Tag Archives: Jamie Foxx

Collateral creates a disagreement

6 Aug

Collateral-film

Michael Mann’s Collateral is one of the best modern noir films of the 21st Century, although my partner in crime (Chuck) completely disagrees with this statement.

Like Mann’s previous film Heat, Collateral was shot entirely in Los Angeles and the environment comes through. Tom Cruise uncharacteristically plays an antagonist while Jamie Foxx serves as the hero in this film about a hitman (Cruise) getting into a cab and “asking” the cabbie (Foxx) to bring him to five locations to carry out his “business.” I believe the stars are dynamic together and each give one of the best performances of their career, but my partner feels they are wrong for the parts. Screenwriter Stuart Beattie creates two original characters that help keep the film grounded in a game of cat and mouse. Mann allows the tension to build, which has become a trademark of his thrillers. Collateral has substance, whereas Chuck thinks he is caught up in his style.

WORD COUNT: 158

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: B-

Any Given Sunday is a winner

3 Feb

Any-Given-Sunday

In 1999, American Football was transitioning from the run the ball up the middle offenses to a more wide open passing game that featured speed on the outside and brutal hits across the middle, which made for great entertainment for popular audiences. Oliver Stone’s film, Any Given Sunday opens the locker room door to reveal a cast of football players and coaches that will go to any lengths to win the game of football. Like most of his films, Stone wants to communicate the social, cultural, and political underpinnings governing his characters’ choices. For the most part, he is successful because of the film’s cast and production value are top-notch, but at times it can be heavy handed. The camera work captures the speed and impact of the game while football fans are able to see some of the game’s legends (Lawrence Taylor) act alongside some veteran talent (Al Pacino, James Woods, and Dennis Quaid). Any Given Sunday is a winner.

WORD COUNT: 160

Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: B-

Jarhead stages a counter-attack

12 Nov

Early on, Jarhead can be compared to Full Metal Jacket, but then the film switches gears and slows down to become a psychological study of a group of soldiers belonging to a sniper unit.

Based on a true story, Andrew Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a marine training for the Gulf War. His unit’s Staff Sergeant Sykes (Jamie Foxx) are given orders to hunt down and kill their enemy, but by the time the soldiers enter the kill zone the war is over.

Director Sam Mendes puts together an alternative perspective to the classic war movie. His cinematography is always in top form and the performances he gets have several rich layers. My only criticism is the inconsistent pacing and anti-climatic feeling everyone is left with, but I am sure Mendes intended to do this because he wanted to reveal the loneliness of deployment after a period of aggressive, relentless training. Jarhead stages a counter-attack rather than a full fledged assault.

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: N/A