Sunday, November 02, 2008

Pick 'n' Mix!

We start with a more manageable number of Pride and Glory reviews this week, and while not quite all of them make an appearance below, points raised are largely representative of the remainder. According to IMDb, the film is now out in Greece, Israel and Italy and is scheduled for release in the UK on Friday. Enjoy!

Scrumptious centre, unscrumptious coating
  • John M. Urbancich of the The Plain Dealer laments that Pride and Glory's cast - including a 'superb Jennifer Ehle' and an 'always terrific Jon Voight' - cannot rescue the film from 'guilt by familiarity'.

  • Gary Thompson from the Philadelphia Daily News considers the iron scene to be one step too far. However, despite claiming that other members of the genre outweigh the film, Thompson admits there is 'nothing wrong' with Pride and Glory's performances.

  • The Scotsman wins the award for most hilarious partial nay, likening Pride and Glory (on account of its apparent superfluity) to 'a sixth toe or another Madonna tour'. But after an even ouchier moment - 'it's just The Departed without the Oscar winners' - some plus points are mentioned, with the film being considered 'watchable', the actors hailed as well-suited, and Ms Ehle being described as 'bald but improbably radiant'.

  • Paralleling this in places, Carol Cling at Lonokenews thinks the film barely keeps its head above water. But, after diagnosing 'a serious case of subplot-itis', Cling praises actor John Ortiz and a 'wonderful [Jennifer] Ehle, almost unrecognizable from her days in...Pride and Prejudice' who 'delivers a few wrenching moments'.

  • Over at Greenville News, the reader reviews are as mixed as those from the professionals, with comments ranging from 'an entertaining and worthy view' on the one hand to a one-starred suggestion of a not-so-nice name change on the other.

  • More substantive thoughts return with Matthew Fox at the Paso Robles Press, who despite giving his fair share of harsh comments notes that 'the scenes between Emmerich and Ehle serve as the most heartfelt in the film'. He also gives high marks to both Jon Voight and John Ortiz.

  • Describing the film as 'a textbook example of what a movie looks like when it is made up of an A+ cast and a D+ script', Chester Carson of the Juneau Empire airs most succintly this frequently raised point. He goes on to give several (non Ehle-related) reasons to warrant his opinion of excellent acting and not-so-excellent writing.

  • At GT Weekly, Lisa Jensen's title instantly reveals her nay stance, but she does refer to 'the lovely Jennifer Ehle' and, echoing the above article, talks of 'an excellent cast who deserved so much more.'

  • It's the same story again from the Newsleader, who say the following:
[...] Acting is the true shining star in this otherwise pedestrian film, with Edward Norton and Jon Voight turning in strong performances, buoyed by a group of minor roles that are handled with skill, regardless of how small. Standouts among them are the relative unknowns John Ortiz as Sandy, one of the crooked cops, and Jennifer Ehle as Francis' wife, Abby. [...]
  • Cut somewhat from the same cloth is The Ithacan Online. After speaking positively about the leads, Hannah Agatston goes on to say:
[...] The other actors in 'Pride and Glory' do a mediocre job of holding the audience’s interest, except for Frannie’s wife, played by Jennifer Ehle, who evokes emotion as she battles with cancer. [...]
It looked delicious...but wasn't
  • Alone in this group is David Adams at 360 Entertaiment, who gives Pride and Glory several hints of praise, before suggesting we rent The Departed instead.

The sour laces

  • There's always one, and this week it is Matt Soergel of The Times-Union, who proves in just two sentences why the 'nay' crown should go to him. Directly behind him however is Alexa Santoro of the Daily Collegian, who ends up bestowing a C+ despite an unutterably scorching first sentence.

That nice one you didn't realise was left

  • In other news, Broadway World reveals that in just a week's time, Jennifer Ehle will be utilising her presenting skills again! She will be one of several guest presenters at the New York part of the 24th Annual Artios Awards, which honour excellence in casting. Exciting stuff! As the website explains:

[...] The awards will be presented at coast-to-coast ceremonies on Monday, November 10th, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and Caroline’s on Broadway in New York. Guest presenters in New York will include Bryan Batt, Jason Biggs, Robert Buckey, Danny Burstein, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Ehle, John Gallagher, Gavin Lee, Norm Lewis, Rebecca Luker, Alan Menkin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hunter Parrish, Kristen Schall, Sherie Renee Scott, and Michael Urie, among others. [...]

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