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August 21, 2004

Double Feature

Last night, my plans were to see "The Village" with my friend Jen at the Loews on Tremont, followed by dinner. When we came out of the theater, it was downpouring, and neither of us had raingear with us... so we decided to see a second movie, "Collateral", and make pretzel nuggets our dinner.

Brief, non-spoiler reviews first.

The Village: When I read that there was a twist, I couldn't help but try and guess what it might be. And I was pretty much right. So that kind of bummed me out. But even then, it just kind of felt like one big Twilight Zone episode. A lot of cool ideas, but they didn't really pan out. B-.

Collateral: I didn't think I could buy Tom Cruise as a hit man, but he did a great job, as did Jamie Foxx. Great story, great action. A.

That's all you really need to know, but if you want more—complete with spoilers—read on.

The Village: When I tried to guess the twist, my guess was that they were really living in the present day, but that the creatures were actually from the outside world. So I was close.

Anyway, something bothered me about the movie pretty quickly. One was that the dialogue seemed awkward and stilted. It was like it was M-Night's best guess at how people might have spoken a century ago, not having done a whole lot of research. But... in light of the twist, it actually makes sense. These are present-day people mixing their present-day parlance with what they think sounds... well, old. And they're bound to sound inauthentic. So that wasn't so bad.

But the other thing that bugged me was the acting, particularly on the part of the Walker girls, Kitty and Ivy. Was Kitty's speech to Lucius supposed to be funny? It just felt like a high school production. And it was a good while before I realized that Ivy was supposed to be blind. Here's a little hint... if you're playing a blind person, don't move your eyes around, and particularly do not look your co-stars in the eyes.

Oh, and poor Adrian Brody, left to play the Village Idiot—one archetype I could easily do without in movies.

One interesting thing I noticed... The first member of the village to "climb the wall"... was named Ivy. Oh, that clever M-Night.

Anyway, this just didn't have the same power that his other films did.

Collateral: Not a whole lot more to say about this one, actually. Well done in all aspects. Oh, that detective, Ray Fanning... I knew I'd seen him before, and I could not for the life of me figure out where. It was only walking out of the theater that I remembered who he was—only because I saw him in a poster for the upcoming movie "We Don't Live Here Anymore". Mark Ruffalo. He's had a lot of little parts here and there recently, and he's been impressive enough for me to recognize him! This time out was no different. I'm glad the rain kept us inside after all!

01:29 PM | Permalink


thank you. I was linked via millinerd and am greatful that now i have substantive evidence against seeing this film. I was skeptical, and with your description (and low score) I find it suffice to deter me from seeing it. although the wandering eyes of the blind do seem rather enticing.

Posted by: tommy | Aug 28, 2004 9:21:48 AM