recent movies 2009-07-13


In Midnight Cowboy, Dustin Hoffman plays a character so broken that he depresses all the time, and better off dead. John Voigt plays the only friend he could ever have, and is even dumber. Luckily we find a ray of light in the husky-voiced woman who does rock proper... and I wonder what the main point of the movie is.

One could easily get fooled into thinking Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time in America is good, judging by the beautiful opening sequence, but it ends up a pompous and disorganised mess. There's a few good performances here and there and Robert De Niro, whose cruel and underdeveloped character, doesn't provide anything above the usual. Once Upon A Time in the West, by the same director, is far better and full of rather interesting characters (but is no match of his The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly).

Akira Kirosawa's Ran is the worst of his works I've seen so far (and even worse than Once Upon A Time in America), and is not helped by its preposterous acting especially by that of the conqueror whose retirement is less than comfortable. Of some note is his close aide, the mocking entertainer whose utterances are often of good wisdom. One that caught my attention is "Enduring ridicule, I seek to entertain".

Antonio Banderas has a good turn as a simple, yet ambitious, thug in the eccentric Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, where he got his way of achieving his dream. Victoria Abril is a pleasure to watch (as usual) playing an equally broken character, though maybe a bit worse since she also doesn't know what she wants.