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.

23 June 2008

Alien, dir. Ridley Scott (1979)

Vantage Point, dir. Pete Travis (2008)

NIKKI says:
It's ambitious, I'll give it that. But this movie may have had too many oars in the water, because by the third use of the rewind-and-start-over technique, I was too busy searching for my perpetrators than engaging in these stories of vacationing kids and dads and doubled-up presidents, bitchy news producers and skitty operatives.

And, yes, I guessed our turncoat in maybe the second flashback. But you might, too, because it's so obvious. Don't filmmakers realise that you can't build suspense in a Clue-type story when a handful of your suspects are famous TV personalities and bit-part actors? As if it's not going to be one of them! Here we get to choose from a large list of potentials:

Matthew Fox
James Le Gros
Forest Whitaker
Bruce McGill
Richard T. Jones
Leonardo Nam
William Hurt
Sigourney Weaver

We can cut out Nam and Jones as, though prolific, they're just not famous enough. We can cut out Weaver, Whitaker, and Hurt -- they're too famous; they have other reasons to be here. So that leaves McGill, Le Gros, and Fox. Now, we're talking -- given the time, current cultural touchstones and the like, he sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb does he?

Anyway, it doesn't hurt the story too much to discover who's behind what. The problem here is that the movie is supposed to be one event as seen from the points of view of various people involved. Only it's never the full points of view. On Quaid's POV, he sees TWO key things occurring and reacts to both. But we don't get to see those things. So, how is it rightly his point of view?

The second issue is the film's final half. After taking us through several POVs, the movie suddenly drops that gimmick when it's time to bring everything together. Ultimately, I wondered at the necessity of the gimmick in the first place. With some time-jigging, it could have been told linearly. But then, it would have just seemed like an overwrought episode of 24.

No, it didn't work for me. It was very same-old in the political terror-movie stakes. It was all about the gimmick and very light on smarts. As a popcorn action thriller, it's not an horrific way to spend an evening, but it won't leave you reeling in a Rendition sort of way.