THE OBENSON REPORT

Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Weekend Recap - An FYI And 2 Film Reviews...

THE FYI

Blog postings will be erratic for the next 3 weeks! I've got a writing deadline to meet at the end of this month, and need to focus intently.


So, hang in there with me. I'll post as I can, when I can.

In the meantime...

THE 2 FILM REVIEWS

I saw Mister Lonely on Saturday night, and Redbelt on Sunday afternoon.

In brief...

Mister Lonely - Genuinely interesting idea for a film, visually rich, mostly well-acted, BUT weak story-telling,
unnecessarily pretentious, and longer than it really should have been. Harmony Korine hasn't made a film in 9 years or so, after being labeled (or possibly mislabeled) by many as some kind of wunderkind filmmaker, with then arthouse acclaimed works, Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy, and screenwriting work for controversial filmmaker/photographer Larry Clark - but this is a rather disappointing return to center-stage. While I found a few select moments to enjoy, mostly those with co-star Samantha Morton, the person I saw the film with almost walked out about half-way through. Worthy of a big screen viewing, if only to take in some of the more appealing visual compositions, and Samantha Morton's performance as an unstable Marilyn Monroe impersonator. Otherwise I'd wait for the DVD. However, if you're not a fan of Korine's, I'd avoid it altogether, unless you're interested in something a little out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, the trailer looks much more promising than the film turned out to be. See it below...

Redbelt - Chiwetel Ejiofor meets David Mamet and mixed martial arts with unflattering results for all 3. This should have gone straight to DVD! It's not bad, but worse than you'd expect given the talent involved. It's missing Mamet's trademark stylized dialogue, and doesn't quite earn the weight of the message that its ending wants us to walk away with.
A little too methodical and predictable for me. Not what I'd call a "leading-man" creating role for Ejiofor; it's the kind of project I would expect to see Wesley Snipes in, not Ejiofor. But I'd say he did his best with what he was given to work with; however, certain peripheral performances were rather wooden, and in some cases laughable. Unless you're an Ejiofor disciple, or just want to support the man and his efforts, I'd say wait for the DVD, or even possibly, cable TV. You're not missing much here. If you must see a Mamet film, rent Glengarry Glen Ross or Wag the Dog instead. See trailer below as well.




5 comments:

  1. Qadree said...
     

    I thought Redbelt was horrible. Chiwetel doesn't know martial arts and it shows. They try to cover for that by framing and editing the shots so that you can't get a good look at the simplistic fight sequences they put together.

    The story is all over the place and contradictory at times. Falling back on cliches that have been done a million times over in Hollywood fight movies, it felt like a cut and paste job with moral lessons being thrown in at random.

  2. The Obenson Report said...
     

    The theatrical release puzzled me. I suppose Mamet's name helped, otherwise this would have been a straight-to-DVD release. I think I'll watch it again though. It might make my "so bad it's good" list for the year.

  3. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...
     

    Two of some of my favourite British actors in movies that I've read about but don't appeal to me whatsoever. I doubt I'll even bother to see them on DVD.

    Then again, it is Sam and Chi...

    I'm guessing they were drawn to the projects by the directors rather than the story/script. I'm also guessing that it's pretty slim pickings for black British actors and female actresses who don't fit the Hollywood starlet mold, regardless of talent.

  4. The Obenson Report said...
     

    Slim pickings indeed... I only just realized that Ejiofor is a year younger than I am. Always thought he was older...

  5. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...
     

    @ TOR: Funny, I know a guy who, until he recently lost weight, used to look older than his age too. Must be their Ibo genes...

    :P

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