Monday, May 29, 2006

Signature

Saturday night, I went to the Da Vinci Code with Karen. I enjoyed it. I haven't read the book, I've heard a couple passages when Scott was listening to the audio book, but that was it. I thought all the actors were fine in their roles. Ron Howard did a fine job keeping the tempo, considering they could get bogged down in the conspiracy theory and miss out on the action. Overall, it was National Treasure with international sets and European actors. A cerebral Indiana Jones is a fair comparison. As for the actual conspiracies, I don't really care about them. If someone were to lose their faith or religion because of them, they didn't lose much.

Sunday, I did my two for one special with X-Men 3: The Last Stand, and Over the Hedge. X-Men has potential, Ebert talks about how the plot evokes a myriad of social issues. It didn't do that for me. I liked the second installment better, more history and personal conflict. Famke Jansen's Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix is supposed to have a personality conflict issue but you really can't tell from her acting, only when she delivers the lines do you know. So I think this trilogy would compare (on a much much smaller scale) with The Godfather. One and two were great with three finishing the job but poorly. Buffy would appreciate that the mother from House of Sand and Fog is a scientist in the movie.

I liked Over the Hedge. On a smaller scale (again), they had their musician companion with three songs from Ben Folds. I liked them and have always liked him. This is where the use of a know talent worked for them. The voice cast was most all known actors: Nic Nolte, Bruce Willis, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Wanda Sykes, Steve Carrell, Gary Shandling, Allison Janney, Avril Lavigne, and William Shatner. I have two and a half takes on the voice work. Nolte, Willis, and Shatner weren't able to enter into or create another character with their voices for the film. Shatner worked though because they embraced his mystique with the script, lots of dramatic CAN'T . . . .GO . . . . . . . ON!!! stuff. Nolte's voice, while full of character, never translated to his character, and Willis was weak (much better in the Look Who's Talking Franchise). Sykes was very similar to Shatner, in that the role was written for the actor, not requiring much more than being herself. Levy, O'Hara, Carrell and Shandling were successes. I could tell it was them, but if I didn't know them I would still be pleased with the results. They each become their character. Carrell's experience voicing Gary from the Ambiguously Gay Duo probably helped. And I'm sure Levy and O'Hara's sketch and improv work aided them.

After watching this movie, I'm rethinking my disdain for celebrity voiceover work in commercials. John Krasinski (ask.com), Gary Sinise (Cadillac), Dennis Haysbert (All State), George Clooney (Budweiser), and Kathleen Turner all have fine voices, not their fault they can also act. Maybe some voice over artists are doubling up their talents as well, working as cabbies at night or bartenders. Oh well.

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4 Comments:

At May 29, 2006 8:25 AM, Blogger Voth said...

Here is my issue with X-men. Near the end, Jean is standing on a pile of stones. She is causing destruction. Wolverine is trying to get to her. His shirt burns off, his skin burns off and heals on his chest. His pants don't burn. They stay fine.

I guess I was just wishing for some XXX men.

 
At May 29, 2006 3:25 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I noticed that too. Very weird. I mean at one point she burns through so much that you can see his adamantine spine and ribs. Needless to say I was disappointed with Mystique's modesty.

 
At May 29, 2006 7:57 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

thanks for going and seeing all the movies i wanted to see on the weekend i wasn't here. except for "over the hedge" that's all yours to enjoy by yourself.

 
At May 29, 2006 10:14 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Don't worry I still haven't seen Art School Confidential or Neil Young's Heart of Gold.

 

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