Sometimes there’s an allure to an unknown. In the realm of film, this aura of mystery can often even seem to add some credibility. Unfortunately, some of these films would be better off if they just stayed unknown. These are some of those films.
Color Me Kubrick
Dir: Brian W. Cook
Color Me Kubrick is nothing more than an exercise for John Malkovich, the leading actor, to execute an awkward and boring one-man show. While the true backstory of the famous director’s impersonation is intriguing on paper, it’s dry on screen.
Perhaps the largest issue with the film is that Malkovich, an actor who has always held an air of thespian gravity, is attempting to be charismatic as a light-hearted gay man. Instead, he comes across as snide and never really connects with the audience, despite being the centre of the movie. He has never been one to master humour or connection with the masses.
The film, while interesting in concept, is worth skipping. Read about the story instead or, even better, just watch a Kubrick film.
Dir: Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci is a wonderful actor and Patricia Clarkson matches him scene-for-scene, but Blind Date is a futile attempt at reestablishing the “new” nuclear family. The film, co-written by Tucci, revolves around a couple trying to create a new foundation for their marriage following the death of their only child. The husband and wife each put out individual ads in the paper for dates, but attend blind dates together while the dead child narrates the events.
The film is as depressing as it sounds. Moreso, it offers almost no light during its entirety, except for the surprising daylight that comes in from the windows in the bar (the only set in the film.) Yet, it’s not the film’s depressing manner that makes it a one-time-only viewing. It’s the exhaustive and pretentious undertones. The film is like a child saying, “Look what I can do. I can seriously unearth the reality of America.” Unfortunately, that’s been done enough times before to be tiresome. Tucci is, however, a great writer with a strong handle on dialogue. His next one should be better.
638 Ways to Kill Castro
Dir: Dollan Cannell
With the famous dictator’s recent retirement and relieving the leadership to his brother Raoul, it could seem the ideal time to learn about the reported 638 assassination attempts on Fidel Castro’s life. It’s not.
The CIA, one of the main perpetrators, developed some clever schemes to thwart Castro, such as exploding cigars, but the intrigue fails to come across here. The film is riddled with repeat interviews with would-be assassins, but nothing from the title man, and it never offers anything in the way of “why.” It’s more an execution of “how” and “who,” which is like listening to cheerleaders listing off their moves rather than adding information about the game. It’s only one facet of an entire event.