Posted by: kfugrip | October 25, 2007

One hundred four: The Player

Victory is mine!  I’ve reached my goal.  I always knew that I would because I set the bar much lower than some would (365 movies in a year).  I’ve still got a few to cram into the last few months of the year, so the content will keep coming.  Maybe next year I do the same and up the ante.  I hope you like it and that you watch a few of these movies because of this blog, then come here a agree or disagree with me.  Without further adieu…
The Player, directed by Robert Altman, is another one of those films with a long opening shot.  This self reflexive film even refers to another famous opening shot, Touch of Evil, during the shot, twice.  It sets the scene nicely as most of the characters are introduced, including the flavor of Hollywood, which is really the main character of this film.

The Player is about Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) a studio executive in a crisis.  His job is in jeopardy and a writer is sending him threatening postcards.  In his confrontation with the accused writer there is a murder.  Griffin spends the movie attempting to find out who is blackmailing him, beating a murder rap, and most importantly, keeping his job.

What I liked: Hollywood in all it’s satirical glory is the main character of this film and Altman turning his cynical eye towards the soul of a studio executive is fantastic subject matter.   Altman pulls it off well and the jokes come fast, complete with the “Hollywood Ending(s)”.  Robbins is excellent as the asshole in anything and he’s at it again in this film.  Altman directs flawless performances when he’s successful, and he is here.

Many of the scenes play in long takes, which is a style that I like (as I’m sure you’ve read a million times).  Altman also uses the zoom a number of times here, which I normally hate but maybe Altman is the only other director who can use the zoom (the other is Stanley Kubrick).

What I didn’t like:  I didn’t find the cinematography to be very good in this film.  It seemed like a tv show the way it was lit.  While the movie had no glaring flaws (that I can remember) I wasn’t as engaged with it as I would like to have been.  If I compare this to Short Cuts then it doesn’t live up to the subtlety and depth of that movie, but it is pretty damn good.

4 stars

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Responses

  1. congratulations!

    will i make it to 52 books? no freaking way. *sigh*

  2. 52 books? christ. lavar burton once read 52 books in a year. now hes stone crazy. thinks hes reading on a rainbow or some such shit.

  3. dude. you have no idea. and i’m totally failing…i think i’m only at 38, with only 8 1/2 weeks to go. i’ll never make it.

    reading rainbow is AWESOME.


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