Monthly Archives: March 2013
A quick statement before we get to the trailer.
I wonder if you would take a second and compare and contrast Denzel Washington and Nicholas Cage careers. If you were to do so I believe you would find a lot of commonalities. The biggest one being they have forgotten how to chose good scripts and are consequently starring in formulaic, asinine genre movies. Occasionally each can strike gold with a project. Denzel seemed to find a meaty performance in Flight and Nicholas just happened to star in one of the greatest film of the past 20 years in Knowing (not kidding at all). Yet, for the most part we sit and watch two men who once were considered two of the greatest (or at least most promising) actors in their generation practically defecate over the prestige of their careers. The funny thing is, only one of the two actors seems to have become the object of parody; Nicholas “BEES!” Cage.
Now to be fair Denzel has taken his fair share of criticism for his current string of one note performances. His particular brand of smooth heroic masculinity that once proved uniquely watchable has by now lapsed into parody. Still the mild chiding he receives for those performances doesn’t begin to compare to the hate a genuinely gifted actor like Nicholas Cage receives. Roger Ebert made a great observation about the Nicholas when he stated that:
Cage is accused of showboating, but I prefer to think he swings for the fences. Sometimes he strikes out but more often he connects (he took enormous risks in “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Bringing Out the Dead” and “Adaptation”). He has a kind of raging zeal that possesses his characters; what in another actor would be overacting is, with Cage, a kind of fearsome intensity.
Even in the worst movies Nicholas Cage always comes to the plate and swings for the fences. The same, as of late, cannot be said of Mr. Denzel Washington. Especially when you see him in trailers like this for his new movie like 2 Guns. Yes that’t the title.
Couple of things
1. Despite his age he was serviceable in Book of Eli. Not so much now. How old is Denzel gonna have to be before he is not able to do action roles anymore? I’ve come to terms with the fact that Hollywood often sinks its teeth into its black cash cow’s like Denzel and milks them for all the box office potential but this is getting ridiculous. There has to be thousands of other black actors out there vying for roles in buddy cop pictures/biopics/and other various sidekicks roles. Keep using Denzel like this and eventually all that’s left is going to be a chocolate skeleton on screen sitting next to Jonah Hill in the next big buddy cop flick.
2. Does anyone actually write these types of movies any more or do the actors just wing it. If its the former then I think we should pray for the talent of our Hollywood writers. If its the latter then screen acting in terms of improvisation has truly taken a nosedive. Did you actually listen to some of that inane dialogue in the trailer.
Denzel: You ever heard the saying never rob the bank across from the diner that has the best donuts in 3 counties?
Mark: That’s not a saying.
Denzel: Yes it is.
Mark: No its not, I get what your saying, but its not a saying.
Denzel: You never heard it? Maybe you’ve never heard it?
Denzel: It is a saying. It’s a saying to me.
Talk about bad overlapping dialogue Seriously, that is just plain lazy. Just because Tarantino was able to get away with the whole “low life” “tough guy” banter thing doesn’t mean it should become the norm in Hollywood Screen writing is an art unto itself and to see two actors fumble their way jokingly through their lines like that is just plain awful. The actors may find it fun (or easy) but it comes across as smug, boring, cloying and insulting to the audience.
3. Paula Patton like Rosario Dawson in Unstoppable, Eva Mendes and Sanaa Lathan in Out of Time, Paula Patton in Deja Vu, and Mila Kunas in The Book of Eli, is playing a role so clearly designed to net a paycheck that you can almost hear chi-ching every time she opens her mouth.
4. This trailer seems less like an advertisement for the movie and more an advertisement for car crash porn. After seeing Tony Scott and Micheal bay roll cars up down and all around the past 20 years, the sight of a couple of trucks playing tag isn’t really doing it for me.
5. Jimmy Hendrix has apparently spun in his grave so hard that he tunneled all the way to China.
6. More Bad Dialogue:
Denzel: The Bank was a set up. We gotta figure out whose money that was.
Mark: (super-excited) What, like we’re working together?
Denzel: No, not like we’re working together.
Denzel: Naw, like we’re working in the same vicinity.
Denzel: Like we’re working in the same Area code.
7: Paula Patton I can understand. Paychecks are hard to come by in Hollywood for black actresses. But what excuse does Bill Paxton and Edward James Olmos have. They’re two of the best character actors of our generation and they’ve reduced themselves to doing slop like this. And don’t give me that “it’ll be fun to watch them chewing the scenery” garbage. If the scenery around them is moldy and gross (i.e. a badly structured film) then they’ll just end up regurgitating garbage to the audience.
8. Also did anybody notice James Marsden was in the movie. Exactly!
10: A final bit of bad dialogue that probably mirrors the screen writers approach to writing this movie:
Denzel: So partner, What’s your plan?
Mark: I’ve got a plan. I mean I’m capable of coming up with a plan.
Denzel: I’m not saying you’re not capable. I’m just saying you haven’t told me. What is it?
Mark: (annoyed) I’m working on it!…. Screw it!
Drives through fence
Denzel: That was your plan?
Mark: No one expected it. You should have seen you’re face.
I understand that the buddy cop genre has never been considered the height of cinema, but does that excuse the makers of this film of having such low expectations for themselves. As trivial as this genre may be it’s still capable of producing such entertaining fair as 48 hrs, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Alien Nation, Bad Boys, Mississippi Burning, Hard Boiled, Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour (yep). Sadly it seems the makers of these kinds of films don’t feel the need to try anymore. They have their formula. They know their film will at least net a profit of 150-200 million dollars no matter how good it is. From there moving forward they can option any other sub-par buddy cop script they want and develop further plans to bilk the American public with garbage product. To borrow a phrase from buddy cop veteran Roger Murtaugh, I think its time we let the actors, directors, writers and producers who make these films know that, “We’re getting to old for this….stuff (T.V. edit)