Friday, October 28, 2011

Quick Thoughts: "In Time", "Anonymous"

Andrew Niccol's sci-fi thriller and corporate allegory "In Time" is, almost from the first few minutes, some kind of disaster. Even with a cast of young, sexy up-and-comers, the film is so logically nonsensical that to call it "half-baked" is a disservice to the word "half". 
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Like most science-fiction these days, "In Time" is simply a pastiche of genre tropes, except the film doesn't even have a fresh coat of paint to help wash it down. A "Logan's Run" introduction gives way to a shoddy against-the-system uprising a la "Bonnie and Clyde" or "Robin Hood", with the film's rob-the-rich-to-give-to-the-poor bassline ringing timely, if obviously so, as we watch protesters in Wall Street and around the country condemn the imbalance of power. 
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Yet for what the film has in opportune thematic timeliness, it completely lacks in narrative traction or sensibility, essentially dissolving into a film about people running around looking at their wrists. Money is currency in "In Time," and if that's the case, 2 hours is too steep a price to pay for what you get here. [D]
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Well, Roland Emmerich has done it, he's gotten old people to see one of his movies. My sparsely attended, elderly-skewed audience spattered with an approving golf-clap at the conclusion of his latest, "Anonymous," an Elizabethan Era yarn of historical conjecture regarding the perceived work of William Shakespeare. 
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The film nearly loses its audience in the first thirty minutes, clumsily framing its quill-and-ink, ruff-and-puff mystery-thriller in a bevy of storytelling devices, testing our ability to decipher and memorize each name with its proper face. 
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And although the film occasionally, eventually comes through in a way, it never quite sinks its hooks into the viewer, resembling one of Emmerich's least bombastic and restrained works, which, in fact, turns "Anonymous" into a bit of a middling costume drama - what no apocalypse? [C+]

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