Saturday, April 03, 2004

Silly thing I poted elsewhere that I thought I'd throw up here as well. Imaginary movie review:

Gravity's Rainbow
Dir: Ron Howard
Script: Kevin J. Anderson
Cast: Tyrone Slothrop-Matt Damon, Roger Mexico-Ben Affleck, Pirate Prentice-Jim Carrey, Blicero-Donald Sutherland, Jessica Swanlake-Tara Reid, Pointsman-William Hurt, Katje Borgesius-Angelina Jolie, Teddy Bloat-Ricky Gervais, Tantivy Mucker-Maffick-Martin Freeman

There is ambition, there is striving, and there is hubris. This utter trainwreck from Howard is the latter. The novel's sprawling banquet of sex, paranoia, war, drugs, science, and mysticism is transformed into a sort of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, only longer and not funny (even when it's supposed to be). While the all-star cast will certainly draw crowds, the audience will invariably be disappointed; from the student of postmodern literature who comes to see Pynchon's masterwork brought to the screen; to the Jolie fan hoping to catch a glimpse or two of nubile flesh (yes, there are many, along with a return of the blonde wig from Life or Something Like it ). Amazing performances from Sutherland and Hurt are squandered: it's particularly painful to watch Hurt suppress his obvious rage as a cardboard and incompetent Affleck stumbles through dialogue that apparently means nothing to him and, consequently, to us. Even the brilliant comedic touch of casting Office veterans Gervais and Freeman is overshadowed by Carrey's broad mugging and obvious departures into painfully misplaced ad libs. Apparently the "serious" Carrey of The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was unavailable, so they got the one form the Ace Ventura movies. And the less said about Tara Reid and her ludicrous attempt at an English accent (even worse than the one affected by Guy Ritchie's wife) the better.

Weighing in at five and a half hours, Gravity's Rainbow will go down as one of the great directorial follies of cinema history. Or it would, if Steven Soderbergh's torturous 12 hour adaptation of William Gaddis' The Recognitions -starring Adam Sandler, among others- wasn't also opening this week. No one notices if a rat farts during a gas main break.

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