Quickie reviews: Inside Man, The Great New Wonderful, Mirror Mask

Hey everyone! I’m in my scriptwriting group right now, and I’m posting three quick (exactly) 100-word reviews of three movies I rented this weekend. Also coming soon is a review for the fantastic movie The Fountain. Anyway, here goes:

Inside Man

Spike Lee’s bank heist thriller starring Denzel Washington is a decent movie. It’s a bit predictable and Denzel Washington is… well… Denzel Washington. I like him, but he doesn’t offer much in the way of character interpretation.

Two things: first, the soundtrack was unexpected and great. Also, the film is a visual feast, orchestrated by my favorite DP in the whole wide world, Matthew Libatique (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain).

I wanted something more scandalous and earth-shaking to finish the movie with; the ending as it stands is rather anticlimactic.

Final verdict: Not great, but worth watching.

[rate 3]

The Great New Wonderful

It’s a film about New Yorkers one year after September 11th, starring some of my favorite actors (Stephen Colbert, Tony Shaloub, Jim Gaffigan) and some wonderful actors I’ve never heard of (Naseeruddin Shah), but the premise is flimsy for a feature. Still, the writing is good and the acting pulls it through.

Faults: a musical montage that doesn’t lead anywhere and a couple story lines that just trail off. Still, Shaloub and Gaffigan have great chemistry—I could have watched just their story for ninety minutes—and all the characters are so wonderfully and horribly human.

Final verdict: a keeper.

[rate 4]

Mirror Mask

The visuals blew me away. The most visually imaginative film I’ve seen in years. A postmodern Alice In Wonderland.

Complaints: an overextended metaphor about how in every bad girl there’s a good girl trying to get out, and flickering throughout the fantasy sequences. The music is too jazzy.

What’s good: Great, stream-of-consciousness plot elements, innovative style, and breathtaking scenery. The creature designs are catchy (I just can’t stop picturing the cat-people and the monkeybirds)

Final verdict: If there were a better connection between fantasy and reality, this would be in my Pantheon. A great film for all ages.

[rate 4]

One thought on “Quickie reviews: Inside Man, The Great New Wonderful, Mirror Mask

  1. You posted? During Playwrighting? Must I remind you that 1 to 4 PM on Sundays at Catalyst Coffee is a collaborative experience that requires complete immersion in the environment in order to properly function? I hereby accuse your shameless multi-tasking for Playwrighting shattering piteously into two different discussions of completely incongruous subjects!

    See what happens when you digress? HUH?

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