Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-02-18 Entry: "Movie Review"

As expected, I managed to get to the cinema twice this weekend. I also managed to get my PC to the point where it was stable enough to put back together. It has a tendency to miss the CD drive on startup, but I don't appear to be able to fix this. I also went as far as to purchase a new soundcard (a Hercules, as the Creative ones were getting such poor press), and that seems to be fine.

So, anyway, back to the films:

From Hell - Johnny Depp solving the Ripper murders. Depp is good as usual, and Coltrane is entertaining as the sidekick. The whores aren't particularly convincing; other than having nowhere to stay, they don't seem particularly put upon (and seem to be almost blase about the murders). The film covers all the usual theories of who it could have been. However, I don't consider it a great film.

Firstly, they try to keep the identity of the murderer a secret - he doesn't say anything while the first two murders occur, and all you see is a guy in a cloak and a top hat. However, the moment he gets a line, his identity is obvious. Hint to casting guys - get someone who doesn't have an obvious accent as your killer!

So, not only did I know who it was, but the film wasn't particularly gripping at any point. Even the ending isn't particularly upbeat. So, not one to see again.

Ocean's 11 meanwhile was quite an entertaining romp. It took a while to get going, but did quite well as far as caper movies are concerned. However, it suffers in comparison to the original. The original film, having a top notch cast, had plenty of set up, with them casing the casinos, planning it meticulously, and rehearsing various segments. To some extent, the remake followed this - the cast were pretty good (although out of the 11, I only really recognized four or five), and even with my general dislike for how overrated Clooney seems to be, he managed to carry the lead. Fortunately, he didn't have to do too much. The analysis and planning stage of the heist seems to be rather rushed; once they've gathered their crew in an homage to "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" they plan the heist by looking at some fancy computer blueprints. The only segment that seems to be rehearsed is the actual in-vault scene, and the rest just manages to go flawlessly on dumb luck.

They also changed the ending, which was disappointing, as I was looking forward to how things would go horribly wrong...

Anyway, Andy Garcia was probably the best in it; Julia was gorgeous as always; Brad Pitt and Matt Damon did well in their scenes, and the old guy who played Sol was pretty good. Overall, not a bad film, but see the original if you can.

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