Friday, April 28, 2006

Tribeca 11: miscellaneous

Since we've got five screenings today, we're going to stop doing it in catagories and just put stuff up.....

Mee Shee: The Water Giant (Canada, U.S.A) - North American Premiere. A Screenmedia Release.

Directed by
John Henderson

When you have a film specifically made for babies, you can get away with a heck of a lot more plot holes than you would in a film made for older audiences. A simple story that doesn’t talk down to the wee ones is all that is necessary, and the special effects should be good too. That’s where the Jim Henson creature shop comes in, but more on that later.

Sean Cambell(Bruce Greenwood) is a heroic rescue submariner, flying around the world with his minisub and trusty assistant Neilds(Joe Pingue) saving people and important artifacts from the bottom of the sea. But does his six-year-old son Mac(Daniel Magder) appreciate that? Not on your life!!!

So when a vacation to Sea World is suddenly aborted when a helecopter is shot down over the Great Slave Lake in Northern Canada, Sean and Neilds are on the job, and they decide to take little Mac along, Mac’s mom having been killed offstage sometime before. So they head off to the Great White North, where Mac is told by the landlady(Phyllida Law), about the legend of Mee Shee, the great lake’s own monster, who few have seen and allegedly lives in a cave somewhere.

Given a bike Mac drives around the area, and here he falls into a hole, goes through a rollercoaster-like tunnel into the lake, and gets saved by the monster, who, being made by the Jim Henson company to look friendly, reminds one of a giant manatee.

Of course there’s danger, as evil competitors of the oil company our hero works for has sent to stock villians(Joel Tobeck and Charles Mesure) to sabotage Dad’s mission. In what might be an original idea that seems to have gone nowhere, this is at first blamed on Greenpeace, who in real life do do such things. But this is for little children and we can’t have that sort of thing, especially for a Canadian production.

The film follows a cookie-cutter plot after some cute innovations, and the jokes work. What annoys the grownups is the fact that the government of Canada is nowhere to be seen except for Laura (Luanne Gordon), of the Canadian environment ministry, but she doesn’t have a radio to call the cops with.

Wait until it comes out on the Disney Channel or Nick.

Crime Novel (Romanzo Criminale)

Written and Directed
by Michele Placido

The mafia in Italy isn’t as smart as the mafia here in the ‘States. We’ve got an epic here, and it seems that if you’re mean enough you can pretty much roll over the Italian mob in Rome with just a flick of the finger.

Ice(Kim Rossi Stuart), Black(Riccardo Scamarcio), Lebanese (Pierfrancesco Favino) and the Dandy(Claudio Santamaria) have been friends since they were little kids. They’re loyal to each other and to no one else, as they hit the big time by kidnapping a minor noble. They kill him before getting the ransom, but after getting the money Lebanese gets the brilliant idea to invest the money in wholesale cocaine instead of fancy cars and cheap women.

So with a bribe here and a stabbing there, they quickly take over the rackets in the eternal city. But Capt. Scialoja(Stefano Accorsi) is on their trail, which should be scary for them, but the Italian Intelligence service is on the side of the crooks. This is a story taking decades, so when the Red Brigades kidnaps and murders a former prime minister, our boys are enlisted to help find him, but they fail. That’s Italy for you.

Then there’s the women, the Dandy is in love with Patrizia(Anna Mouglalis), the best whore in Rome, and to show this he buys her a cathouse of her own, but unbeknownst to him, she’s also sleeping with the good Capitain. Ice is in love with the innocent and cultured
Roberta(Jasmine Trinca), who hasn’t a clue what a royal shit she’s screwing. This is a long film, so there’s lots of soap opera to fill the spaces between the shootings and stabbings.

For a film of this magnitude and scope, this is surprisingly boring. We don’t really care a rat’s ass about any of these people, even though Stewart is quite good looking.

Don’t bother.

The Groomsmen (U.S.A.).

Written and Directed
by Edward Burns

Paulie(Ed Burns) and Sue(Brittany Murphy) are finally getting married, and it’s about time, what with her being six months pregnant and all. So Paulie, has wants to get his best buddies together for the big event.

Getting his brother Jimbo (Donal Logue), cousin Mike(Jay Mohr) and old pal Dez (Matthew Lillard) was easy, they all live on City Island, but TC(John Leguizamo) has disappeared years before and finding him was lots of work. But found he was and as the movie starts, he’s waiting at the train station.

Of course, everyone in the group has problems, and that’s the main focus of the film, how to deal with the problems of everyday life when you don’t know what you really want and are beginning to get on in years.

What this is, is a typical film about nothing, which is what Burns likes to do best. Everyone gets to work through their problem except Dez, whos managed to figure everything out. There are parts of it which are interesting, and the acting is for the most part really good, after all this is the young has-been brigade of former teen stars and this proves that they haven’t lost any of their mojo.

Worth a look when it lands on cable.

No comments: