Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2022 6:03 pm 
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AMSTERDAM (David O. Russell 2022). It fails to live up to the romantic Hemingwayesque WWI opening of the odd three comrades, the beautiful mysterious nurse, the half-Jewish future Park Avenue doctor, and the Black future lawyer, and in fact loses touch with it. Years later a woman dies getting pushed under a car and the doctor and the lawyer have to prove they didn't do it - winding up re-connecting with the former nurse in the process - but it all gets lost in the details and the faltering pace. I could expect anything of Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington, as that trio. They're all engaging and good, especially Bale. Sadly, they get nothing. Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Shannon, and Mike Myers are almost unrecognizable, and Rami Malek escapes from weirdness into posh. Robert DiNiro blends in nicely. But so what? The screenplay wastes it all. Went to this even though it got 47% on Metacritic and I got my reward. I'm a fan of Russell, giving him points for going to my college, as did Jeffrey Wright and David Foster Wallace. But it's not just the school tie. I mean, FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, THREE KINGS, THE FIGHTER, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and AMERICAN HUSTLE were all great. There's been a falling off in the nine years since that. I was hoping for individual scenes to be fun, to enjoy the A-List cast, who include Alessandro Nivola, Chris Rock, Taylor Swift, Zoe Saldana, Anya Taylor-Joy, et al., but they were just awkward, or not distinctive enough. Watched 10/9/22 at Century Hilltop 16, Richmond, California but walked out midway, my departure hastened by annoyance with scattered ticket holders with limited audience skills. An announcement before the feature for post-Covid viewers reminding them that they're not at home didn't sink in for everybody, or they came late and missed it.

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