Groom | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

Re: “Amigo

Where's Sayle's cinematographer, William Wexler, when he's needed? If you're going to shoot digitally, move with the camera; take advantage of the mobility it affords.

But photography is only one of the many short-comings of this film: Unfortunately, Amigo comes off as boring, heavy-handed, pontificating dreck, best reserved for the History Channel where low/no budget, minimalist historical costuming (spotless and pressed even in tropical heat), badly cropped, repetitiously-staged scenarios are the expectant norm. At least the soundtrack would track. This would work better as a Filipino soap opera than an intended message movie.

And this from a great Sayles fan, who loved Lone Star, Matewan, and Limbo.

Gordon Groom

Posted by Groom on 09/29/2011 at 3:31 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “Let the Bullets Fly

"Lingers" is the operative word here. "Inscrutable" works. "Unfathomable" often applies. This may be the biggest domestic grossing film in Chinese history, but unfortunately, I think that speaks more to Asian sensibilities than superior mainstream film-making. I'm a huge fan of Asian films, but this one just tried too hard to be too clever, playing out and looking like a cheap stageplay. Even the drum solos smacked of Hong Kong meeting Bollywood lest any homage be left out.

Admittedly there are some brilliant comedic and action moments, but few and way too far between. My takeaway: "Never eat one bowl of jelly without getting a receipt."

Gordon

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Groom on 04/05/2012 at 6:25 PM

Re: “Amigo

Where's Sayle's cinematographer, William Wexler, when he's needed? If you're going to shoot digitally, move with the camera; take advantage of the mobility it affords.

But photography is only one of the many short-comings of this film: Unfortunately, Amigo comes off as boring, heavy-handed, pontificating dreck, best reserved for the History Channel where low/no budget, minimalist historical costuming (spotless and pressed even in tropical heat), badly cropped, repetitiously-staged scenarios are the expectant norm. At least the soundtrack would track. This would work better as a Filipino soap opera than an intended message movie.

And this from a great Sayles fan, who loved Lone Star, Matewan, and Limbo.

Gordon Groom

Posted by Groom on 09/29/2011 at 3:24 PM

Re: “Meek's Cutoff

Save It for the History Channel.

The best I can say about my time spent viewing Meek's Cutoff at the Music Box was, "Thank God I found street parking". This movie is little more than "Blair Witch on the Prairie", a bad movie masquerading as a psycho-drama of the Western experience with a cheap-shot teaser ending reminiscent of Blair Witch or John Sayles' "Limbo", but lacking any of the tension of Blair or the human interest of Limbo. I can only assume the actors were paid by the spoken word to keep dialogue and cost to a minimum or to infer that the West was settled by the weak, silent type. For the record, the audience reaction seemed to be one of numbing indifference with more than one grumbled, "That's it? What the hell was that?" followed by my own unspoken, "Thank God that's over!"

It frightens me when reviewers fawn over a movie, reading depth into simplicity of story and character. I enjoy all kinds of movies, a lot of them bad by most standards, but enjoyable or redeemable in part to me. My theory is that no one sets out to make a bad movie; it's just too much work. But boring is boring and bad is bad, and "Meek's Cutoff" is boringly bad.

Gordon Groom

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Groom on 05/25/2011 at 12:22 PM

Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.