Tuesday, June 16, 2009

rondo rashomondo

The beauty of American arrogance is that they can't imagine a world where they're not a step ahead.

the time Imagine Kurosawa's masterpiece stripped of any personal perspective, stripped of any engaging surprise, peppered with a rudimentary mix of politics, intrigue, elementary conspiracy theory and what might be the most expository intertitles ever invented. That might suffice to give you an idea of what to expect from Vantage Point. We open with a time. No date. Just a time. And then we get the first of the many converging short episodes. We get Sigourney Weaver skipping about the fence between a professional doing her job and an actress slumming miserably. We also get Forest Whitaker earnestly trying to convince us that all the praise lavished on his acting prowess (not to mention that Oscar for The Last King of Scotland) was all a big mistake. the motif The film unfolds as a set of sequences conveniently bookmarked with a stark helpful note that we are about to get a flashback from a different angle. Each segment ends like all smart soap operas with some character dropping his or her jaw in shock -- the unsuspecting audience is denied a peek at what the character sees. As the intertitles get dumber and surpass all expectations of exposition, we are treated to a furiously edited car chase, some shooting, more crashes, an accident (more than once), some closure and a tribute to JFK paranoia. Dennis Quaid looks sincere (or perhaps he's just suffering from jet lag) and William Hurt's quiet earnest seriousness feels like an art cinema tribute to David Caruso's silky Horatio on CSI: Miami. Good product placement for the Sony HDV1080i, though the motif and the time

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