Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Layman Movie Review: Magnolia

My friend Linda Lee bought this for either Kim or myself a Christmas or two back. It was one of those DVDs I didn't mind having, though I guess obviously I didn't want to watch it too bad. I mean, I saw it once in the theater, and walked out thinking well of it, even if it was damn long. Rewatching it, it's easy to see how somebody could get sucked into it. It's got a great beginning, and Ricky Jay has probably the all-time greatest narrator voice in history. On second viewing, the movie seemed just as long (some movies breeze by with repeat viewings, but not this one.) Julianne Moore, in particular, is a huge fucking drag every nanosecond she is on screen, even though I suppose her character is supposed to be. (I feel the same about her in Big Lebowski, and yet I don't hate her like I hate certain other movie stars.) And poor Tom Cruise, he wants so badly to be respected as an actor, but he just can't get away from that frat-boy pretty boy prick persona. Yeah, I know he embraces it for this movie, but in the end, it simply feels like Tom Cruise, once again, Trying Too Hard.

There's some other things in the movie that seem to make less sense on repeat viewing. The beginning suggests this is a story about synchronisty and fantastic coindidence, but I don't think it ties together all that well in bringing the storyline together. It has a lot of characters who are similar to one another, just existing in different places in time, or making different decisions, but so what? The movie does a better job with themes, and clearly the theme is forgiveness of others, and yourself. The rain of frogs was cool, but it did't really unify anything. Maybe there's a directors cut, with even more shit to tie this tapestry of characters together, but I'm not sitting breathlessly around waiting for it to show up.

Oh well. I'm lukewarm to this DVD. I probably won't sell it, at least, not until I need the space on my DVD cabinet, and that's a long ways off. ...but then again, I probably won't rush to rewatch this movie at anytime soon.

1 comment:

Mantis said...

Dang, i don't know where I am, but I agree. That movie was mediocre. That criticism was from 5 years ago, that's crazy