you laugh: George Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hector Elizondo, and Shirley MacLaine. And then there’s the awfully random: Jamie Foxx, Taylor Lautner, and Taylor Swift, who was actually surprisingly funny. All the performance I guess are good, which is what brings out more likability within the film, but some stories aren’t given enough time to develop so their just kind of left out to dry.
Consensus: Basically what you have here is Hollywood trying to make big bucks by having A-list beautiful people, a simple premise, and a lot of rom-com cliches, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a little bit entertaining and harmless.
Made me crave some pizza.
Reality rudely intrudes on the plans of three blue-collar, New England teens who share their dreams while slinging hash at the local pizzeria. Daisy (Julia Roberts) entertains visions of marrying into the upper crust, while levelheaded sister Kat (Annabeth Gish) wants to go to Yale. Meanwhile, wisecracking Jojo (Lili Taylor) has a man on the hook but finds that commitment cramps her style.
Mystic Pizza, is a really dumb title for a movie, that has me thinking that I’m going too see a movie about some 60′s rock band, but instead it turns out to be a little bit better.
The screenplay is very good. It promises to be funny, and at times, it is quite funny, but its more of a soap-opera to be exact. These three young ladies are growing up, understanding more about love, friendship, and overall, life. It’s nice and heart-warming, and just the overall feel to the movie is what keeps you into it.
I had a problem however with the story about Annabeth Gish. First of all, it was terribly dumb, because it was about her falling in love with her baby sitter, who is married. I knew exactly where that story was going, and when I saw what happened, I just went: “oh, cool”. And, well, since this is a film from the 80′s and all, it’s pretty cheesy, so some of the dialogue, is pretty hard not to laugh at. And, by the end, you’ll start to wonder, if this is a “chick flick”, and your answer will be, yes.
However, the acting is actually very good. Julia Roberts plays in her first role where people started to look at her, as a big-new up and comer. She’s smart, witty, sexy, and overall, just a joy to watch on screen, and you can by this performance, she was bound for glory. Lili Taylor is a joy to watch also, because she’s funny, but she actually has a lot of dramatic scenes, and their actually quite believable. Annabeth Gish, in my opinion, I thought blew. She wasn’t believable at all, mainly cause of her story, but when she’s on screen, the more emotional scenes, she just seems like she’s going through the motions, or just standing there. There’s also some nice performances from Vincent D’Onorfio, Adam Storke, and a funny little, young performance from Matt Damon, where he says one line.
Consensus: Though it’s a chick flick, and a bit dated, Mystic Pizza still delivers with good performances, a fun, and intelligent script, that just gives you a nice, smooth feeling throughout the whole movie.
Damn I cannot wait till I get married, I can only hope it’s to Cameron Diaz too.
Food writer Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) panics when she receives word that her longtime platonic pal, Michael (Dermot Mulroney), is finally getting hitched, to a debutante named Kimberly (Cameron Diaz). Realizing her true feelings for Michael, Julianne enlists assistance from her gay companion (Rupert Everett) and sets out to sabotage the wedding, making a last-minute play for her man.
This film totally took me by surprise. Here I was expecting, a really cheesy, dumb, and unfunny romantic comedy chick-flick. But as gay as I may sound I actually liked this film.
Alright folks, before you all start calling me gay, because I liked a romantic comedy starring Rupert Everett, and Julia Roberts, go over to my main boys at TalkingFilms. So go on over and check them out, and get the skinny.
Seeing these two in Closer, almost ruined the movie for me.
Julia Roberts and Clive Owen co-star in this curveball-throwing thriller as a pair of romantically involved corporate operatives who are entangled in a bitter rivalry between two mammoth pharmaceutical companies. Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson convincingly round out the heavyweight cast as warring big pharma CEOs in this intriguing espionage effort from writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton).
The best way to describe Duplicity, is picture a romantic comedy written and directed by the same guy who made Michael Clayton, and that’s pretty much what it feels like.
The film itself is structured as a film where the viewers themselves have to constantly ask themselves, what is going on? Tony Gilroy, shows effectively shows us flashbacks of these two and their past escapades and having us wonder who’s playing who in this situation.
But not only is that a positive about the film, its also a negative cause Gilroy’s script features way too many twist and turns for the films own good. Its a film that puts its finger on your shoulder, and tells you to keep up. the only problem with that is there is so many crossing, double-crossing, triple-crossing, and so on and so forth crossing, the film starts to get lost, as do us the viewers. It kept on pulling the rug from underneath that just gave up on trying to get up. Also, its hard to actually care too much about espionage corporates with soap companies.
Now take it for granted there are still some good stuff in this film. The screenplay gets a little jumbled when it comes to the story, but its still has some funny witty lines, and shows that Gilroy can actually make funny things. i think the most appeal of this film comes when its just Owen and Roberts because their love story is written so well, it becomes the best thing of the movie.
So basically the one question I was asking this whole movie was, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN JULIA ROBERTS??!??! She has to stop having all these kids and get back into films, cause she is just great in this film. The best thing about her performance too is that, she is a woman now, and that comes out pretty clearly in her performance. Its obvious you can tell that she more vulnerable, and more strong when it comes to her free personality. Clive Owen is playing a slick hustler type like he usually does, but at the same time hes a little bit off kilter, which makes something a little bit more uneven about him and that shows some more promise for future comedies to come, cause it gives him that comic appeal. When these two are on the screen together, its something great to see, and makes all the other stuff going on, seem worthless. I was pretty bummed out how two of the best in our industry, Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti were pushed down to about nothings, with Giamatti getting more screen time. I thought if they were given more screen time, they could have shown a lot more in this film, but they were basically given 10 minutes each on the screen.
Consensus: Duplicity has that romantic comedy appeal with a espionage thriller twist, backed by incredible chemistry from Roberts and Owen, but features way too many twists and turns for the audience to actually keep up with.
Jesus these people all need to get a room!
Director Mike Nichols exposes the ugly core hiding behind the slick veneer of four beautiful people and their tangled personal relationships in this drama based on the hit Broadway play. A photographer (Julia Roberts) seems content with her boyfriend (Clive Owen), and a romantic (Jude Law) adores his quirky beloved (Natalie Portman). But when two of them embark on an illicit affair, a cascade of betrayal ensues.
This film is a lot of vicious and sadistic romantic themes all rolled up into one movie. People are constantly cheating on each other left and right, and you have no idea who’s with who, who did what, and most of all how long has this been going on.
The one thing I liked about this film is that from the beginning you think you can point out who the bad guys are and who the good guys are right away, when really their all bad. They all each have these sexual desires that end up messing the other person’s life over. They always constantly talk about telling the truth and being honest with each other, when all they do is lie to each other.
However, the movie seems to suffer from a kind of narcolepsy. In certain cuts, you are fast forward in time and at first you’re unsure if you’ve gone forward of backwards. Luckily after the second such cut you realize the movie is progressive with no flash backs. Thus everything is within context with the previous scene.
Also, there are times when you do feel a bit like this film is staged, probably because it was based on a play. But, some times I felt like the scenes were honestly not genuine and since they were all about talking I didn’t feel like they did much other than that.
I will say one thing that the screenplay is very well-written. Wanting to know positions, acts, and thoughts during that act of sexual coupling – of which there are no visuals, it’s all in the dialogue. This is some brutally honest dialogue that’s all about deceit, sex, and most of all being true to one another.
The screenplay would be nothing without its great performances from its actors. I liked a lot of people in the cast but mostly Clive Owen, who does one of the best darker roles hes ever played. Honestly, he is so hell-bent on his love with Roberts that he will stop at nothing to get her back. There is a point where Natalie Portman seems to pick up some of Julia Robert’s acting quirks, but this might be similar styles or synergy of the two actresses – It’s just such a joy to see her act again after her impression of a robot in Star Wars movies.
But in the end you feel dismantled by the fact that these people never should be in a relationship if they can control their impulses. And then you realize that these impulses are not only theirs but yours “you just haven’t acted on them – yet”.
Consensus: Closer at times feels too staged and a bit confusing, but has some brutally honest dialogue all about love and deciet, that would be nothing without the superb performances from its cast.