The films of Jim Jarmusch are offbeat and quirky. This film continues… MoreThe films of Jim Jarmusch are offbeat and quirky. This film continues that tradition. It also continues a recent trend of Bill Murray playing a sad sack character who is miserable and a mess, much like Jack Nicholson's character in About Schmidt. This film is a good one, and, while there's nothing really wrong with it per se, it's not great either. It just feels like things are set to autopilot. The performances from a wonderful cast are great though, as is the art direction/set design. I also liked the music, especially the inclusion of an excerpt from the song "Dopesmoker" by Sleep. Had I not already seen a handful of other films similar to this one, I would probably say that this film is absolutely brilliant. As it is though, I liked it, but think my enjoyment is mostly due to being a fan.
I may be over inflating the rating by just a bit (maybe a half-star… MoreI may be over inflating the rating by just a bit (maybe a half-star too many), but this movie, or better yet, collection of five related vignettes really got to be on a deep level. This ended up being the perfect movie for a stay at home dinner/movie date. The connection between the five stories is that they all take place on the same night in five different cities around the world, and each story looks at the interaction between a cabbie and their passenger(s). In the end, this becomes a connection of character studies, of life itself, and how it seems that only at night are people truly open with their words and feelings. It's quirky, funny (at times down right hilarious), and ultimately moving and heartfelt. Check this one out. Unlike Rachel Getting Married (among others), this is an indie film that doesn't suck.
Considering that I have ADHD, it's a wonder that I'm able to sit… MoreConsidering that I have ADHD, it's a wonder that I'm able to sit through films that are slow paced and sometimes devoid of plot. I can't make it through every film like this, but if there's things going on I like in a film like this, then yeah, I can get through it. This applies to this one here.
In a way, I can sort of relate to the characters: they are bored, rootless, and don't really do much of anytihing, yet they are interesting people to watch, even if we don't really know much about them. The music, clothes, sets, and sparse conversations they have contribute to this. I found my self really hypnotized by this film.
The performances are terrific, and if they weren't, then this film really would be a failure. Everything hinges on the understated nuanced acting the three leads (two of them being non actor musicians). The carmera work is also nice. I got so caught up in just looking at stuff that I almost forgot that virtually all of the film is made up of long takes.
This is a nice little curiousity. I need to see more of Jarmusch's work before I can really comment on it, but, based on the others of his I've seen, this is not too far removed from his later stuff.
I had heard that, among the lesser films of Hitchcock's filmography,… MoreI had heard that, among the lesser films of Hitchcock's filmography, this was basically the bottom of the barrel, and you know what? That's not completely wrong.
Now, it's not a terrible film per se, but it certainly doesn't have a lot going for it. The plot is the old Cold War spy intrigue/mole hunt sort of thing, with emphasis on a French operative diving into Soviet and Cuban dealings around the time of the Cuban Missle Crisis. The storyline is heavily fact based, and as a result, is pretty cut and dried, and not really as compelling as it should be.
It doesn't help that Hitch made a lot of films like this already, most of them better, and ones I saw before this one. Even though it has ties to reality, the film is dull, not engaging, and kind of a bore. I really didn't care what was happening most of the time, and that's really not a good sign considering the film's long running time.
The film's not all bad though. It has a lot of merit from a technical standpoint, with some good locations, sets, and camerawork. Maurice Jarre's score is also really good, and probably the film's highlight, aside from the film scene Karin Dor is in. Speaking of actors, this could probably have benefited from some serious star power. That wouldn't be a guarantee that it would've helped, but you never know. I do think the highlight as far as acting goes to John Vernon, and his portrayal of a Cuban revolutionary is both bewildering and awesome. I t probably wouldn't fly today, and, while I'm not sure why they got a Canadian to play a Cuban, I won't complain either, as I think Vernon was a solid character actor.
All in all, the film is just kinda 'meh'. I mostly just think the film falls because it all feels very routine and phoned in. Of course, when you're Hitchcock, I guess it's okay to not be on the top of your game all the time...even though it happened to him a few times, especially during the latter years. See it if you want, but just know that its reputation is pretty true.