Attack of the 50-Hour Film.
I went to see a film last week. I then sat down to write the review of said film, but wanted to put as much thought to the review as I did while watching the movie.
So naturally I feel right asleep.
OK. The movie, Kansas City, is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, it was made infinitely better because the night after I saw it, I was subjected to The Island of Dr. Moreau, which is much, much worse. So this film was spared the venom and hatred which had building up inside.
They say that any Robert Altman movie is an "actor's exercise." I'm not sure why they say this, but they do. I also don't know who "they" are, but that's simply something I've gotten used to over the years. Heck, if we knew who "they" was, life as we now it would end, because we would have won.
So there is a lot of "acting" in this movie. Jennifer Jason Leigh "acts" all over this movie. She "acts" in the bathroom, she "acts" in the bedroom, she "acts" on the street, at the bar, in the car, at the telegraph station. You name it, she "acts" there. If you like what she always does, you'll like her, if you think she's an annoying little fruit-cake in need of a good spanking, you won't like this movie.
Also in the movie, and doing a damn fine job, are Miranda Richardson, best known for being Miranda Richardson, and Harry Belefonte, best known for singing the "Day-o!" song. They do good work. She runs around on drugs and being Miranda Richardson, and he struts throughout his club singing "Day-o!"
Just kidding about that last bit.
I couldn't figure this movie out at first, it had a strange rhythm that seemed to rise and fall with no warning and characters were woven through the story that had no real connection to the plot, and every scene was bathed in jazz music, whether it needed it or not.
Then I got it. Altman didn't make a movie. He made a 2 1/2 hour music video. And a jazz one at that. Man, and they got me to pay full price too. I was had!
Hey, if you dig jazz, I mean dig it man, then help yourself to some of the cool stylings of this flick's soundtrack. We're talking smooth grooves to slick your soul. Java baby, this is for the coolest of cats.
Otherwise, steer clear. The movie takes eighteen hours to get rolling, another seven to find a purpose, and twelve to end it. There were sixteen people in the theater at the beginning of the movie, and nine when it ended. I counted.
The ending, like all Altman endings, comes out of nowhere. However, it is unexpectedly and unnecessarily gory. Leaves ya with a bad taste in your mouth.
There are good points here. They are hard to find, and only the strongest will survive the hunt. But the acting is mostly quality. Steve Buscimi is great in the three minutes of the film that he's in. And Harry Belafonte can really belt a tune.
You know, I came into this film expecting mob fights, rousing gun battles, heavies pushing their weight around. The most action I got was from a saxophone duet.
So for it's troubles, Kansas City garners 1 7/8 Babylons. I was going to give it less, but I saw Dr. Moreau, a truly bad film, and I changed my mind. I was going to give it more, but I didn't because that would have been wrong.
I even thought about giving it the "Chick Film Rating" but I didn't, because it wasn't a chick film, it was just boring.