Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Tom Keogh, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: 102 Dalmatians

[Written for Film.com]  

Shortly before the end of a promotional screening of 102 Dalmatians, an anxious Disney publicist leaned into the press row where I sat and announced that a couple of the film’s reels had been shown out of order. Did we critic types happen to notice, she asked?

Of course, reply my astute colleagues. I, however, keep my mouth shut. You could have shown me this shrill hunk of junk upside down and backwards, and I would have remained willingly obtuse.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Tom Keogh, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: The Contender

[Written for Film.com]

With Aaron Sorkin running around holding an armful of Emmys and basking in the love of a nationwide TV audience for creating NBC’s “The West Wing,” the idea of releasing a lesser political drama on movie screens right now is risky business. The Contender indeed looks narrow and one-dimensional by comparison to the layered drama and comedy of Sorkin’s show, though this new film by former critic Rod Lurie (Deterrence) does help clarify what it is that Sorkin does so well simply because Lurie isn’t doing it here.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Tom Keogh, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: Snatch

[Written for Film.com]

Guy Ritchie’s sophomore feature makes no apologies for clinging to familiar if engagingly iconoclastic material, specifically to Ritchie’s own popular crime comedy from 1999, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.

Refreshingly funny, Lock, Stock introduced a new filmmaker whose incoherent visual aesthetic seemed, at the time, a petty misdemeanor in light of his gift for creating an entire class of characters—ne’er-do-wells on the fringe of the underworld, as well as the hardened professionals stung by them—out of wholecloth.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Tom Keogh

2000 Eyes: Small Time Crooks

[Written for Film.com]

“My husband Otto was dyslexic,” recalls Elaine May’s sweet but ditzy character, May, in Woody Allen’s new film. “The only word he could read correctly was his own name.”

Ah, bliss. The return of an Allen trademark: a layered-in, conceptual one-liner counterpointing the hard narrative thrust of a scene. In this case, a scene in which both May and Allen’s characters are exercised about some criminal plans. The tossed-off gag gives the moment a shot more oxygen as only Allen can do, delighting in May’s surreal urgency unrelated to the crisis at hand.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Tom Keogh, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: Road Trip

[Written for Film.com]

Summer’s here as far as Hollywood is concerned: put down that Harold Bloom tome and rediscover the smartass, breast-obsessed 13-year-old boy within. As for rediscovering one’s inner 13-year-old girl, well … autumn will be here before you know it.

As if enshrouded in mythology, the silly story of Road Trip is narrated by a perpetual college student, Barry (Tom Green), who recalls the epic journey of four pals traveling almost 2,000 miles to salvage a longtime romance. Sweet, no? No. The tale begins with Josh (Breckin Meyer of Go), who is going to a New York university while his girlfriend Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard) attends another in Texas. It’s their first major separation since the age of 5, and it weighs on them.

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Posted in: by Tom Keogh, Contributors, Film Reviews

Review: Bobby Deerfield

[Originally published in Movietone News 58-59, August 1978]

Sydney Pollack has carted the same thematic luggage down the road so consistently that running a standard, connect-the-dots literary tracer through his feature works is relatively easy. Pollack has concerned himself not so much with issues of death as with things that are dead, or so close to death that there is no appreciable difference. His films imply that rigor mortis set in long before the scenario began, and will spread after the last reel. To his credit, the repackaging of the principal components of this tragic vision has always been fresh. We’ve had the opportunity to see Pollack’s marked men and women slowly die while slavishly and knowingly dressing up the cancer of a metaphorical promise (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?), through the ultimate victimization of human relationships by virtue of living in vulgar, extremist times (The Way We Were) or by a contagion of paranoiac losses (Three Days of the Condor).

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