View current page...more recent posts
Whether to see Collateral
was a tough call: in the plus column, ultra-visual director Michael Mann, and in the minus, the pretty boy with elevator shoes. James Wolcott's prominently-placed blog recommendation tipped the scales, and the movie ultimately delivered with its delirious, film-length night ride through the back streets, office districts, and low-rent apartment parking lots of Los Angeles. It's palpably gorgeous filmmaking, constantly veering between highly subjective close-ups and unusual architectural angles. The plot [spoiler] is almost identical to Phone Booth
's: a remorseless sociopath helps an everyday Joe get in touch with his inner feelings. A lot of it plays like a cop buddy film: the dialogue is sharp and funny but the story is the kind of thing that only happens in a Hollywood screenwriter's too-clever imagination. One funny subplot (OK, in a sick way) involves undercover detective Mark Ruffalo, who reprises the Scatman Crothers story line in The Shining
. And, OK, the elevator shoes guy is serviceable (as opposed to his usual out and out bad) as a graying, brush-cut psycho.