Monday, November 12, 2007

Devil Wears Prada, Mr Brooks

OK, after that last one, don't expect any long, philosophical posts for a while, I feel pretty much talked out so far as that goes, and I guess disrupting routines and becoming inaccessible might include no longer broadcasting all my latest realizations and so, potentially, letting the air out of them. We'll see if it works but meanwhile I am going to try and keep up this blog more regularly albeit also in a lighter and more journal-esque fashion. I just got a few commissions to write some reviews for The List, a Scottish magazine (like Time Out for Edinburgh) and I'll be sure and post any and all reviews I write for them here at the blog.

I continue to watch movies at an average of maybe four or five a week; recently I saw The Devil Wears Prada, which to my surprise I quite enjoyed, mostly for Meryl Streep's beautifully nuanced performance. This is normally the sort of movie I would feel almost morally obliged to despise, but it was actually very nicely put together, slick and often facile, yes, but also lively and sharp, and as light and pleasing as puff pastry. Also, Stanley Tucci is always a pleasure to watch, and Anne Hathway is certainly easy on the eyes. But Streep is a revelation. She has become an actress to watch, after two decades of lifelessly studied performances, she has really come into her own in the last ten years or so.

Mr. Brooks is probably the worst movie that I have enjoyed in a long time - there's no reason this preposterous nonsense should make even a passably entertaining movie, but somehow it does. Mostly it's because of Costner (as Brooks) and Hurt (as Brooks' personal devil), and the delightful running repartee they keep up through the film. Like You Kill Me - which I'll review here soon - it's about a killer who goes to AA meetings, the difference being that here Brooks is addicted to killing, not booze, and yes, he is trying valiantly to quit! His condition goes so deep, however, that it's congential - his daughter has inherited his blood lust too. Then there is Dane Cook as a sleazy amateur photographer who gets shots of Brooks' at work and blackmails him into letting him come along on his next murder. Most risable of all, there's Demi Moore as a tough-as-nails, hunch-following cop who is also a millionaire heiress. Oh, and let us not forget another serial killer called the Hangman who has escaped from jail and wants revenge on Demi for putting him away, and yes, all these separate strands are woven together without a shred of concern for the finer points of realism. By all rights, Mr. Brooks should be an out-and-out stinker, but somehow, it's rather fun. Not that I am recommending it, however. I was probably just in the mood for a brazenly bad movie. Costner remains an enjoyably inventive, underrated actor, however, and Hurt is never less than scintillating. He seems to have taken of late to playing scions of darkness, and like Kingsley, it suits him to a T.


Anonymous said...

Hey, what's happened to your myspace? I was shocked to find out I can no longer read your writing there :(
Love: Villiorvokki

jake horsley said...

it's all here at the blog. my withdrawal from myspace was a gesture to becoming inaccessible and an attempt to waste less time on the Net!


patrick said...

i had a feeling Costner would make some kind of a comeback; plus it's interesting how Dane Cook went from stand up comedian to starring in a ton of major movies