Crazy Like a Foxx March 19, 2007Posted by Ian W in : DVD Viewing Journal , add a comment
Five films featuring Jamie Foxx get added to the DVD Viewing Journal.
An enjoyable, if lightweight, film about con artists that thinks it’s smarter than it really is. Jamie Foxx isn’t the star here merely support, although he has about as much screen time (and probably more lines) than headliner Sylvester Stallone. The cast all have fun with their shady characters, Gabriel Byrne and Thandie Newton make the most of their parts as does Stuart Townsend as the cardsharp. The film tries to be a modern-day Cincinnati Kid but good as he is Townsend is no McQueen (not to mention Stallone being a poor sub for the great Edward G.) and the whole thing has a “seen it all before” quality to it. Still at little over 90 minutes it doesn’t outstay its welcome and it’s always nice to see old pros Hal Holbrook and Bo Hopkins.
Jamie Foxx stars in the true story of reformed gang-banger Stan “Tookie” Williams. This is a TV movie and, while the story it’s based on may be worthy, the film itself is just plain dull. Foxx is good as the gangster preaching peace from his death row cell but the problem is nothing much happens.
This is a BAD movie, it’s big, it’s dumb and it’s proud of it. It’s Top Gun with the HAL9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey replacing Goose as the wingman and Jessica Biel standing in for Val Kilmer as the love interest. Josh Lucas is insufferably smug as the head pilot and Jamie Foxx is your stereotypical loud black guy. Jessica Biel’s character is as one dimensional as the rest of the cast but at least when her plane crashes we get a bit of variety as Behind Enemy Lines is added to the mix. The special effects are good but without a decent story to hang them on it’s all wasted. This failed to set the box office on fire and it should come as no surprise that director Rob Cohen is currently attached to Mummy 3. He turned down sequels to two of his own films (The Fast and the Furious, xXx) but now he’s making the third entry in someone else’s franchise, that’s gotta hurt.
This is less the horror of war and more the boredom and discomfort of it. The young cast make a good impression with Peter Sarsgaard and Lucas Black being standouts. Sarsgaard reminded me of a young John Malkovich. Jamie Foxx as the veteran soldier teaching the new recruits how to survive is superb but it’s Jake Gyllenhaal whose job it is to carry the film and he does it with an assurance that belies his years. Chris Cooper’s role as Lt. Col. Kazinski is little more than a cameo but he steals every scene he’s in. One of the best war films for years, this is a Full Metal Jacket for the Gulf War.
Michael Mann’s big screen version of his old TV show is a bit of a letdown. It tells the sort of story the series could do in a 45min episode and drags it out to over two hours. It also wastes its two talented stars, Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, more interested in showing them naked in the shower (not together, don’t worry Crockett and Tubbs haven’t gone gay) than inside their characters heads. When the action does get going it’s pretty good but coming from the man who made Heat, pretty good just doesn’t cut it.