Cinderella Man and Land of the Dead
Saw a few movies this weekend. Let’s get started.
I have nothing to heckle. It was satisfying and pretty and based on true stuff. Max Baer’s depiction seemed outta place because he was so-o-o super evil bad, but I didn’t mind because it was dude from Long Kiss Goodnight and nobody can make so super evil bad work like he does.
Anyone ever tell you you look like my heckling partner?
Just three observations:
- Paul Giamatti gets lit from the side a lot. Even with half his face lit, all he needs is one eye blink to make you feel everything he’s feeling. You know what Sophia Loren said about nude scenes: “When Sophia Loren is naked, this is a lot of nakedness.” When Paul Giamatti gets a close-up, that is a lot of face.
Here’s where I keep more talent than the cast of Phone Booth.
- There’s a scene where Renee Zellwegger’s character goes to talk to Paul Giamatti’s character in his apartment. At the turning point in the conversation, Ron Howard goes around and shoots the rest of the scene in reverse, so the characters are in silhouette. I thought that was rilly rilly slick. (Cinematographer: Salvatore Totino)
- Sound design was KICKIN’. Somebody put some love in the fight sequences. (Supervising sound editor: Anthony J. Ciccolini III)
- I’m going to ca-a-asually work in here that I was lucky enough to receive a dozen roses last week without deserving it at all, and I may or may not have carried them around the house with me for maximum enjoyment, giggling all the while. But if I were a Depression-era mother with recent risk of homelessness and disease and my husband brought home roses I would be mad as aitch ee double hockey sticks. Mad!
Land of the Dead
I don’t really have anything to heckle about this one either. It left me kinda unsatisfied, though I can’t put my finger on why. I think the problem is I’m sitting here two days later and I can’t remember much that happened. Asia Argento has a fascinating face. Simon Baker has dilated pupils. I gasped and jumped a lot. I have nothing to complain about.
They brought what for lunch?
When Finding Nemo came out, Home on the Range in mid-stride went from “pretty good for a kids’ movie” to “we’ve come to expect more from cartoons.” Maybe that’s what Land of the Dead is up against — there’s nothing wrong with it, but when Shaun of the Dead exists it’s hella hard to compete.
There may or may not be Shaun-related cameos in Land of the Dead. I would never give something like that away.
Just caught a chunk of it on TV last night. I didn’t get a chance to see it when it came out, though it looked interesting, but holy Waldorf salad with Dijon vinaigrette Ben Affleck is a bad actor. Or maybe the editor just hated him. There’s this scene toward the end with Amanda Peet (who is in turn getting attacked by unflattering lighting) and him reconciling in a fancy restaurant, and there are a couple of reaction shots of him being sad and shocked that are full-on “Tory, I’m going to need you to dial it down a notch this next take” bad. Furthermore he’s generally upstaged by his Maxim Hair Color for Men.
I am so having an intense but unspecified emotion right now.
Boy, am I snotty.