Tag: The Informers Blu-ray

Blu Tuesday: Duplicity, Rudo Y Cursi and Adventureland

It’s been awhile since I posted a proper Blu Tuesday column due to a combination of things – slow release weeks, busy work weeks, and even a sudden interest in writing up a few title-specific entries – but I plan on remedying that today. This week’s selection doesn’t contain any really major titles, nor is there anything that could be considered particularly must-buy, but you will find a couple of films that, if given the chance, might just earn a place in your collection.

“Duplicity” (Universal)

If Tony Gilroy’s “Duplicity” taught us anything, it’s that moviegoers won’t see a film just because of the people involved. That, or Julia Roberts simply isn’t the A-list star she once was. Whatever the reason, it’s the perfect example of movie stars who make way too much. Case in point: Roberts was paid $15 million for her role in the film, while the movie only managed to rake in $40 million at the box office – a staggering $20 million less than its reported budget. While just about everyone can agree that inflated actor salaries need to be policed, reactions to the film itself haven’t been quite as cut and dry. Personally, I can understand why some might find “Duplicity” a little boring – it’s slow, repetitive, and the characters never seem to shut up – but we don’t get that many adult-oriented films these days, and though it isn’t perfect, Gilroy’s follow-up to the much better “Michael Clayton” is still worth a look. At the very least, it delivers some great dialogue and yet another solid performance from Clive Owen.

null“Rudo Y Cursi” (Sony Classics)

Billed as the onscreen reunion of “Y Tu Mamá También” stars Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal (not to mention produced by Alfonso Cuarón and directed by his brother, Carlos), “Rudo Y Cursi” tells the story of two brothers from a small town who are recruited to play for rival teams in the Mexican Soccer League. Those expecting a straight-up soccer drama will find themselves severely disappointed, however, as it’s pretty obvious from the few times the actors are forced to play that they’re not very good. The lack of soccer action aside, “Rudo Y Cursi” is a fun little movie about two men who are practically handed the American dream, only to squander it on their respective vices. For Luna’s character, it’s compulsive gambling, and for Bernal, it’s the chance to use his newfound success to become a music superstar. The latter results in some pretty funny moments — including an accordion-led rendition of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” — but the real humor comes from the interactions between its two stars. That alone is worth the price of the ticket, although you could just as easily find some entertainment in their poor soccer skills as well.

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The Informers

Typically, when you hear about movies premiering at Sundance, it’s because the film in question was well received. Not so for Gregor Jordan’s “The Informers,” which was torn to pieces by online critics, many of whom went on to describe the film as one of the worst they’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t go that far, because while the movie may not exactly be good, there are quite a few noteworthy performances hidden within it. Based on a collection of short stories by Bret Easton Ellis, “The Informers” takes place in 1983 Los Angeles and follows a series of intertwining narratives about a drug-dealing college man (Jon Foster) who’s worried that his girlfriend (Amber Heard) is screwing his best friend (Austin Nichols); a big-time movie producer (Billy Bob Thornton) forced to choose between his ex-wife (Kim Basinger) and former fling (Winona Ryder); a neurotic loser (Brad Renfro) who receives an unwelcome visitor (Mickey Rourke); and an international rock star (Mel Raido) suffering yet another major meltdown.

Unfortunately, my favorite story in the book – one involving a vampire named Jamie – has been axed from the movie, and along with it, the satirical bite (no pun intended) that Ellis is famous for. Instead, Jordan plays the whole thing serious, and though it doesn’t really change the outcome of the stories, it does change the tone. The characters are essentially the same, however, and in some cases, are even given more depth thanks to the actors playing them. Foster, Nichols and Lou Taylor Pucci are all solid as the film’s emotionally detached hipsters (an Ellis trademark), while Brad Renfro turns in a great performance in his final role. It’s not enough to convince non-Ellis fans to see the film, but if nothing else, it’s a good excuse to check out Amber Heard in all her naked glory.

Click to buy “The Informers”

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