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ISSUE #111
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Features

ArrowBig Baby Brown
Buffalo Mayor Tramples BEAST Publisher

ArrowThe Vilsack Buzz
As the nation looks to ‘08, excitement is high
Matt Taibbi

ArrowCut -N- Fun!
2 dimensional fathers better parents, say experts

Rich Herschlag

ArrowDialing for Santorum
My last-ditch heroic effort to save the GOP’s holiest hatchet man
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowAn Important Message from our Fearless Leader
Paul Fallon

ArrowBeast Product Review
Buffalo Rising Magazine

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Featureless Internet Kitsch

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Casino Royale, Déjà Vu, Stranger Than Fiction, Bobby, Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny, Happy Feet

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
[sic]entology, Xenuphobia, Russian Says Get Out, Kill!, Castrate! and more

Kino Korner

 


Casino Royale | Déjà Vu | Stranger Than Fiction | Bobby
Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny | Happy Feet


Déjà Vu

Deja VuThere was a time when seeing or hearing the name Tony Scott gave me a slight rush of excitement. He once had a subdued visual style that worked and had a distinction all its own. It wasn’t glossed over or squeaky clean, but if you were somewhat familiar with the man’s work or were even halfway paying attention you knew you were watching a Tony Scott film.

As time went on and his resume got less and less memorable and/or impressive, he did what every artist does—he reinvented himself. When you keep belting out the same substandard crap that’s what you need to do, but I think in Scott’s case his new style may not be a product so much of the need for change so much as a midlife crisis. Lately his movies have turned into crappy metal videos for either the blind or the deaf. Watch Man on Fire or Domino and you’ll find an often-crossed line between condescension and style.

Scott’s utilizes a technique which, in addition to a heavily saturated color palette, makes you feel like you were crazy enough to pay eight bucks for a bucket of popcorn out in the lobby. When Scott’s actors speak their dialogue, he’ll have it echo through what sounds like a Mr. Microphone. In addition to this M.O. being really annoying, I can’t think of any reason for it. I mean, you’ve got Mickey Rourke saying “I’ve got to go take a dump…take a dump…take a dump…take a dump.” Scott does the same thing from a visual standpoint, too! Let’s say we’ve got Christopher Walken telling a room full of people, “If I don’t like the way you’re looking at me I’ll kill you and use your skull for a cereal bowl.” And sure as a Christmas Eve suicide you get I’ll kill you and use your skull for a cereal bowl scrawled in a shaky manner across the screen in a color that you didn’t know existed. I’m guessing Scott knows he’s making a boring movie or the script is so poorly executed that he’s got to tell you everything twice. It’s like Jimmy Two Times is behind the camera. We’re gonna go make a movie, make a movie…

So now Scott makes Déjà Vu, the story of an FTA agent played by Denzel Washington recruited by a secret government agency. If you need some dressing on that turkey, the agency has stumbled ass-backward into the ability to go back into the recent past as they bypass gigantic scientific loopholes and ungodly plot restrictions to solve crimes. All while causing and offering an implausible scientific explanation for déjà vu itself and justifying Scott’s OCD/ADD style of filmmaking.

While you’re dealing with a movie that’s got Jerry Bruckheimer’s name on it, lowering expectations, and know that you’re going to see more character at a dive bar at 12:15 on a Monday afternoon, something surprising actually happened with Déjà Vu. Unlike the jittery style Scott displayed with the drawn-out and exhausting Man on Fire and the reason-questioning Domino, he actually let some shots last longer than five seconds. I didn’t know if I should call it a holiday miracle, a crystal meth drought or a double dosage of Ritalin, but I wasn’t angry knowing that I was going to see a movie with Tony Scott’s name in it.

At least not for reasons involving his directorial style, because let’s face it—the man’s no dramatist. You usually don’t walk out of one of his films and talk about memorable characters, moral ambiguity or even great performances. You’re usually saying something along the lines of that was a cool explosion, I’ve got to get me one of those or wouldn’t it be awesome if that could really happen. You’re not conversing about Scott’s clever use of irony, a dynamic script or starting a debate over whether this is going to be the one he’s remembered for and that’s what anyone seeing this type of movie expects. In the event you see Déjà Vu and decide that it deserves another thought, you’ll probably just shrug your shoulders and tilt your head to one side and grunt the word ehh. That’s assuming you even remember seeing the movie.

There was a time when seeing or hearing the name Tony Scott gave me a slight rush of excitement. He once had a subdued visual style that worked and had a distinction all its own…

 

 

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