Friday, April 22, 2016
Tribeca Capsules Day 9: SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS, ALWAYS SHINE, A KIND OF MURDER and HUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS is the newest Ricky Gervais film and it's laugh out loud funny. It's my favorite Gervis film I think largely because it's the one that has the least mean edge to it. The plot has Gervais and Eric Bana as two radio reporters who are supposed to go to Ecuador to cover a possible rebellion but Gervais accidentally throws away their tickets and passports. Hold up in an apartment across from their offices the pair manufacture reports, which cause even more trouble by turns. High art it isn't but it is funny and it takes the piss out of the news media. An absolute joy.
ALWAYS SHINE I've heard that the film compared to PERSONA and a DePalma film. Yes and yes, but not quite as interesting. The film has two friends going to Big Sur for a weekend. When resentments come the front thanks in part to the friction because on is more successful then the other, things turn ugly and weird. Despite being a highlight reel for the two leads this film isn't much of anything. You can kind of see where it's going and even if not once the film flops its doesn't do much to keep things interesting. Not bad but not not great either.
A KIND OF MURDER is a Patricia Highsmith adaption that would have worked best had it not been seemingly so faithful to the book in structure. The film has successful architect and part time crime short story writer Patrick Wilson becoming intrigued by the murder of a woman by a truck stop. He's certain the husband did it. As his marriage crumbles things become complicated as he gets caught in a web of white lies. A brightly colored film that's all about artifice and creating mood the film never addresses why certain things happen in the film or why Wilson's character wouldn't say the truth. Plot details don't make sense, not the least of which is what in the hell a New York boonies cop is doing tormenting a suspect in Newark New Jersey every day. Its not bad but it's nothing special except on a superficial level.
HUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM is a major problem. A 90 minute film on the theory that the Yugoslavian government sold the American's their space program. Its an amusing idea that has enough material for 15 or 20 minutes but which is spun out for 90 painful minutes. Why is this a feature? I have no clue. There maybe a story here to fill a feature, but it's not told in this film.
One more day of films at the festival but another 9 days of reviews