I saw two of the best films of the year last night, Changing Lanes and Frailty. Unless this year turns out to be a '99 (which it well could), both these films will probably be in my top 10.
FORGET **Changing Lane’s ** horribleAWFULnasty trailer! This is the worst bit of mismarketing since Angel Eyes. The first time I saw the trailer, the film was downgraded from “never heard of it” to “cable. maybe.” and my opinion kept going lower and lower each time I saw it. So, I get up this morning and go look at Ebert’s site, gleefully looking forward to one of Ebert’s funny bad movie reviews. Imagine my complete and utter shock when I see that he’s given it FOUR STARS!!! I nearly passed out! I don’t always agree with Ebert, but when he gives a movie 4 stars, I listen. I don’t even read the review before seeing the film, unless it’s a shocker, which Changing Lanes was. I already knew the basic plot, so I skim enough of the review to see that it was written by the guy who wrote The Player. That’s it, I’m so there, no matter what the trailer is like.
The trailer DOES NOT do this film justice. I’d go so far as to say that the trailer murders the movie, since it will drive away the kind of intelligent, thoughtful people who would like this film. Those just looking for an action/adventure in the city/revenge-is-sweet flick will probably hate it.
Read Ebert’s review, he really gets to the root of it.
One other thing about the trailer. You think you’ve seen the whole film after watching it. I certainly did. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bulk of what’s important in this film isn’t even HINTED at in the trailer.
FORGET that you hate Ben Affleck! Please do this. Please. He is very, very good in this very, very good film. He’s believable as a man who is by turns decent, evil (he’s a corporate lawyer, 'nuff said), polite, rude, soul- searching, shallow, self-righteous and cocky, full of guilt and self-doubt. In other words, he actually comes off as a
complex human being, something that is very rare in Hollywood films, because one-dimensional characters are much easier to write. Samual Jackson…well, ditto, but I expected him to be good. I was pleasantly surprised by Affleck. All the acting is good in this film.
This is a smart movie that makes you think and makes you feel for the characters. If Hollywood did this kind of thing more often, life would be grand.