So this afternoon I went to go see this Inside Man movie. I wasn't that hungry because I had two bagels with scallion for lunch-- but I picked up twizz and three musketeers anyway. Picking my seat at the theater was a little tough. I had two choices. Be a little too close to the screen all by myself. Or sit further back near too alot people. I decided to go with the up-close thing. But as the place started filling up with latecomers I got concerned that people were going to sit around me anyway. And I would have been nagged by my decision because if I was gonna sit around people I might as well have gotten a not-too-close seat! So I went to Defcon 3: Stay Away From Me. I itched my head and neck with both hands like I had lice or something to keep people away. A quick behind my ear like a dog too. And it totally worked. Nobody sat near me. I'm that kind of jerk.
Anyway, I watched a bunch of previews that I've already forgotten and then this movie starts up. I didn't know much about this movie beyond seeing the preview and the fact that it's a Spike Lee movie (I'm sorry... "Joint"). To be honest, I sort of wrote off Spike Lee a while ago. I loved Do the Right Thing (although I'm still a little hazy on the message). I remember digging Jungle Fever (but it was a one time only affair). Appreciating Malcolm X (but being bored). Since then, it's been Crooklyn (never saw it). Clockers (don't remember if I ever saw it and I'd actually read the friggin book). Summer of Sam (whatever. really.) Girl 6 (never saw it). Get on the Bus (no thanks). He Got Game (never saw it. who cared? no one.). Bamboozled (never saw it. no one asked for it.) 25th Hour (saw it with high hopes and thought it was an overrated no-story sham). She Hate Me (Me Hate She) So I expected Spike to kind of fade into the distance. Making a movie every couple of years that's billed as the Return of Spike! only to have it flop and be whatevered into budget bin.
But like Woodsy Allen, here Spike has gone and made a surprisingly mainstream, legitimately good movie! But unlike Match Point (I liked the story in that more than the directing) in this flick, I liked the directing more than the story. I thought Spike Lee ttoally done the right thing with the limits of this half-trash script. Shot after shot it was exciting and interesting. Almost to the point where I almost totally forgot that nothing was happening at all beyond some guys taking over a bank for yawnily mysterious reasons. It was the complete opposite of what I expected. I assumed Spike would take a good story and ego mess with it by making sure we remembered HE'S behind the camera. When in fact I actually really liked the style totally. And when there was the one mookie-ish shot of Denzel floating along down the street. I was like, 'Go Spike! Go!'
Anyway, for the first half of this movie I was totally humjazzing on it. It built up really well and I was psyched. But at the half-way point I think the whole thing hit the wall kind of hard. I mentally faded on it. The plot got muddled and holey and kitchen-sink whateverish. But in the end, because it all looked and sounded so coolio, I was happy that I felt like I made a safe getaway from this crimescene. (even though in reality, one of those blue paint canisters exploded all over the money as I drove off)
Three Good Things About the Movie
- The first 40 minutes or so are totally way coolio.
- I laughed out loud probably a ten to a dozen times.
- It kept my head in the game the whole time even when I was bored.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- Did this movie ripoff Quick Change?
- Jodie Foster was surprisingly annoying.
- Real tension was just an afterthought.
All in all, this is the movie to see right now. It isn't anything that's going to change the world- and when push comes to shove the whole thing is popcorn forgettable. But whatever! I was psyched to see Mr. Spike come around and piece together a movie people actually want to see. Now if he could just find a script that has a good beginning, middle, AND end.... he'd get that long overdue Oscar you know he mumbles in his sleep about.