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April 2, 2002


Watched: Amy and I went

Watched: Amy and I went to see Panic Room last night. Immediately after the credits, I said to Amy these things:

  • It's David Fincher's most consistent movie. The others all seem to fall apart in the 3rd act or vary their tone too much.
  • This one is much less ambitious, and I guess I could say "less disappointing" to watch. It knows what it is, and it pretty much sticks to it.
  • I feel there is slightly too much jokiness in the middle third. It's funny, but it lessens the tension a bit too much, and makes you take the bad guys less seriously.
  • Relatedly, I turned to Amy at one point and said, "This is a good movie and everything, but I can't help thinking of Home Alone." This, too, mainly comes up in the second act. The intruders do some kind of stupid things, and the audience laughs at their incompetence. I said to A., "Jodie is going to do [a McCauley Culkin face-covering gesture]." At that exact moment, Jodie did her Best Actress/McCauley Culkin face-covering gesture.

Some other stuff:
  • Much of the movie is very New York-y, but Dwight Yoakam's character struck me as being not New York-y at all, which is odd, because he has a line where he chides one of the other bad guys for not being NY-y enough. (Incidentally, Forrest Whitaker grew up not very far from where the movie takes place.)
  • I think the special effect of moving the (virtual) camera through small places was over-used. Initially, Fincher uses the effect to sweep from floor to floor, sustaining very long tracking shots. By the time he's following the current through a light bulb, I felt like Martin Short in Innerspace.
  • The pacing of the movie is very good -- basically from the time the people break into the house, you don't really get a chance to go to the bathroom.
  • There is a really bold slow-motion sequence which starts off exciting, then makes you laugh nervously, then goes on so long it re-engages you and really builds up tension in an interesting way. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but about 3/4 of the way through decided that it was brilliant.

All in all, the movie is not bad and I recommend it for fans of Fincher, Foster, Jared Leto, and McCauley Culkin.

posted by adm at 12:20 AM | #


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