Monday, November 22, 2004

Movie Review: The Score

I loves me some heist movie.

That’s really my whole review, come right down to it. I loves me some heist movie, and The Score is one. It’s taut, it’s well-paced, there’s some twists and turns, a little action and some good acting. Totally worth it. Go rent it.

Pleasant surprises: I continue to be astonished by the late work of Marlon Brando. For most of my life, Brando was just a punchline, a gargantuan caricature of himself. But the little bit of his later work that I’ve seen has been really quite moving: an ex-movie idol playing has beens, and doing it with guts and style and craft.

Edward Norton, arguably one of the best actors of his generation. Fascinating to watch, as always. But what excites me? The part at the end where this good Columbia, MD boy wears a Baltimore Orioles cap. (And points to the fact checkers… Norton complains about coming “500 miles” to Montreal, which is plausibly close to Baltimore.)

Oh, and Montreal looks just gorgeous.

Any movie with an appearance by Cassandra Wilson and a song at the credits by Diana Krall has something going for it. I’m not sure I really believe this Hollywood trope about old thieves loving jazz, but it helps fill in the noir element, so I’ll go with it.

If I have to criticize: I think I like either a little more funny (a la The Sting) or a little more action (a la The Italian Job) in my heist movies. (So yes, as a matter of fact, I am looking forward to Ocean’s Twelve with probably unrealistic expectations). Also, I was kind of hoping to see more Angela Bassett in there. (Although her relationship with Robert De Niro has that fascinating in media res quality which Hollywood doesn’t use enough. These people are who they are, and you don’t necessarily get or need the whole backstory.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Check out David Mamet's "Heist." A great caper movie with killer dialogue. Add Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo, and a particularly nasty Danny DeVito and you've got yourself some great caper-y goodness.

Oh, and let's not forget "Sexy Beast." Damn. What a movie!


9:46 AM, November 23, 2004  
Blogger Hugh said...

Speaking of amazing performers who those our age only knew as punchlines: Orson ("We will sell no wine before its time") Welles and John ("We make money the old fashioned way") Houseman. To say nothing of Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman.

4:28 PM, December 01, 2004  
Blogger Joe said...

I dunno, Hugh... my parents were devoted followers of The Paper Chase, so what I actually remember about Houseman is "Your brains... are Mush." Not actually his best acting job, perhaps, but more than a joke.

And if you say the word "Sinatra" to me, I will immediately think of Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy in that SNL sketch.

5:16 PM, December 01, 2004  

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