Once again, it is time to catchup with my film reviews.
Human Trafficking, the made-for-TV movie starring Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland is flawed. The subject matter is something that is better handled in a documentary. In taking this deadly serious matter and “hollywoodizing” it, the filmmakers have exploited the very people they purport to be helping. Simply making the traffickers into stereotypical “bad guys” and putting a traditional story arc and Hollywood ending dilutes the seriousness of human trafficking.
I probably would have overlooked the exploitation had it not been for Mira Sorvino’s absolutely horrible acting performance. Even Donald Sutherland appears to have mailed this one in. Skip this one and watch one of the many documentaries on the subject.
Normally I like Sutherland and Sorvino, but wow – these performances were hard to watch. I know the script was horrible, but the director (Christian Duguay) must have been the reason these guys did such a bad job. I see he directed the Pilot of the new CBS series Cane, which looks equally unwatchable.
RATING 5 out of 10
Brooklyn Rules is a film that sort of grows on you as you watch it. Let me say that any film starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Mena Suvari starts out with a few strikes against it. Alec Baldwin and Jerry Ferrara (Turtle from Entourage) held my attention long enough for me to sit through the entire movie.
I really wanted to hate BR, but little things like a script set against the real-life rise of mobster John Gotti, and the compelling appeal of a story of a group of guys that have known each other since they were kids, just keeps you interested. Was there anything groundbreaking or original about the film? No. It was just a decent little movie – worth your time if you’ve got nothing to do.
RATING 7 out of 10
American Gangster is a film very much like the previous entry. There is nothing real special about it. There are no outstanding or award-worthy performances. The only thing it has going for it, is frankly that it is interesting.
There are a couple of other similarities with Brooklyn Rules. Both take place in New York. Both chronicle stories involving organized crime. Both either are based on a true story or include real life events as a framework.
How does AG differ? Russell Crowe turns in the best acting performance of the two films combined. The story with American Gangster is much richer and more intelligent.
RATING 8 out of 10