Pure Fun with Great Visuals–a Fantasy Film to be Sure
March 29, 2010
Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin
Guatemala seems to be the place where Academy Award pre-release DVDs find a home and are replicated in the thousands, then sold for a few dollars if not less–I have never bought one, just borrowed from those who have. I am reminded of the VHS underground marketplace in Panama in the 1980’s.
Alec Baldwin really surprised me–he rose to the occasion and turns in one of his best performances as a supporting actor to Meryl Streep, with Steve Allen coming in as third fiddle but the ultimate victor.
I take quite seriously the severe critic that complains this is a white super-suburban fantasy film, and this is absolute true. Having said that, I never-the-less recommend this film very strongly as engaging, with very strong visuals, and a total pleasure across the board.
Not sure why Eva Mendes is not listed by Amazon in the credits. This movie is already very hot in the Latin American bootleg circuit and I watched it this quiet Sunday. As another reviewer observes, this movie has not gotten the publicity it merits, and that surprises me. On balance, a four at the cinema and a solid five for home viewing.
I found it engrossing in part because it does a super job of showing a number of ways in which cops, sometimes in league with other cops, prostitutes, and often on their own, can shake down everyone from the careless suburban types in the big city for a night, to high rollers with connections, to major regional drug pushers.
For me, this movie is NOT over-played, its a great combination of some good and bad clandestine tradecraft, some sparkling lines (am re-learning French and appreciate anything with French actually spoken), some artful nudity, some real art, and over-all, a smooth panorama.