Saturday, 30 January 2010

(500) Films or Empire - Day 137

443 - Dog Day Afternoon - 4 stars
For people who criticise Al Pacino for being a shouty OTT Devil's Advocate-style paycheck player these days, I would refer them to this film and his performance as Sonny Wortzik.
Based on the true story of Sonny and his friend Sal who set out to rob a bank to pay for Sonny's boyfriend's sex change operation but it turns into a televised hostage situation.
Pacino owns every frame of this film with a performance full of emotion, tenderness, insecurity and humour, as he slowly unravels throughout the film unable to stay on top of the situation.
Lumet's direction is excellent using rehearsals to create a semi-improvised feel to the dialogue which helps create a feeling of authenticity and a bond between the people in the bank.
Also should be praised for the way that the gay element of the storyline is dealt with taste and never sensationalised.

469 - Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas - 4 stars
If Trainspotting is an anti-drug drug film, then so is Fear And Loathing for if Hunter S. Thompson's experiences are even partly based on truth then I never want to touch drugs... but I would still like to go to Las Vegas.
A lot of people hated this film on its release, complaining that its visual style was overwhelming, but this is kind of the point. Having read the book, this film is as true an adaptation as you can get to the visual imagery and spirit of the book, capturing the
The film is anchored by a completely committed central performance by Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke, the alter-ego of Thompson who serves as our narrator and guide into this crazy world. It is a pitch perfect caricature of Thompson from the look (he shaved his head for the part), the walk and the rhythm of his speech.  
The second part of this double act is the unhinged Dr. Gonzo played with terrifying realism by Benecio Del Toro, who seems to cause more problems for Duke than the drugs do!
Certainly not everyone's cup of tea but I would urge people to give this another chance for as Duke himself says "Buy the ticket, take the ride".

Days remaining - 228 Films remaining - 298

No comments:

Post a Comment