Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I have a feeling that Weatherman was inspired by how film students look at Gore Verbinsky. There’s no outright hate but there’s just the kind of disdain that would lead the more hostile of us to throw a frosty at him. Or McNuggets. Or a big gulp. It’s not that Verbinsky is a terribly bad director, in fact his Pirates of the Caribbean film was much better than it had any right to be though The Ring was horseshit: it’s just that like his main character David Spritz in this one, his stuff isn’t really that satisfying. That said, The Weatherman is a pretty good movie. It’s not a life changing experience and it’s definitely coming at the tail end of a style of film that’s slowly but surely becoming an annoyance in itself; but it isn’t bad. Plus it’s competently done which I guess is Verbinsky’s calling card.

Nicholas Cage is David Spritz: his beautiful wife hates and has left him, his daughter is overweight, his son is a good kid but he smokes pot and his Pulitzer winning dad is going to die before he can make something worthwhile out of his life. Oh, and people throw stuff at him because he’s got the kind of face that makes you want to throw stuff at him. Such is the basis of the feel bad film of the year: seriously, abandon all optimism all ye who enter that movie theater because it’s been a while since Hollywood sent us a real downer and they decided to do their catching up with this one. The film is essentially a series of unfortunate events separated by scenes where Spritz stares at the camera while a voice over explains how shitty he feels. Not exactly motivating but at least Verbinsky had the balls to go all out with the pessimism rather than chicken out at the end. There’s the subplot involving archery, Hello America and some other things that symbolize human nobility but even if the guy manages to escape with his dignity and human nobility by the end of the film, it’s still not enough for you to feel really good about the guy.

If you can’t tell from this review, I feel pretty disconnected from the film. I mean, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great but most of all it was so…distant. Hollywood is well on its way to running the emotionally disconnected Lost In Translation/Wes Anderson style film into the ground with stuff like this. It was fun for a while but every other drama this year has attempted this formula and its getting mighty tired. I’m the perpetually single generation Y film student: when I say your stuff is too emotionally disconnected you’ve got a serious problem. Throw in some half hearted glitch music and quirky camera shots and you’ve got Hollywood canabalising indie cinema at full force. And I haven’t even started my Hollywood is canabalising indie article yet. Shit.

The Weatherman is worth seeing if you’re up for a downer (oxymoron?) or want to see how Hollywood can homogenize anything into its mix. It’s also worth seeing for Nicholas Cage and Michael Caine’s acting. As for reasons not to see it: well, I guess your life wouldn’t be any poorer if you didn’t which I guess sums the situation up. It’s just there: do you have any extra time and money to bother to see it?

Jarhead review tomorrow. It doesn’t suck.


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