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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
April 24, 2006
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Derailed and Restaurant-- Movies that Kinda Sucked
Topic: Movie Reviews
This was a bad movie viewing weekend for moi.

Despite Jennifer Aniston's presence in the movie Derailed, I longed to see this movie because it starred the incredibly sexy and brooding Clive Owen.Mr. Owens has been on imaginary "To Do List" since I saw him Closer with Julia Roberts and Jude Who? Derailed had a lot of buzz surrounding it because it was supposed to be an erotic thriller of sorts--a man is dragged into a web of blackmail and murder because of an extra marital relationship. I was panting before the movie hit the theaters. Finally, I get the flick in my DVD player and I'm sorely disappointed. SORELY DISAPPOINTED

Clive Owen's plays Charles Schine, the poor sap who is pulled into a scheme to cover up a crime to protect his wife from learning about his affair. Schine makes one stupid and clumsy decision after the next. It is painful to watch Owen poor all this angst and pain into the world's most stupid man. When Schine's co-worker, Winston (played by the rapper and head of the Wu Tang Clan, RZA) becomes a deadly victim half way through the movie, I stop the movie. Winston's presence is the only decent thing in the flick, and keeps me watching. His demise feel like a betrayal. However, I do make it through the rest of the movie.

Clive Owen's dark and simmering eyes couldn't save this movie for me. This sexy thriller provided too little sex and not enough thrill.

I then moved on to the 2000 indie flick Restaurant starring Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, Grammy-winner Lauryn Hill, and a host of other recognizable actors from Malcolm-Jamal Warner to Jesse L. Martin to Simon Baker. Restaurant is a complicated little movie about the lives of struggling artists working in a New Jersey eatery. The movie tries very hard to dissect U.S. race relations between blacks and whites as well as love relations between men and women.

Adrien Brody's Chris is a playwright with a penchant for acquiring black women as lovers while trying not to become the racist his father was. (It is worth noting that perhaps Chris goes out of his way to have black lovers as a form of rebellion towards his dead father--using the women for their skin color. This angle is never really explored.) His best buddy, Reggae, is white and feels more comfortable cruising the hood for marijuana and hookers than his black friends whom the neighborhood would be far safer for them to travel. Lauryn Hill and Elise O'Neal are the two African-American loves of Chris's life, and who are also pursued by Simon Baker's character.(Lauyrn Hill's Leslie does fall for the charms of Baker offscreen.) Half in jest, I describe would Restaurant as the movie where the white men get the black women and the black men stand at the back and ignore it.

Restaurant also tries to tackle the hardships of broken hearts and forming new love relationships. It also tackles alcoholism, the delicate nature of using the word Nigger (um, sorry, "N" word), homophobia, classism, and the tenuous balance between sexuality and religion. This movie is so ambitious that it loses its identity in the midst of all the subplots. It becomes a fractured character study where we never fully understand the behaviors of the main characters or understand how they're able to resolve their crisis.

On the plus side, it had more sex than Derailed.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:21 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: April 24, 2006 11:25 PM EDT

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