Amazon Holiday

Monday, April 7, 2008

Redbelt

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A Jiu-jitsu Master's (Chiwetel Ejiofor) faith in honor and integrity is put to the test when his personal life starts to fall apart.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Alice Braga, Emily Mortimer, Joe Montegna, Rodrigo Santoro, Max Martini, David Paymer, John Machado

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. I really liked it because it harkens back to the roots of martial arts, which are based in honor and respect, not in kicking ass and taking names. These themes make for inspirational lessons about sticking to your ideals and morals, even when it feels like everybody else is getting ahead by leaving their own at the door. Unfortunately, the concept may scare away movie goers who don't like martial arts, and don't realize that this movie is more about moral philosophy than violence. And at the same time, it could disappoint true martial arts aficionados, because there's not all that much fighting in the film, and what is there is shot artistically, rather than in your face, blood and guts.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: If you're in show business you'll get the one joke.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Not cry, but hopefully inspire you to stand tough in the face of what's right, even when everyone around you is knowingly choosing what's wrong.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Chiwetel Ejiofor won an Independent Spirit Award last year for Talk to Me, and in this movie he's even better.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: It is a strange combination of actors giving the performances of their lifetimes, and actors who seemed like they are perhaps not professionals. David Mamet is known for his difficult-to-say, realistic dialogue, so when someone doesn't bring it, it's very hard to hide.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Mamet tries some interesting techniques with the focus, like racking away from the person or thing the scene is about, and making them blurry. I'm not sure that it works. Also, as mentioned earlier, the fight scenes show you very little of what's going on physically (perhaps to cover up the fact that the actors are not always fighters). This is especially true in the climactic fight, where inserts and close-ups are used in such a way that you have very little idea what they're of, and why they've been inserted.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: It builds to a clever second half and a satisfying and unexpected ending. The structure is somewhat unconventional-- which I respect, because it works for the most part-- but it also may be the reason the first half meanders and drags on a little.

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1 comment:

Film-Book dot Com said...

This film had its moments but is not in the league of Mamet's Spartan at all. I did like the realistic approach to the fight scenes though. I wasn't used to it because I have grown up on Hollywood action films with aggrandized martial arts sequences.