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Old September 19 2010, 11:03 PM   #702
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I'm curious about The Town, but I'll probably wait for DVD, or at least make it a double feature. I wasn't hugely impressed by Gone Baby Gone, which was awkwardly structured, if well acted and directed.

207. Delirious [D+]
208. Millerís Crossing [A]
209. Desperado [B+]

Delirious: I caught this attempt at comedy (directed by the late Tom Mankiewicz) via Watch Instantly, and like most of the films I've streamed on Netflix, it wasn't very good. The plot concerns a daytime soap opera writer (John Candy) who suffers an accident and wakes up on the soap opera he is the writer of as if it were reality. Candy also discovers that anything he types on his typewriter will actually occur. Itís not a bad premise, but the script fails to exploit it. Various elements of the story are better used in Tootsie (mocking the soap opera settting), Pleasantville (being trapped on a television series), and Stranger than Fiction (the manipulation of reality through writing). It all ends with some unremarkable voice-over thatís all too pat.

Millerís Crossing: The Coen brothers almost always carefully construct their dialogue, but the screenplay for this movie may be their finest work of their films that Iíve seen. Every conversation crackles with energy. Moreover, the performances of the four principles are exceptional, the cinematography (which utilizes shallow focus throughout) is breathtaking, and the music (by Coen regular Carter Burwell) perfectly captures the filmís mood. I donít know why I took so long to see this.

Desperado: Iíve seen this film (only the second theatrical feature by Robert Rodriguez) many times, but my enjoyment of it hasnít been diminished. Yes, itís both juvenile and permanently entrenched in the conventions of action movie logic (the Mariachi is never hit in a close quarters bar fight with automatic weapons, but can take out his enemies with a shot behind his back), but it never ceases to pulse with energy. In a big set-piece near the end, thereís a Mariachi who fires a seemingly endless supply of rockets from his guitar case. That describes the tone about as well as anything else I could describe. Desperado isnít a film to be taken seriously. If you donít, it would be hard not to enjoy it.
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