28 January 2008

Double Dip

Hey kids, interested in gratuitious nudity and violence? Have I got the double feature for you! Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) and Rambo (2008) both have problems galore and neither are going to be worth your time -- unless you like gratuitiousness I guess.

Before the Devil's synopsis sounded like it would be good and with Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman around, how could it be horrible? I forgot to account for the fact that 83-year old Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon) would be trying to "mix things up" by showing events out of order and with strange cuts. The movie lacks rhythm, sense, and after you figure out what's going on -- which isn't hard to do -- all tension is gone from the film.

Albert Finney's slightly open mouthed gape bothers the heck out of me, I'm sorry. The only real reason to watch the film is Marisa Tomei. I can't believe she chose to bare it all for this piddling role.

Rambo actually suffers from the same problem. I was hoping for a greatest hits of John Rambo, kind of like how Stallone re-did Rocky. Give me the headband tying, give me the knife in the sheath, give me crazy. Instead, we get a watered down Rambo who does very little actual killing. Of course, the movie has tons of way over the top killing (by the villains) in order to make up for it. If you're waiting for that one big chill moment when you can cheer like the good old days, rent Rambo 2 instead.