[Avon-theatre-news] AVON EXTRA!!
Skip at TheAvon.com
Thu Apr 19 17:28:40 EDT 2007
Our new movie starting Friday, THE LOOKOUT, really needs a boost in awareness. It is an "overlooked" film, and thus flies way below the radar! Below is the respected film critic Leonard Maltin's brief review of it. I hope you will take the time to read this and consider attending this movie that is the perfect antidote to "McTheater" burn-out!!
In other words, if you are sick of the same ol', same ol', get thee to The Avon to restore your faith in cinema!!
THE LOOKOUT - What a treat to discover a modest-scale movie that clicks in every way. The Lookout marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Minority Report), who first wrote this piece ten years ago, then reworked it for several directors who were attached to the project. When David Fincher bowed out (to direct Zodiac instead) Frank decided that, having lived with the material so long, he would be the right person to bring it to life on screen. What's more, his backers at Spyglass Entertainment allowed him to cast the actors he wanted without regard to box-office clout.
That explains why every part is so well played, beginning with the gifted Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a one-time high-school hero whose life changed in a tragic accident. But it's a credit to Frank that every character in the film, major or minor-even the wife of a local cop, who appears in just one shot, sans dialogue-is so well defined that he or she makes an impression on us.
On the surface, The Lookout is a crime thriller, and it works quite well as such...but in truth it's a character study of a young man who has had to rebuild his life. Jeff Daniels is terrific, as usual, as Gordon-Levitt's roommate, a self-reliant blind man with a sardonic sense of humor. Sexy Isla Fisher plays a woman who leads on our hero and helps draw him into a gang, led by Matthew Goode, that's planning to use him in a bank- robbery scheme. (Fisher is an Aussie, Goode is a Brit, and they're both playing American, which is par for the course these days.) Carla Gugino, Bruce McGill, and Alberta Watson make the most of their small but significant supporting roles.
The Lookout is smart and original, the best movie I've seen so far this year.
ZODIAC - As one can plainly see from the current listings, this is not the time of year one can expect to find exceptional movies being released. All the more reason to cheer for Zodiac, the first great film of 2007.
I approached this film with great trepidation, recalling the almost unbearable tension of David Fincher's Se7en...but Zodiac isn't so much about a serial killer as the hunt for a serial killer. There are still some potent scenes of violence in the early part of the story, but the lion's share of the story is about the reporters and detectives who doggedly pursue every avenue to find their man.
Here again I lucked out, as I didn't have clear memories of the real-life case that plagued the San Francisco area in the late 1960s, and I'd read nothing about this film before screening it.
Zodiac presents the most unusual-and riveting-movie manhunt in recent memory, even more amazing because it's true. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, the San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the killer, and whose books about the case inspired James Vanderbilt's screenplay. His fine performance is matched by costars Robert Downey, Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Edwards, each one completely inhabiting his character. The technical aspects of the film are flawless, capturing the look and feel of the period as well as its major settings-a newspaper city room, police departments, file morgues, and the like. Zodiac is long but gripping, from start to finish.
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