Despite the hype, ‘Tinker, Tailor’ is old-fashioned snooze-fest
Gary Oldman stars in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
- “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
★★ (out of four)
2011, Dir. Tomas Alfredson, U.S., R
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is rated R for violence and
- New films
Director: Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein.
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy.
The plot: When human forces discover the existence of the
Vampires and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species
Genre: Action, fantasy.
Director: Todd Graff.
Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton.
The plot: Two choir members have differing opinions on how to
win the national choir competition.
Genre: Comedy, music.
Director: Steven Soderbergh.
Starring: Gina Carano.
The plot: A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is
betrayed and set up during a mission.
Genre: Action, thriller.
- Film roundup
“Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol”
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
It’s an unapologetic, incredibly effective old-school thrill
ride that puts lively twists on familiar genre conventions: the
opening prison break, involving the constant opening and closing of
doors and gates, is staged with the madcap comic rhythms of Charlie
Chaplin and Jackie Chan; a second-act chase through the streets of
Dubai turns into a game of cat and mouse as a sandstorm sweeps
through the area; the climactic fight sequence satirizes the
absurdity of climactic fight sequences, while at the same time
indulging in that same ridiculousness to full, cheesy effect.
The film’s premise is intriguing, and rife with potential to
explore moral complexities. George Clooney stars as Matt King, a
workaholic attorney and father of two girls, whose wife is injured
in a boat race and rendered comatose. As Mike, a self-professed
“backup parent,” is faced with the prospect of caring for his
daughters alone, he is further disturbed by the revelation that his
wife had been carrying on an affair in the months before her
accident. Burdened by this knowledge, he sets out along with his
oldest daughter (Shailene Woodley) and her stoner boyfriend (Nick
Krause) to find and confront the man who was sleeping with his
wife. In the midst of all this drama is a subplot involving Matt’s
control over a pending land sale (he’s a direct descendant of King
Kamehameha, and holds sway over the family trust that includes
25,000 acres of pristine Hawaiian land), and its troubling
connections to the central conflict.
This is about as old-fashioned as old-fashioned family films
get, telling the relatively simple story of a young boy in 1930s
Paris struggling to find his natural place in the world around him
— not quite what you would expect from the man who gave us the pen
scene in “Casino.” But armed with a mastery of filmmaking technique
and a keen sense of character development, Scorsese proves once and
for all that he truly is capable of anything. “Hugo” shows us a
different side of the filmmaker — a charming, whimsical, thoroughly
magically side that permeates through the entire picture and makes
“Hugo” the one film from his repertoire that is guaranteed to leave
you with the warm fuzzies.
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 7:43 am
Hope you all enjoyed my top 10 list last week, and gleaned some
useful recommendations. This week I’ll take a very quick look at
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” which made my “most promising films I
didn’t see” list but ended up being one of the most spirit-crushing
disappointments of the year. I honestly don’t have much to say
about such an empty film, so I suppose I might as well squeeze in
my predictions for the Oscar nominations, set to be announced on
Tuesday, Jan. 24, at which point you will surely marvel at my
peerless prognosticative abilities.
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is based on the classic novel of the
same name by John le Carre, which is widely considered to be the
greatest spy story ever told. It is the sophomore directorial
effort of Tomas Alfredson, who gave us the beautifully realized
“Let the Right One In” just a few years ago. It boasts one of the
most impressive casts of any movie last year, including Gary
Oldman, Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, John Hurt, Toby Jones and Tom
Hardy. And it’s a gorgeous film visually, perfectly capturing the
look, feel and all-encompassing paranoia of the Cold War at its
Friday, January 13, 2012 7:43 am.