Saturday, April 29, 2006

'The Final Cut' ...

Have you seen this movie?

I'm guessing not. Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't even heard of this movie.

It was released in 2004. Made for about a quarter of a million dollars. It opened on 117 screens. Three weeks later, it had earned about a half a million dollars.

I didn't realize it was even in theaters. But with Robin Williams at the acting helm, it wouldn't have been a straight-to-video candidate.

So as Mr. Williams steers "R.V." and his career down an arid path this weekend, allow me to recommend this film.

Actually, "recommend" isn't strong enough.

L.A. Dave suggested I see this film. I don't remember the impetus. Were we talking about "Brainstorm"? Were we talking about Robin Williams' performances?

No matter. L.A. Dave recommends good stuff, and I believe this is his finest recommendation yet.

I really loved this movie. I love the premise and the social commentary and the questions it raises.

I love the score. Brian Tyler, whom I've never heard of before this film, has a style that reminds me of Danny Elfman mixed with Philip Glass. (An IMDb search reveals Tyler's credits and it's really more a case of knowing his music but not his name; it's not like he's got the name recognition of Hans Zimmer ... yet.)

But most of all, I love one single moment in the film, literally about one second on the screen, a gesture by Robin Williams so subtle it's almost imperceptible. I scanned backward to watch the scene again to confirm what I thought I'd seen and then paused the disc, dumbfounded. It's one of the best moments of acting I've ever seen. I'm going to guess that he wasn't directed to do it. I think he's such a brilliant actor that such a tiny bit of nuance would just happen, that his brain would just insert it into the moment.

A true test of how much I like a film is how much time I spend with the extras. Some films make so little an impression on me that I eject the discs the moment the credits roll. But if I love a movie - and I love this movie - I continue the relationship through all the extras.

And then I go out and buy it.

Or, I remember that Netflix sells previously viewed films and I go to Netflix and buy it. Which I just did.

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