Been sitting on reviews I need to finally finish up...the "He Said" of Sex and the City, the long-awaited Indy review...and some well-deserved support of some truly great films (Indy and Sex not among them, sadly).
Also went to see the new and "improved" Incredible Hulk...my worst suspicions were confirmed on that one...but again, more on that forthcoming.
I had to just take a minute to write a few words on a really fabulous experience I just had tonight...watching a film I didn't much care for the first time I saw it, over 5 years ago. This is not a formal "video pick"...that will happen tomorrow, and the film is truly wondrous. But I just had to talk about this surprise...
In the course of a conversation I was having with my 11-year-old son about the awfulness of The Happening (he obviously is too young to see it, but was nonetheless fascinated by how I described its badness), he asked about some other films starring Mark Wahlberg. After filtering out the ones I just couldn't show a pre-teen kid (some of the very best ones, unfortunately, like Boogie Nights and Three Kings), it suddenly hit me: we could sit down and watch The Italian Job together. I remembered having lukewarm feelings about the film, but knew it would be appropriate enough and fun enough...and for some reason, I felt like revisiting it.
I don't know exactly what was up my ass when I sat it down to see The Italian Job when it first hit theaters in 2003, but it was something that really clouded my judgment. While I thought way back when that the film was an overrated trifle, one that paled in comparison both to the 1969 original and to great modern heist pictures in general, I sit here now prepared to say that I think the film is vastly underrated. It is, in fact, a near-masterpiece of the heist film genre.
Part of me can't quite say that I would bestow a four-star rating on the film, but damn if it isn't just about perfect as a slick, smart, engrossing, energizing entertainment. F. Gary Gray, a director who has made a handful of strong films and a handful of other shit, completely outdoes himself as a stylish action director. His flair and his pace are what make the film soar, and he picks the perfect pieces to fill in the gaps. The cinematography is lush, the editing is pitch-perfect, the acting (from a stellar cast, including Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Ed Norton, Mos Def, Seth Green, Jason Statham, and Donald Sutherland) is flawless, and the soundtrack makes the film bump with the sort of rollicking glee that only the best music can induce.
I honestly could not turn away from the film once--prompting K and the boys to dub me "stingy" for insisting on pausing the movie every time I had to get up to do something.
What a wonderful surprise...and the perfect way to snap me out of my blogging laziness.