Friday, September 08, 2006

Two Duds And A Wedding: Crank and Edmond

Not quite so much movie-watching as I would have normally done on a holiday weekend, even if the holiday is Labor Day and thus packed with absolute crap to see. One happy reason is that my best friend from high school got himself married up in Freeport. So, after signing for a delivery, I headed up to Portland, met my mother for dinner in Freeport, then stayed in a nice hotel before getting picked up for the actual wedding the next day.

And, contrary to the impression Kent & Xan (and anyone else) may have received, I had a great time. I got to see a couple of folks I hadn't seen in way too long, met Tim's wife for the first time, and saw people generally enjoying myself. No dancing for me, since it's on the long list of social things I outright suck at, but I'm okay with that. No date, either, but see dancing. I don't really see myself throwing one of these things any time soon, but other people's are fun when the weather is nice.

The rest of the weekend got occupied by getting the new TV with all the HD goodies set up. I still need to find myself a calibration disc or something to get everything tweaked just right - the sharpness seems to be too high, making SD look awful and even HD a little too pixel-y, and some scenes in Serenity looked way too dark - but it's impressive. Before-and-after pictures will come after Comcast gets the CableCARDs installed properly, and I can put the shelving back in because I don't have to get behind it any more.

As an aside: The Boston Film Festival starts tonight, and... ugh. There will be rants, and not just because the year has gotten me accustomed to going to these things for free.

How you can call yourself a film festival without any sort of midnight show...

Catch-up: Monster House, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Who Killed the Electric Car?, A Sixth Part of the World, Sherlock Jr., The Captive City, and Witness to Murder

Crank

* ¼ (out of four)
Seen 31 August 2006 at AMC Boston Common #14 (Preview)

This just isn't good. I didn't really expect it to be, but Statham had Transporter 2 at this time last year, which wound up being a lot of fun. There's no Corey Yuen to punch up the action in this turd, though, and it becomes immensely frustrating: The plotline is a twenty-first-century X-treme update of D.O.A., with Statham's hitman character out to avenge his own murder, finding that adrenaline will keep him from dying.

The irony is that although the main character needs a constant rush to keep himself alive, the film never really bothers to provide any to the audience. It's wall-to-wall action that never raises the viewer's pulse. A few scenes are entertaining because of how casual they wind up being, but for the most part, the action is just obligatory, and even the absurdly over-the-top finale only provides a small boost.

Edmond

* * (out of four)
Seen 4 September 2006 at the Landmark Kendall Square #5 (First-run)

Edmond is a pretty unpleasant movie, with the title character played by William H. Macy bouncing from spot to spot, repeatedly complaining that the price of sex-for-hire is too much before his tightly-wound anger explodes and we get a glimpse of just how much capability to be an unfeeling bastard such a nondescript person can actually have. It's got some impressive talent (or at least names) in small roles - Rebecca Pidgeon, Joe Mantegna, Denise Richards, Julia Stiles - and a bunch of chewy David Mamet dialogue. Director Stuart Gordon ties everything together visually with a lame tarot card device.

Still, I wasn't quite harrowed enough, and nothing after the police station seemed particularly new or interesting. I'd missed a couple of chances to see it at festivals, and now I'm glad I did - sure, I wound up spending $7 I might not have otherwise, but time is the most precious resource at a festival, and I'm almost certain I saw more interesting films at IFFB and Fantasia using the time that could otherwise have been spent on Edmond.

It did make me nervous in one sense: I think this is based on a play, and my brother's a film/theater major. That means there's a non-zero chance of seeing this story again if Matt ever lands a role in a production.

1 comment:

swollenpickles said...

A just saw the preview to Crank and the concept sounds interesting, the 1/2 star is making me rethink it now.