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IMDb/O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Directed by Joel Coen  ·  Rating: 10 of 10
10 of 10

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O Brother, Where Art Thou? DVD


coming soon

IMDb/One Night at McCool's

One Night at McCool's (2001)
Directed by Harald Zwart  ·  Rating: 9 of 10
9 of 10

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One Night at McCool's DVD


Summary: A Wild Mix

This is not your average comedy. It features John Goodman, Paul Reiser, Matt Dillon, Michael Douglas and Liv Tyler. Each of the guys is in some way interested in the girl. The girl's interests, however, are somewhat more down to Earth. The ensuing trials and tribulations, somewhat expectedly, lead to a spectacular climax filled with horror, embarassment and confusion. It starts with one night at McCool's. And in the end, everything meets the Village People.

While the formula may not be quite that new, the jokes and mix-ups neither, it is the mix and the extraordinary high-profile cast giving life to the whole thing. It may not be 'Analyze This', but it comes close to it in its perfection. If you're looking for an overdosage of good laughs, as well as some neat observations of the human psyche, this may be your treat.

July 17th, 2001

IMDb/Original Sin

Original Sin (2000)
Directed by Michael Cristofer  ·  Rating: 9 of 10
9 of 10

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Original Sin DVD


Summary: Different, in a Good Way

I was very indecisive as to whether to watch this film or not, based upon mixed reviews mostly. Yet nevertheless, the couple Banderas/Jolie must have been so compelling an idea that I somehow could not resist watching it anyway, which, I must say, has been the right decision. Sometimes you go out on a hunch, sometimes it is a bad experience, sometimes, though, it is worth it. Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts, trust and rely upon that feeling, go for the experience even if circumstances aren't quite helpful, or even outright negative. I guess I'm talking about the movie already.

It is a strange atmosphere this film creates, somehow between antiquated and independent, not letting the audience know too soon which direction it'll take. Everything is presented in an almost askew way, combining a weird soundtrack with a more or less complicated plot. Such a construct, however, can only work when supported by the protagonists, thus making the casting process one of the most important decisions in the whole film. The choices were right, Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie are given an opportunity to shine, and they take it - especially needed because of Jolie's awkward role in 'Tomb Raider'. Yet the rest of the cast is almost invisible, made unimportant.

When you have found love, don't give up, don't go for the easy answers, even if it means taking on the whole world. In following that aim, the title describes it most accurately - for the original sin, the first sin (just accepting the concept of "sin" for the sake of argument here) is that of valuing the love between two persons, mythologized as Adam and Eve, more than anything in the world, more than the laws of the world, more than the creator of the world. This gives the subject of discussion a dark edge, and a whole more dimension than any romantic comedy could ever dream to achieve. For richer or poorer, for better or worse circumstances - it doesn't matter if you truly have found your love. If. A fine line to walk, a fine line between defending romance and getting lost in madness. Love is not a clean thing. It is not neat. It may be the only thing of importance in this world, but it is anything but clean-shaven or streamlined. True love is always in opposition to the harsh light of day, it is a creature of the dark as well as of the light. Tragedy and happiness are interwoven, pain is delight, delight is pain. In love, you can either grow infinitely, or fall - nothing is safe. But deep inside, there is no alternative. You can't walk away from love.

July 17th, 2001

IMDb/Out of Sight

Out of Sight (1998)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh  ·  Rating: 10 of 10
10 of 10

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Out of Sight DVD

Summary: Captivating

It's something that happens. It's like seeing someone for the first time - like you could be passing on the street, and you look at each other and for a few seconds there's this kind of a recognition - like you both know something. The next moment, the person's gone, and it's too late to do anything about it. And you always remember it, because it was there, and you let it go, and you think to yourself, "What if I had stopped? If I had said something? What if? What if?" And it may only happen a few times in your life.
Or once.
Or once.
[time index 80'45" / DVD: chapter 35]

An impossible relationship. A bank robber and a US marshal. A relationship starting in a trunk of a car. A story told in a twisted way, jumping to and fro, freezing frames in between, moving forward, explaining afterward. An absolutely incredible cast, starting but not ending with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, featuring Vingh Rames and Don Cheadle and Albert Brooks and Steve Zahn and Samuel L. Jackson (uncredited) - what more do you need? The result is a stunning and captivating movie, a story settled somewhere between romance, crime, fate and humor.

Apart from having an enthralling story, the movie wins through its emotional intensity and the sympathy with the main characters, as well as through its humorours moments of self-irony. Her father, himself being a marshal, actually seems to encourage Karen's relation with Jack. Jack however, seemingly always outsmarting everybody else, in the beginning of the movie is caught because his car's ignition failed to work. His intellectual superiority, as well as his still remaining humanity (being a nice gangster, not inclined to violence), haven't brought him anywhere but into robbing banks, while he should be smart enough to succeed in the business world, being such a poker player. He is a gangster without a real criminal, anarchic mind, and it seems as if it is only out of lacking motivation that he stays a bank robber. He seems to live for the moment, he's thrilled by the act, being emotional rather than rational, very caring for his jail mates, easy-going when it concerns himself. Karen as a women is tougher than Jack as a man. But switching gender prejudices is just one of the interesting aspects of this film.

The direction of the movie is just brilliant, very often understating its case, portraying everybody in a somehow sympathetic way, even 'Snoopy', and it is fueled a lot by the trunk scene. Two people in a room talking - two fine actors making their characters come to life, reducing the conflict to one single moment, expanding this moment throughout the entire movie, thus making it an instant classic. The simplistic approach is sustained precisely by not telling the story in a chronological but in a somewhat issue-related, conflict-related way. The end of course is somehow bitter, somehow also sweet - restoring hope, but not making it any easier. The movie seems to go farther than the book here, but still it refuses to provide an outright solution. How could there be a simple solution to such a complex situation anyway?

February 23rd, 2000

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