Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I like 'Love Ranch'...No Matter What You Say

Pesci and Mirren may be laughing but the critics aren't. Melissa Anderson's review at Village Voice gets off to a tough start:

Helen Mirren married director Taylor Hackford in 1997; the two fell in love on the set of White Nights (1985), their first film together. Love Ranch, their second collaboration in 25 years, should be grounds for divorce.

Once going, Anderson doesn't stop:

Any performer, even a deity (and Dame) like Mirren, would struggle mightily to enliven a script this deadly. ...Hackford's pacing throughout is continuously off, with scenes extending several beats too long, his two leads adrift and bored.

Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune says:

Dame Helen Mirren as a tough-talking Nevada brothel madam? We like to think our finest screen performers can play anyone.

...This specific character, however, is nearly unplayably false, as written by Mark Jacobson and directed by Taylor Hackford (Mirren's husband).What could have been a juicy, pulpy noir, based loosely on the real-life 1976 Mustang Ranch love triangle involving Joe and Sally Conforte and Sally's boxer paramour, instead has the dramatic consistency of rice milk.

It's hard to fathom what Hackford had in mind half the time.

Hackford is taking a thrumming.

I don't care what they say. For some reason, don't ask what, I like this movie and will enjoy watching it. (Yes, even if it's kinda bad). Maybe it's the inimitable Helen Mirren, maybe it's the just-about-to-blow energy Joe Pesci is such a natural at portraying. Maybe, I just like movies about desert brothels. I don't know. But, I am looking forward to watching 'Love Ranch'.

I get the feeling the bad reviews will keep rolling out. They won't dampen my enthusiasm. They can't. I'm like a kid set on seeing the latest superhero action flick, the reviews be damned! This movie has cast a spell over me -- I shall watch it and I shall enjoy.

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