Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Auteur Watch - Howard Franklin
Now, I know that AntiTrust has gotten a bad rap lately, but I gotta say that having seen it on my kick-ass HD TV, I was entertained! I mean, let's look at the virtues, okay? Great cinematography, courtesy of Groundhog Day lensman John Bailey... that's good, right? Oh! I know who they were showing this for. See, my theory is that these cable companies, they pick films because perhaps they're influenced by the DGA to promote the films of the hot up and comers like Catherine Hardwicke, director of Twilight, and production designer here. Just a theory. Good name, too, like Max Power. That always helps. And Tim Robbins really nails it as a Bill Gates type. Remember, nerds! You gotta deliver for the big guy!
As for the film's place in the video store pantheon, not to give any plot points away, but it was perfect preparation for Phillippe's later work in Breach, and a fine follow-up to Arlington Road for Robbins. One scene of Phillippe's that I thought was a little strange was his reaction to seeing videotape of one of his geek friends getting the sh... getting beat with a baseball bat. But, really, isn't that how you would want your friends to react?
The plot was a little on the goofy side, and it's probably for the best that scripter Franklin didn't direct it himself. Get back on that horse, Howard! I tried not to outguess the plot too much, and the love triangle had a nice twist to it. I will concede that when the arch bad guy hugs the one girl at the end, well... THAT was pretty Hollywood. Hollywood just doesn't understand computer geeks at all, even the evil ones. Except for Swordfish, right? Right, Maxim? Incidentally, if you had a chick spectrum with Angelina Jolie on one end and Cate Blanchett on the other, where would you put Claire Forlani?
What else? Guess that's about it. Believe me, there are worse ways one could spend two hours. Sometimes you tolerate a film's flaws, and the flaws here I could tolerate. And as for all you baby Bills out there, what can I say? It's all for loops and if thens to me. As for you future Steve Jobses, be kind to your Wozniaks, if only for yourself.
-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan