Monday, February 02, 2004

"MYSTIC RIVER" just didn't do it for me. I was ready to be impressed, given the reviews, but I've never quite reacted to a movie this way before. The cinematography was great, the acting was great . . . but it just wasn't a very good movie.

The problem: It isn't much of a story. Once the truth becomes clear, the plot reveals itself as shallow and a little nonsensical. This is a movie-of-the-week screenplay done with big-time production values.

And even while I was still in suspense, the movie never drew me in. I'm a sucker for emotionally wrenching movies, which this one tries to be, but I felt oddly detached even while I was enjoying the acting and the visuals. After the suspense was over and the one-dimensional story played itself out, it just kept playing itself out. The movie could have ended at any one of three or four spots in the last 40 minutes. Sorry, Clint.

Oh, and if you get a chance to see the trailer for "Troy," which I suspect we'll all get to see a few thousand times in the next few months, you can rest easy knowing you've had a concentrated serving of Everything Bill Hates in Pop Culture. Farting-horse commercials and fake Jacksons disrobing real Jacksons on live TV are bad, but attempts to conjure the word "epic" with an anachronistic blend of ye olde costumes and state-of-the-art computer animation are worse. And don't get me started on American actors using British accents to play ancient Greeks.

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