Archive for September 2010

Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch, 2005)


Here is one lazy review about an older man looking for a child he may have sired.  This is Lost in Translation “lite.”  That’s all I gotta say.  Give me an advance Entertainment Weekly, I dare you.  Bill Murray is basically the same LIT character transformed into a Jim Jarmusch road movie.  Other than Murray’s character being unmarried, he coulda been named Bob Harris, his character in LIT.  Primarily enjoyable due to Murray’s extraordinary minimalist acting.  Good supporting cast including Jessica Lang, Julie Delpy, and Sharon Stone (on par with Casino).  Never have been a big Jarmusch fan (except Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai but I couldn’t even begin to get through 2009’s The Limits of Control) but Murray injects the film with his singular wit and affect.

*** 1/2 / *****

The Basketball Diaries (Scott Kalvert, 1995)


Leonardo DeCaprio continues his “audtion” for big budget, big paycheck films leading up to Titanic (1997).  Harrowing true account of a talented basketball teams’ decline due to certain team members’ descent into the bowels of heroin addiction.  Difficult to watch at times and certainly derivative of films before and after but it proves DeCaprio as an apprentice for Scorcese to mine.

*** 1/2 / *****

2 Days in Paris (Julie Delpy, 2007)


Julie Delpy, who had to be directly inspired by her participation – acting, in Richard Linklater’s high acclaimed “double feature” Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), produced this creepy little romantic comedy in 2007.  Yes, how often you hear the words creepy romantic comedy used together?

Working with a hilarious Adam Goldberg (does the guy play himself in every film he does? here he seems to be stepping straight off the Entourage set); actress, writer, director, editor AND composer Delpy created this little farce of a thirty something couple taking a break from a less than stellar 2 days in Venice (and a longer break from hometown NYC as they have been in a two-year relationship).  In Paris they bunk up with her parents, played by Marie Pillet and Albert Delpy – Delpy’s real life actor parents.  Goldberg’s character (Jack) is overwhelmed with French eccentricity, mostly in its sexual form and this brings out jealousies and resentments as Delpy (Marion) continues to run in to one ex-boyfriend after another.  These encounters, often heated, are told in French with English subtitles so we know what is being said but poor shmuck Jack has no clue.  Jack’s character is straight out of a Woody Allen sketch – in this film Jack has no problem calling the French on their often clichéd attitude towards foreigners – see hilarious scene in a hamburger restaurant:  his closing comment to a purely French-speaking fast food hamburger clerk – “Paris sucks.”  Delpy edits the thing perfectly and the story really does cause some unease – I recommend imbibing a little when you see it.  Total surprise and Delpy is some talent!  Smart, funny and very recommended.  Great date film for those that don’t desire the latest Julia Roberts’ romantic comedy.

**** / *****