Posted on 12/19/06 07:26 PM
Two recent rentals.
I had been looking forward to this one for a long time. The whole visual aspect of it in previews hooked me, and the music was mighty hook-worthy as well. I was highly disappointed when the release had been delayed; I feared this film would go The Weather Man style - hardly watched by many and just as underappreciated. There were quite a few people I knew who held interst into wanting to see this. Sadly, I didn't get to until now. Maybe that shouldn't be 'sadly' as I am glad I didn't pay theater price for this movie.
Sure the spectacle was astounding. The musical numbers were what really saved this movie from being absymal, although I could have done without a few of the anachronisms brought up in the rapping bits. Some of that stuff didn't really happen until after 1930 (or I might have to review my knowledge of 20s-30s swing/speakeasy culture). But the whole visual aspect, again, was nicely done. Set, costume, the whole thing dragged me into the world. Unfortunately, the rest of it didn't live up to expectations. Trite plot devices, horribly cliched moments, and scenes that borrow from so many other much better movies - this is what you get tagged on. I kept hoping for so many things not to happen - and they did. And I found myself rolling my eyes too often for my viewing pleasure. See it for the music and the choreography - which seems to go overboard and past the 1930s era as well. But that's the best thing you'll get from Idlewild.
This one proved to be a much better experience. Despite it being a 'straight-to-DVD' movie, it had spectacular shots and settings and everything else you'd expect a big-budget production - even though a few parts are a bit grainy and poorly lit. The characters are highly believable and really show the continuum of the political spectrum; and I'm happy to see that the film showed how those on the rebellion side can be slightly naive, but also how those now making the 200,000 a year can look back and politely disagree with the opposite viewpoints, and see how their arguments can hold up. A few scenes do get a bit talky and preachy for my cinematic viewing pleasure, but they don't last horrendously long. And there is some nice tension - especially at the start, when the younger characters are breaking into the villas. It's a well-done movie many will like, but there will be staunch dislikes I'm sure... mainly due to how overtly political it is and how it is not subtly handled.