7 January 2008

Auto Focus (3/5), Permanent Midnight (3/5)

Auto Focus [ IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]. Permanent Midnight [ IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ].

Two NetFlix flix that have been sitting around for months because we didn't want to be depressed but I would have been equally depressed if we returned them without watching them.

Our queue is seldom ordered, and these two just happened to come up at the same time, being perfectly paired if you want to feel low afterwards. Both are buoyed by strong leads in unflattering roles and both leads' downfalls are difficult to watch. Add to that the fact that both scripts kept me engaged for similar reasons: they provided a view into the quirky life of a successful-ish television star (Bob Crane) and a successful-ish television writer (Jerry Stahl). Auto Focus was more successful overall as a movie. Ben Stiller was too over-the-top at times, and I never believed that his wife would have stayed with him. The over-the-top was part of the style (it had a rushing, second-half-of-Goodfellas feel through much of it) but just seemed to fall apart at times. And the Sheherazade aspect of the first two thirds seemed clumsy in how the story was being told compared to the story being told.

Time to cleanse the palate with some Collected Three Stooges Volume 1.

[ posted by sstrader on 7 January 2008 at 11:29:33 PM in Cinema ]