Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Not cool enough.

In The New Yorker, David Denby didn't particularly like Be Cool:
The humor in “Get Shorty” was broad but not too broad, and, cynical as that movie was, it couldn’t disguise its adoration of a corrupt milieu in which everyone wants to make a movie, be in a movie, live like a movie star. According to “Be Cool,” however, the music business is about nothing but money; no one could love it in the same way that people love the movies. Linda Moon may be a sweet kid, and Chili and Edie certainly want her to succeed, but they want a big chunk of her, too, and the jokes turn rancid. The love has dropped out of the satire, and the comedy falls to clowning burlesque.

Considered as a sequel, “Be Cool” is not an insult, but it’s a lazy, rhythmless, and redundant piece of moviemaking. The story of Linda becoming a star is of very little interest. We know she will make it, and the way she does so is more a business narrative than a heart-stopping series of breakthroughs. And Travolta and Thurman don’t do much for each other. Watching Thurman, who ducks her head and makes eyes at Travolta and can’t seem to find a character to play, I missed Rene Russo’s insolent stare from “Get Shorty.” This movie is soft and slack in all the places that “Get Shorty” was hard and direct. Gray holds scenes a beat or two too long (he leaves Cedric the Entertainer stranded a few times); and he flubs a reprise of the Travolta-Thurman dance sequence from “Pulp Fiction.” The pair go to a club where the Black Eyed Peas are playing “Sexy,” but when they hit the dance floor Gray doesn’t shoot the bodies from top to bottom, as Quentin Tarantino did. He cuts from feet to shoulders, and then back again, and all you see is two cutoff halves moving together.

“Be Cool” is too slovenly to be cool. The movie is an expensive descendant of the miscellaneous, throw-everything-into-the-pot pictures that Hollywood made seventy years ago—jamborees like “The Big Broadcast of 1936,” in which a barely functioning plot served as a clothesline for a variety of musical and comedy turns, some good, some terrible. “Be Cool” feels like a spangled tour of Los Angeles show business.
He's right, but it was still a fun night out. Low standards, I guess.

He's right, but it was still a fun night out. Low standards, I guess.I don't know if you have children (that you know of ;) :D) but my experience is that parents of young children don't see a lot of "adult" (in the non-porno sense of the word, nttawwt) movies, and as such, anything on the big screen that is not Pixar or animated provides for an entertaining experience. YMMV, iykwim.
I agree that having kids lowers your standards. I now pay more attention to the DVD new releases section in the paper than to what is playing in the theaters. I think Denby is a bit harsh. There were some good characters and the plot was good if a bit slow in the middle. I think The Rock has a future in acting.
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