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Complete and Utter Waste of Time
This dark film could be the quintessential example of what is wrong with the most of the movies being churned out these days. As with so many of these sorts of films the trailers tend to hide the offenses to trick the public into thinking they will be seeing one film and then shocking the audience with something completely different. Instead of a smart and boisterously youthful coming of age musical set against the backdrop of NYC during Christmas, the reality is a depressing, tortured, amoral, sacrilegious, dismal, dark (both figuratively and literally) film. When I saw the name Chris Columbus on the trailer, I had an expectation. In this instance, it amounted to nothing more than a false hope.
If the centerpiece of a story is to try and normalize or garner sympathy for homosexuality and illegal drug abuse and those who chose to put their money and name behind such projects and apparently see it in a positive light - why do they hide it over and over again in the trailers? I hate movies that are marketed dishonestly!
Watch a ton of movies. Most favorites seem to continue to be from the 30s and 40s Been lamenting of late, what happened to making original movies. Am really growing tired of remakes! No interest in HORROR OR VEHICLES FOR SOCIAL ENGINEERING?????? FINALLY - ELIZABETHTOWN! For the first time in years, I grabbed a pen and paper to jot down the incredibly witty or wise phrases that spilled off the screen. Filled an entire college ruled legal page! The screenplay was fantastic! The casting choices to me were great. To be honest, I personally was not a fan of Kirsten Dunst-her role in Little Women so long ago was wonderful but over and over her choice and execution of movie roles of late has disappointed me. I have been hoping Spidey would move on, as he did in the comic books to his next galpal. So when I read her name as the lead actress I had serious reservations. But in Elizabethtown I found Ms Dunst's performance so believable, she morphed from her usual caricature performance into a three dimensional character - just as she did so long ago in Little Women! With this movie she found a role that was perfect for her. In fact, each and every one of the actors did a wonderful job of delivering performances that allowed the viewer to sit back and concentrate on the story.
And the filming - WOW. The camera angles, the choice of sets, the perspective, the lighting, the tempo - all of it was simply masterful in my opinion. The director and his team knit together some of the most memorable film moments in such engaging ways. I found myself doing something that I usually detest - I backed up the movie and rewatched scenes. The all night phone call, the viewing, the roadtrip are just three that spring to mind. It was refreshing to see such a beautifully executed film. And the music choices were perfectly matched with the camera work and story.
This movie should in my opinion be up for some Academy Awards. It had it all - a terrifically engaging screenplay, flawless performances, and a production and direction team that delivered an original movie.
THANK YOU CAMERON CROWE AND ALL WHO HAD A PART IN MAKING THIS MOVIE!
Chasing Liberty (2004)
Almost but no Cigar!
Chasing Liberty is not merely a coming of age story that pays homage to Roman Holiday. It is not a teen flick. It is a double love story that is perfect for any aged romantic! There is first love and forever love. The casting director earns a perfect 10 for this one! Matthew Goode is a wonderful surprise. He brings an aura to the screen reminiscent of the leading men of the Old Hollywood when they were young - his height, his look, and his voice remind you of a young Cary Grant/Gregory Peck combo. The music is well chosen for both the European geography and energy of the film. The postcards add a fun element visually to the summer vacation scrapbook theme. There is one nagging flaw to this film. Anyone who has the DVD knows the editor cut the guts out of one scene - where Agent Calder secures the bike (one sees most or all of the hacked scene on the DVD as a deleted scene). But there is an ever bigger scene that is missing entirely from the movie. A blatant hole in the continuity of the film. The viewer listens to President Foster as he delivers a speech to his only child, his daughter about Agent Calder and yet the viewer is left guessing - did the President meet and speak with Agent Calder? How does the President know anything about Agent Calder's passions? How and when does Agent Calder win the President's approval? Matthew Goode makes a remark on the commentary there was a scene that was never filmed between the himself and Mark Harmon, who plays President Foster. That must be the missing scene and the director's decision to not do that scene compromises the last two scenes of the movie and degrades the entire movie. If that scene was in, the movie would be a 10. Without it, and with the hacked bike scene, it losses a point It actually should have lost at least 2 points but the actors performances bring it up a notch to a 9!