Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday's Top Trailer: Harry Brown

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Tuesday's Top Trailer. One of my favorite parts about going to see movies is the series of trailers that airs beforehand and, more often than not, the trailer is far better than the actual film. Each week, I'll be sharing a trailer I've recently seen. Please chime in with comments on what you think of the trailer and how you think the movie is going to be.

Harry Brown – Opening April 30, 2010

Some stars, especially those with more Oscar nominations than can be counted on one hand, have earned a certain reputation as truly excellent actors. There are those who do that and then start churning out remarkably awful garbage, like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and then there are others who stick to the good stuff and don't need an "Everybody's Fine" to demonstrate to the world that they're still trying. Michael Caine is a terrific actor who is still turning in exceptional performances at the age of 77. He played the entertaining and loyal Alfred in both "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight," but look no further than his memorable and moving supporting turn in "Children of Men" a few years ago to find a truly admirable and respectable turn by the British actor. The difference here is that he gets to take his still-preserved talent and put it to good use in a leading role. I always wanted to but somehow never got around to seeing "The Quiet American," the 2002 film for which Caine earned his most recent Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and I imagine Caine did a terrific job there. But when it comes to "Harry Brown," this part reminds me a lot of an amalgamation of the roles Clint Eastwood and Hal Holbrook played in "Gran Torino" and "That Evening Sun," respectively. All three characters are outliers from their communities, old timers who maintain the sensibilities and lifestyles they grew up knowing, refusing to adhere to what the young folk around them tell them they must do in order to assimilate. That approach worked well for the aforementioned two senior citizen actors, and I think it should do the same here for two-time Oscar winner Caine. It's true that a similar plotline about a faceless vigilante taking out the trash starring a two-time Oscar winner didn't work when it came out a few years ago, but I think this has much more potential than "The Brave One" did. Looking at the resume of the director, Daniel Barber, his lone previous credit is the Oscar-nominated short film "The Tonto Woman," which I detested, but the direction was probably the strongest part of the overlong western. "Harry Brown" has even more going for it, and that's the lovely and amazing Emily Mortimer as one of the cops who interrogates and presumably keeps an eye on Caine's Harry Brown. This is also one of those exceptions to the rule about movies in the first few months of the year being bad, since this is spillover from the UK and it's a reliable veteran actor in the starring slot. I'm looking very forward to this - what about you?

1 comment:

Greg Boyd said...

Not as much as I am to "Kick-Ass", but this does look good.