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Volume 77, Number 11 | August 15 - 25, 2007

Koch On Film

“The Bourne Ultimatum” (-)

Bourne, Bond, is there a difference? You bet there is.

Although the Bond films are totally unbelievable, they are a joy to watch. The viewer is transported to a fantasy world of interesting characters and high-tech devices. Common sense and reality are suspended and the viewer is provided with a delightful break from the real word.

No so with the Bourne films. In this latest movie, Matt Damon performs like the son of Superman — running from his pursuers, racing around in autos, fighting and shooting. But the movie is very pedestrian and doesn’t provide near the sophisticated level of entertainment exhibited in the Bond pictures. Bourne is still searching for his identity. Rhett Butler’s comment to Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” — Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” — seems apropos.  

Additional characters in the film are: Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn), Dr. Hirsch (Albert Finney) and Pamela Landy (Joan Allen). They all do a credible job, but their performances can’t help the script. If you enjoy watching daredevil films, filled with perilous moments rivaling those of Pauline, and knowing that everything will turn out well, you will enjoy this film. But if you have more sophisticated tastes, you are warned to stay away. Many more small and delightful films are currently available to see.

“Two Days in Paris” (-)

Disappointing is the word to describe this film. The principal female actor is Julie Delpy who also wrote and directed the movie. She plays the role of Marion who with her boyfriend, Jack (Adam Goldberg), spends two days in Paris visiting her parents. Her parents, Anna and Jeannot , are portrayed by her actual parents, Marie Pillet and Albert Delpy.

In 2004, I saw the marvelous picture “Before Sunset,” starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. In that film, two former lovers meet accidentally in Paris. Their conversations rang true, unlike the dialogue in “Two Days in Paris,” which consists mainly of one-liners. Smart one-liners are often interesting and funny, but they became very weary in this movie when exchanged every moment for two entire days. 

It struck me that this production, intentionally or otherwise, is a knock off of a Woody Allen film. The acting is excellent, the intimate scenes are handled very nicely, but the dialogue ruined it for me. No one can handle everyday life with one-liners like Allen. Those accompanying me, PA & PB, liked the movie, albeit their own conversations are far more real and substantive with occasional one-liners.

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