Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

13 April 2008

Untraceable, dir. Gregory Hoblit (2008)

NIKKI says:
You know, I expected this to be far worse. Usually, with these sorts of procedural films, the stupidest people in the audience are catered to first. So, we have lots of Law and Order-like expository banter buzzing about, and inept investigators who don't know their nucleic acid from their dermal papillae.

This had elements of that, but I didn't find myself scoffing every five minutes, as in Murder By Numbers or any Ashley Judd film based on a James Patterson 'novel'.

I wonder, though, if the reason for my non-hatred of this film was due to Diane Lane. Steve and I both felt that had Judd or Sandra Bullock starred in this one, we may have tossed around a few more jibes. After all, the set-up isn't particularly clever -- guy angry at horror-obsessed media takes his revenge. And the situations the killer manages to create are too sophisticated, his connections to chem-labs and his web smarts are a bit too convenient. But throw Diane in, and something clicks. You believe every crease on her face, every emotion in her voice. You believe her, you suddenly believe a college student might rig up a sulphuric acid tank in a suburban basement.

So, in praise of Diane:


Diane has done much good work lately. She was great in this. She was the second best thing about Hollywoodland. And she adds class to every film she's in that would otherwise drown in lameness: The Glass House, Murder at 1600, even Jumper. I'd love to see her in better movies, where her greatness can be used not to lift poor films, but to further elevate good ones.

In short ... Untraceable was not entirely awful, even if we'd seen the story before, and guessed who the killer was from the names in the opening credits. (We pretty much said: "If it's not this guy, it's that guy, and if it's not that guy then that guy will be killed by the other guy." We were right.) And Diane Lane can make anything watchable.


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