Saturday, September 10, 2011

3 Short Paragraphs: The Lincoln Lawyer

2011, Brad Furman (only a straight to video action movie called The Take from a few years ago??) -- download

If you take the time to browse back through these postings, reviews or whatever you deem to call them, you will notice from time to time there are the toss-aways.  These are the movies that I DLed or rented or Netflix'd on whim but they never made much of an impression on me. It is these movies that return me to the days when I called myself a movie fan. When I saw every movie on the shelf at the local video store and usually every movie at the cinemas in town. That I would see the movies I knew I would like was a given, but I also gave time to other movies, as I just enjoyed the watching experience, seeing the emergence and evolution of certain directors and actors and screen writers. It was all source material for that persona within me, he who called himself a Film Buff.

I like Matthew McConaughey, a man's man actor of good looks, sly wit and confidence. His roles have varied from suit-wearing professionals to action heroes to good ol'boys. I like him, not for any real tangible skill in Hollywood, but because he is competent and always true to himself, no matter what role they toss at him. Simultaneously, he could disappear from acting and I probably wouldn't notice.  I know nothing about Furman and the writers were just the usual capable stock but it was based on a popular novel and that usually means at least a chance at something unique.

Strange how these 3 paragraphs are not really about the movie, one where a cocky lawyer to scumbags gets mixed up in a case that should be above his pay-grade but a sense of misplaced honor within him forces him to right a wrong.  It's a competent movie, like McConaughey is a competent actor, but it really drops the ball on what it could have been and what I suspect made the novel popular. It is not really about the lawyer driven around in his caddy, because he was kicked out of his practice -- that is just the prop for the character and never enjoyably explored.  The real story is a murder-mystery, decently executed, decently acted and given enough style to probably rent out enough to make the director some money.... if renting movies was still a revenue stream anymore. So, no not really about the movie at all but about the act of choosing, watching and dismissing movies.