Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Another reason I'm not a good movie reviewer

Another in a sporadic series of movie reviews:

I watched a movie from the late nineties last night, The Negotiator. Samuel Jackson, Kevin Spacey (great actor, watch The Cooler if you haven’t seen it) and David Morse, among others. Morse is the putative bad guy till the end. (And I suppose saying that is also not a good thing for a reviewer to say; but, anyone would know that Morse’s character was the straw man a third of the way into the movie; I’m not really giving anything away.)

Anyway, I watched some of the bonus materials afterwards, including interviews with the director and the production designer. They went on and on about how their decision to shoot in Chicago (rather than LA or NY) was crucial to the art of the film. The PD was quite pleased with his transitions from a squalid opening scene to the office building and its interior where most of the movie takes place and finally to a house and its interior where the movie ends. He said something like “the strikingly different looks of these locations juxtaposed…….(you get the idea)……….add depth and character to the story without getting in the way of the movie as a greater whole. Huh?

I’d have never known that. I don’t know that I now know that.

In a land far away and long, long ago, I took American Literature my last year in college. The professor didn’t care what she thought about a novel, she didn’t care what we thought. William Carlos Williams was the first and last word as to what was to be thought about when reading a novel. (Being a savvy college student, I fed WCW to her on the final exam and got an A.) The production designer for The Negotiator reminded me of my dim memories of Williams’ critical pieces: A lot of self-important talk about stuff that got in the way of the important stuff, be the important stuff a novel or a movie.

My review of the Negotiator, not bad. It kept my attention. Can’t dance to it though. C+.


The Curmudgeon said...

Never saw the movie.

As a Chicago taxpayer, though, may I fervently agree with the production designer and hope that he influences many, many others of the necessity of filming in Chicago.

Rick said...

Kevin Spacey not in The Cooler. Thats William H Macy.

Dave said...

Oh hell, you're right Rick, they're both good actors. And, why aren't you tending your farm on Facebook?

For anyone else, I'm not on Facebook, though from my 20 minutes there visiting Rick, it continues to annoy me and send me things I told it not to send me.