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Friday, November 25, 2005

Thoughts on 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang', 'The Constant Gardener' and 'Elizabethtown'

Quick thoughts on a few films

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Starring Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer, this is a buddy movie/film noir/action/murder mystery with postmodern voice over narratives. It's insanely fun to watch, when you see Robert Downey Jr's character rewinding some scenes cos' he missed out something, or sarcastically pointing out that some seemingly meaningless scenes are actually meaningful (dum dum dum!). So yeah, Robert Downey Jr plays a crook who, while escaping from the cops, stumbled into a film audition, and fooled the producers into thinking that he's one hell of an actor (he just got his partner killed, and he was asked to read a script which featured a scene where the guy got his partner killed... thus intense METHOD ACTING from him). He was flown to Hollywood, and met a private eye called Gay Perry (Val Kilmer, and yes, Gay Perry is gay, hence the name, I forgot the character's real name), who was supposed to be his consultant in teaching him how to act like a private eye. Then both guys got involved in a TRUE murder case. Intrigue, plot twists and hilarity ensue.

Val Kilmer, who had sucked for many many years, totally changed my perception of him here. Although he's gay, Gay Perry's totally a hardcore action hero who is beyond badass. Definitely by far Kilmer's best role ever! Downey was great too as the protagonist and narrator, but man, Val totally steals the show. Highly recommended!

The Constant Gardener
Ralph Fiennes plays the title character, a mild-mannered professor who is constantly gardening. His life was shattered when his wife (Rachel Weisz), a socially-conscious lawyer, was murdered (she died at the beginning of the film, so this ain't a spoiler) at a remote area in Kenya. He gradually found out that her death may be caused by pharmaceutical coorporations, and thus embarked on a journey to 'finish what his wife left off', while at the same time haunted by remorse and grief thanks to rumours of his late wife's infidelities, his mission would eventually change him, and allow him to know more about a wife he never knew that well when she was alive. Intense and stylish, emotional and romantic, great acting from Weisz and Fiennes (I forgive him for Avengers!), Oscar-nominated Brazillian director Fernando Meirelles simply rocked with his unconventional guerilla filmmaking style (which *cough* reminds me of my own style, being a guerilla filmmaker too). Great film.

I like Cameron Crowe, Jerry Maguire's one of my all-time favourite romantic comedies ever, Almost Famous was robbed for not having a Best Picture Oscar nomination and Vanilla Sky's freaking underrated. However, no matter how I look at it, this film is seriously a poor man's version of Garden State, Orlando Bloom, tried hard he did, just DOES NOT have the charisma to be a leading man. Too skinny, too girlish, I mean, this might be one of the more likable roles he has ever done since LoTR, but he JUST CAN'T CARRY A FILM!! Too contrived, it's just a generic romantic comedy that's better than most other romantic comedies I've seen, but just not good enough for a Crowe film.