Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two Buck Schmuck Gets A Hairline Fracture

Tonight at the 9-ish shows at the LaGrange Theatre, here were my choices:

Wild Hogs -- Seen it!
Georgia Rule -- A Garry Marshall comedy, starring Jane Fonda and Lindsay Lohan. I'd be afraid to attend because my heart would explode with warmth and laughter.
Blades Of Glory -- Like Talladega Nights on ice. Though I would probably enjoy Will Arnett and Amy Poehler's supporting roles as a vicious ice-skating couple in this movie, I didn't feel like seeing a comedy tonight.

Which leaves us with:

Fracture -- a "suspense" "drama" starring Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins.

I don't believe I have noted it previously, but all the movies I have seen up to this point at the LaGrange have been in Theater 1, the curvy seated room with dim lighting and no drink holders.

Tonight, I saw the majesty of Theater 2. It was a perfectly acceptable theatre, a little on the smallish side, with the screen not quite big enough for the projected images. But it had bright enough lighting for me to read my cherished Movie Fun Facts prior to the movie, and cup holders as far as the eye could see (which isn't terribly far in Theater 2). One kind of disturbing thing about Theater 2 -- you have to walk down a very long, blood-red corridor to get to it. Zoiks!

Hey, have you ever heard of the well-respected film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum? He's actually turned me onto many interesting films -- for example, the works of the great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Apart from periodically providing capsule reviews of recent releases, Rosenbaum also writes weekly columns in the Chicago Reader that are articulate and often thought-provoking.

Now that I have gotten *that* out of the way, here's his review of Fracture in its entirety (taken from here):

An engineer (Anthony Hopkins) goes on trial in Los Angeles for trying to murder his wife (Embeth Davidtz), and the prosecutor (Ryan Gosling) attempts to push through what appears to be an open-and-shut case but isn't. With its lavish architecture and Spielbergian lighting, this absorbing thriller has a high-toned look, but director Gregory Hoblit and writers Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers got much of their training in TV cop shows, which shows in the adroit way they semaphorically abbreviate certain characters and plot developments to slide us past various incongruities. The main interest here is the juxtaposing of Gosling's Method acting with Hopkins's more classical style, a spectacle even more mesmerizing than the settings.

Rosenbaum actually gave this movie a "Reader Recommend" (the equivalent of a "thumbs up"). One thing that I have noted in particular with regards to the more "intellectual" film critics, is that occasionally when reviewing a piece-of-shit mainstream movie, they focus on some dumbass component that makes them think the film is somehow watchable. This film wasn't just a turd, it had teeth, too. Seriously, "semaphorically abbreviate"? The juxtaposition of Gosling's and Hopkin's acting styles, a mesmerizing spectacle? Are you fucking kidding me?

This movie was not just boring, it was relentlessly boring. I am not exaggerating in saying that I looked at my watch *at least* ten times during this movie.

The one bright spot in this movie was that in a few scenes Ryan Gosling was wearing a shirt for Camp Ki-Shau-Wau, apparently an old Boy Scout Camp once owned by the Starved Rock Area Council.

My bleary, reddened eyes opened briefly at the sight of the words Starved Rock on his shirt, because that's a lovely northern Illinois state park I have had the pleasure of hiking. From what I can tell, Camp Ki-Shau-Wau is not located in the park, but a little ways down the Vermillion River. It appears that the camp has been converted to a resort.

Why not learn more about Starved Rock? On the Starved Rock page, do you see those background images of the park drifting behind the happy, active, middle-agish seated couple? Watch those pictures for about two hours, and you'll get a sense of how it felt to watch Fracture (except the couple was Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins, and they were spectacularly mesmerizing in their contrasting acting styles).

That was nice how I tied that all together, wasn't it? You didn't think I could pull it off, did you.

That's why they pay me the big bucks, ladies and gents.

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