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I watch movies. On DVD, at the theater, via cable TV. Sometimes I want people to know what I think about the movies I watch, regardless of whether or not they care. I promise I will make my reviews short, but I won't be ashamed to throw around cliches like "beautiful cinematography" and "post-modern irony," so be warned.

Monday, March 28, 2005 :::

The Upside of Anger

Why I saw it: Cuz I like Joan Allen

What I think about it: The upside of The Upside of Anger is that it really pulls itself together toward the end with a masterstroke of effective plotting that makes a strong point about the uselessness and wastefulness of resentment and anger. The downside of The Upside of Anger is that it meanders in the beginning and the middle, it creates too many female characters and then tries to give them all equal screen time, and it often devolves into forced sentimentalism. The best thing about the movie is the effortless lead performances by Joan Allen and even Kevin Costner (an actor who I usually find to be distractingly stone-faced). The worst thing about the movie is that all of the daughters roles sort of blend together in their pointlessness; and some of the subplots, like the gay bungee jumper and the ailing dancer for instance, are pretty rote. Mike Binder is the writer and director. You may know him better as the pedophile in Minority Report, or the most obnoxious man on Earth in HBO's short-lived The Mind of the Married Man series. I mostly know him as being responsible for one of most nauseating movies I've ever seen: The Sex Monster starring Mariel Hemmingway. So maybe I'm judging him a little harshly on his resume, but I believe that had this movie been made with a more skilled director and a more aggressive editor, that it could have been a really great movie. Right now it's merely a good one. But he surprised me with his ability to write a screenplay that actually makes a point. So maybe I'll temporarily forgive him for The Sex Monster.

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::: posted by dan at 10:02 PM :: #


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