Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Last Time

If Michael Keaton starred in his next movie as character with no speaking parts, no on-screen time and got cut from the film... I'd be the first in line to watch it. His aura would still leave its mark. There's no end to my fanboy love for the subtleties of his humor, terror, creepiness and sincerity. He can do them all with one furrow of his brow. This movie didn't get a lot of buzz on its way to the video stand, but I highly recommend checking it out to just about anybody. If you've ever had a boss, or co-workers, or been in or out of love... this one's for you. Did I include everybody with that broad question? Yes, I did. If you've ever watched The Office and found the interaction to be interesting or hilarious... this one's for you, but you get to see what people really say and think when they're not on network TV. If you like drama, suspense, dark humor or good storytelling... you guessed it... for you. I've been a salesperson in similar situations and my feelings have run the gamut that the movie depicts, but in real life, nobody would ever imagine saying or doing those things. So many of the exaggerated scenarios are closer to the truth than hyperbole though, so kudos to the writers. Keaton leads a nice collection of role players through their strengths and weaknesses, and the film does a great job of letting you both love and hate most of the characters. They're rude, angry and aggressive, or funny, charming and sly... but you get it. Brendan Fraser overdoes it a bit, but Amber Valletta (of Hitch) is seductively smooth and you get some nice cameos from Daniel Stern and the guy from that old Herman's Head TV series.

You understand everybody is flawed and you find a center to pull for, or root against. This movie could go in a thousand different directions, and yet it left me feeling very satisfied, like it ended the one and only way I logically and creatively wanted it to. It's so good though, that just about any ending would've worked within its story. There are a couple nice literary references thrown in, which actually play nicely into the ultimate plot rather than pop their head in to make the dialogue sound smart. They're there for a purpose. You will predict 20 different endings for this film but lean strongly toward one or two, and if you catch everything the story is telling you, it just may fit them all. Keaton amazingly pulls off Mr. Mom, Batman, Bettlejuice and Pacific Heights all in one character. The tag line for the movie asks who you would sell out to trade up... I recommend starting with whatever lesser movie is at the top of your current queue.
  • OVERALL: 93
  • VISUAL: 88
  • STORY: 95
  • ACTING: 95
  • BETTER THAN: The Temp
  • NOT AS GOOD AS: Shattered Glass
  • WAS MISSING: A tad better score from Randy Edelman
  • SEE IT FOR: Suspense that is sexy, jaded and tense


Melissa said...

Wow, Thomas, I had no idea you were such a good movie critic! You should be getting paid for your reviews. I wish I could be as articulate as you. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Melissa. You've done music and movie reviews since your days on the high school Unicorn newsletter, and you've always done a fantastic job at it. Maybe someday, who knows, you may be able to get paid for your talents!!!