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at the Plaza Theatre, 18 December 2004
12 Deus ex Machinas
Not a full review, not worth the effort.
Okay, i saw it Saturday. It's a decent film, with some cool CGI, a host of newish camera angles, some actors in roles a little out of the ordinary (unless you saw Ocean's Eleven: The Rehash), and some odd plot twists; HOWEVER, the finale depends so much on so many contrivances that it probably should have been named Ocean's Twelve Deus ex Machinas. Just a huge letdown at the end when you realize that all of what you were watching was to set up a silly fist and switch itself only seen in brief flashback and voiceover. It all felt very cheap and dissatisfying (how about the private conversation to set up the sting, that of course was only a setup for something that's already happened that they were already a part of -- it's kind of like eating a spaghetti dinner, and then discussing with yourself later how you're going to eat a hamburger for the meal you've already eaten -- okay then, you watch it and tell me it's not -- of course, what it was was a device meant purely to set up the audience, and is, perhaps the worst non-parody break of fourth wall i've ever seen). And the penultimate denouement, Tellour's capoeira through the "random" laser field in the museum, is especially disgusting for it's total improbability (of course with CGI lasers added after the dance, how could he possibly be zapped?), and the idea that it's being shown as it's being told in flashback (the explanation might take 20 seconds, the flashback is like five minutes -- i.e., ridiculous). As i said, hardly worth the effort to write about. I'm not recommending it to anyone.
P.s. the Julia Roberts as Tess faking Julia Roberts is neither original nor particularly satisfying, though it might qualify as cute.
P.s.s. and a theatre complaint -- someone needs to be present and awake at reel changes. After the first the frame was off-center and left that way for ten minutes until a patron finally got up and went to get someone to change it. At change two the sound skied and was left that way way too long before someone fixed it. It made for a poor viewing experience.