Friday, May 2, 2008

2 More DVDs to Avoid

The Hunting Party – (2007)
In the year 2000, 5 journalists (including 3 Americans) reunite in Bosnia 5 years after the war ended. They hear a rumor about a war criminal’s location and when they start asking questions, they’re assumed to be a CIA hit squad. For the movie, a stranger-than-fiction story is fictionalized to its detriment by creating a false backstory and changing the number and in one case, the sex of the characters. Director Richard Shepard found a nice balance of comedy and drama with his last feature (The Matador – B), but here the forced attempts at humor (by Richard Gere and Terrence Howard, no less) seem completely inappropriate upon the backdrop a bona fide war, complete with genocide, gang rapes, and torture. The special feature on the DVD that shows two of the real life journalists talking about their experience is much more fascinating. They should have stuck with the truth. C (Click below to avoid the Full Langella)

Starting out in the Evening - (2007)
The problems of 4 or 5 Manhattanites really don’t amount to a hill of beans in the this mundane, tedious film about a graduate student (Lauren Ambrose – Six Feet Under) who interviews a “great” writer (Frank Langella) for her thesis and delves into his past and how it affects his novels. Meanwhile, his 40 year old daughter (Lili Taylor) has relationship problems. Kill me now. Somehow, Langella received many critic acting award nominations last year (including a win with the Boston Critics). Also, somehow the Full Langella makes it into a PG-13 movie. Maybe the MPAA nodded off with boredom. Like most movies about “great novelists” (Finding Forester and Stranger Than Fiction come to mind), they’re assuming facts not in evidence. Admittedly, it’s difficult to prove a “great novelist” in a visual and auditory medium. C

2 comments:

colin said...

I miss the Thursday night line up reviews

Doctor said...

Forthcoming.