Review: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: 5 of 5 stars

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Mike Shea, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Mike Shea

    Mike Shea Guest

    I had no idea what a pure bred movie I'd be watching when I threw in
    Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I knew it was hot stuff. I knew the
    hype factor was pretty high. I expected it to be good. It was.

    What I didn't know was that it was directed and starred by George
    Clooney. A lot of folks don't give him half the credit he deserves. They
    see a bunch of 8x10 glossies of him walking up a red carpet and
    instantly hate him. I ignore the actor and concentrate on the work. His
    work includes Solaris, and O Brother Where Art Thou, both wonderful
    movies and examples of his true acting talent. Confessions shows what a
    great director he is. There are some scenes of real power and excellent
    visuals. The confrontation between our hero and his mentor at the pool
    is one. The fate of the relationship between Patrica and Chuck is
    another. Throughout the whole movie are incredibly engineered shots that
    go far out of their way not to use digital effects that most directors
    have built their names on. The director's commentary mentions at least
    twelve such shots such as the NBC lobby tours, the dating game set
    shots, and a phone conversation between our hero and the head of NBC.
    All of the shots seem to replace digital effects with actors running and
    changing sweaters. They're really well done.

    I also didn't know that this movie was written by Charlie Kaufman, the
    writer of the mentally twisting Being John Malcovich and Adaptation. If
    you haven't seen those yet, you should. They are remarkable movies that
    break the Hollywood formula. I didn't know that it was produced by
    Stephen Soderbergh, a director with a list of great pictures a mile long
    including Solaris, Traffic, Out of Sight, and The Limey. We will forgive
    him for Erin Brakovich and Oceans Eleven. We will also forgive this
    movie for Julia Roberts. If actors are the color of a picture, she's
    that one puke brown Crayola crayon we should just leave in the box.

    The Dogma 95 Rules of Chastity remove all notable style from a movie.
    They take away all of the tricks and gimmicks that directors might want
    to add to flavor their movie. Spike Lee's quick cutting and repeating
    scenes in 25th Hour. Soderbergh's color filters on Traffic. Spielberg's
    acid washed print in Saving Private Ryan. They all seem to be there to
    give the movie a flavor. They color the work. They take away from the
    story. You see a lot of it in Confessions. Confessions, for almost half
    the movie, is washed out to the point of me checking the contrast on my
    monitor. Whites bleed together. Glares take over half the screen. Bright
    pinks and baby blues seem like they are painted with one stroke. Skin
    tones look like they were painted with water color. I am sure this was
    intentional, and some may like it. I am not sure I do. I won't go so far
    as to say no movie should have a style. Most of the movies I mentioned I
    liked a lot. I do not know that the style made the picture.

    The DVD of Confessions is an excellent cut. It has a 2.35 to 1 16x9
    enhanced picture that looked great when it wasn't completely washed out.
    The scenes of clarity, the ones where our hero is about to murder
    someone, all were crystal clear. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was
    excellent. It was one of a rare set of movies I could crank up without
    being evicted. There are a set of deleted scenes and a directors
    commentary as well. I have decided no longer to remove a star for a lack
    of a DTS soundtrack. DTS should be abolished, there should only be one
    audio format. The added confusion of DTS detracts from the ability of an
    average consumer to enjoy a movie, for a negligible gain.

    Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is an excellent movie. Like many movies
    I've seen this year, it is a movie that makes me love movies as a whole.
    It makes me want to sit down and write about it. It makes me want to
    hang more posters around my apartment. I love it. I love the direction,
    the acting, and the story. Watch it.

    Mike Shea
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    Mike Shea, Oct 23, 2003
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