Sunday, July 06, 2008

Eastern Promises


I'd heard a lot of good things about this movie, but I was a little disappointed.  A midwife (Naomi Watts) gets involved with a baby she helps deliver when the mother dies.  The mother leaves behind a diary written in Russian, and Watts's uncle (who's Russian) refuses to translate it.  Watts takes it to a restaurant where the kindly owner agrees to do the job.  I knew instantly that the kindly owner was the typical cliched mob godfather.  He plays the violin (not very well) and seems to be a sweet old man, but he's really a cold-blooded killer and gangster.  His son is the typical nutty incompetent.  The movie plays out pretty much as I expected it to, but I won't tell you what else I knew instantly lest I spoil things for you.  I liked Viggo Mortensen's performance, and while Judy no doubt appreciated the frontal nudity of the bathhouse beat-down, she found the movie too violent for her tastes (she won't be reading Savage Night; see below).  While I thought the movie was okay, I wouldn't recommend that you see it immediately (which is what someone recommended to me).  



Have I used my weekly allotment of parentheses yet?

9 comments:

  1. I was definitely disappointed after A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, but it is a good-enough film, I'd say.

    One to avoid, with heavy Eastern European flavors and trappings, is WANTED, unless you want a protagonist (and general viewpoint of the film) even more smug, arrogant, self-pitying and feckless than Peter Parker in the Spider-Man films. Stuff blows up real good and Jolie flashes her rump, but that is hardly enough.

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  2. I liked it a lot, in part because its intensity was a relief from the snarky attitude, senseless blow-em-up FX, and bloated running time of most modern thrillers.

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  3. And Mortensen's performance was good. Maybe the build-up I had led me to expect too much.

    WANTED is one I'll probably see one day on cable or DVD, though.

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  4. Me, too. Just too violent for me and a waste of Naomi Watts, for sure. And a little convoluted if I remember. But VM was a keeper.

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  5. FWIW, the GET SMART movie (as opposed to the GET SMART! tv series and its two movies) is actually an amiable way to pass the time, with a superb cast and good blown up stuff and a script that doesn't get where it wants to go but isn't nearly as bad as I feared. I liked it better than I liked CASINO ROYALE or FAY GRIM, among our recent spy films, even if it isn't up to the Bourne films as an esthetic experience.

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  6. Another one for the Netflix queue.

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  7. norby7:26 PM

    I just watched it for Viggo. Sometimes eye candy is all you need...

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  8. There was plenty of that.

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  9. Catching the eye...Naomi Watts, Tereza Srbova...did you say Viggo Mortensen was in the film somewhere?

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