(USA) Drama/Thriller. Written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki. Starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth. Category IIB. 107 minutes. Opened Oct 11.There’s hardly anything revelatory in the plot of “Arbitrage,” but this Wall Street thriller is so well-done as a film that it even manages to make Richard Gere, who normally has all the charisma of a damp towel, a joy to watch.
(USA) In what surely ranks as Mira Nair’s worst film yet (and boy has she chalked some duds in her time), Amelia fails spectacularly in shedding any light on the enduring mystery of the titular heroine’s disappearance over the Pacific Ocean in 1937, and (criminally) makes no effort to reveal anything deep about this beguiling aviatrix.
If only we could extract the “faithfulness DNA” of a dog and transplant it into humans (especially the famous American golfer types), the world would be a better place for all. Directed by Lasse Hallström, Hachiko brings to life—albeit Americanized—the true Japanese tale of Hachiko the dog and his master Parker Wilson, played by Richard Gere. Destiny brings them together one evening on a train station platform when Parker finds the dog abandoned.
Category IIB. At first glance, Richard Shepard’s “The Hunting Party” appears to be a dire warning about the perils of what happens when war correspondents get bored. But by the end, it’s clearly more of an alarming indicator of what happens when film directors get bored. Bored, that is, of the chaos of real-life war coverage. Why isn’t this more thrilling and sexy, and comfortably centered on two or three easily identifiable anti-heroes, you can almost hear Shepherd asking while watching footage of the carnage in Afghanistan.
Category IIB. You’d think only a fool would attempt a biopic of someone as slippery as Bob Dylan. But Todd Haynes is no fool, and “I’m Not There” isn’t, strictly speaking, a biopic. Rather, it’s a collage of six different public images Dylan has juggled across his career, played by six different people. And when you have the actors behind Batman and The Joker playing the lead in the same film, you know you’re dealing with a man of many masks.
Category IIB. Only a gerbil could possibly find Richard Gere menacing. Why the Dalai Lama’s biggest groupie was cast as the fearsome, tough-as-nails bruiser of a protagonist in this film is beyond me. They might as well have cast Avril Lavigne as the arch-villain’s nubile young plaything. Wait a minute, they did that too! To top it off, “The Flock” is the Hollywood debut of “Infernal Affairs” co-director Andrew Lau Wai-keung. You couldn’t have been dealt a worse hand on your first time playing for big stakes.