CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

10/12/03 Double Feature "Out of Time" & "Intolerable Cruelty"

"Intolerable Cruelty" and "Out of Time" are two
entertaining motion pictures that feature actors who
have recently won academy awards, Catherine Zeta-Jones
and Denzel Washington. Even though both pictures
feature dark themes, both movies are told in a style
that is very entertaining.

Matt (Denzel Washington) is the police chief for
Banyan Key. It is a cushy position of authority and
he has time to role play with his girlfriend, Anne
(Sanaa Lathan). Anne is the abused wife of his
brooding colleague Chris (Dean Cain). Despite his
adultery, Matt can not legally pursue Anne because he
is awaiting the divorce papers from his future ex
wife, Alex (Eva Mendes).

Anne then learns that she has a unique cancer that may
be cured with special expensive treatment. Matt
knows where to borrow some money, albeit illegally.
The plot thickens when Chris and Anne's house suddenly
burns down.

"Out of Time" works as a crime drama because it does
keep you guessing. From the bucolic Keys to a fist
fight on the balcony of a Miami Beach highrise, the
film scores with the simplicity of character's hidden
motivations. The film takes everyday activities and
manages to create cliff hanging suspense. One notable
sequence involves a cell phone and a fax machine that
blankets the audience with tension.

"Out of Time" is an entertaining movie and should be
a hit on DVD. Besides Denzel Washington's reliable
performance, the movie features Graeme Revel's
seabreazzy jazz score that reminds us what South
Florida culture is all about. After giving strong
supporting roles in "Training Days" and "Once Upon
a Time in Mexico" Eva Mendes is memorable in her
first major leading role. The cinematography will sell
local tourism, despite the crime drama setting.

"Intolerable Cruelty" reunites George Clooney and
the Coen Brothers since "O Brother Where Art Thou?"
Attorney Miles Massey (Clooney) is the most successful
divorce lawyer in the history of mankind. He is so
successful that he is bored with his job. Enter
Marilyn (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a gold digger who
happens to catch her husband (Edward Herrman) in the
act of cheating.

The first divorce proceedings creates a game of one
upmanship between Marilyn and Miles. While there are
moments when "Intolerable Cruelty" veers towards
darkness, it does not get nearly as dark as Michael
Douglas/ Danny DeVito's "The War of the Roses."
The darkest point of this film sets
up a well executed sight gag that brought down the
theatre with a loud laugh. "Intolerable Cruelty"
succeeds as a screwball comedy that was so successful
in the late 1930's and 1940's.

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