Sunday, February 19, 2006
Mercury Rising was not a great movie..... sorry. But, it's precursor, Rain Man is a wonderful movie. At least, I think they're related. Both movies deal with autistic savantes, who perform mental tasks that the average human being would find impossible.
Rain Man is great. I mean, Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It doesn't get much better. My only issue with the casting was that the love interest, Susana (Valeria Golino). Unfortunately the only other movies I can remember seeing her in are Hot Shots, and Hot Shot Part Deux. So, I had a lot of trouble taking her seriously.
But, apart from that, I really enjoyed the movie. Dustin Hoffman pulled off the part of savante very well. The scene towards the end of the movie when he bangs his head against the door, as the fire alarm goes off, is extremely uncomfortable. The way his eyes stay unfocused, and his recitation of "Who's on first" are both very convincing. I wasn't sure if all of his behavior fit. There are times when he appears too lucid or "with it". And he becomes very comfortable with being embraced in the "hearing" at the end. I also wasn't sure why he would remember certain things about Cruise's childhood, and be able to articulate his memories, but be so unable to talk about other mundane issues.
Cruise's character also showed drastic behavior changes throughout the film. He starts off being entirely self centered, quiet, greedy, and unfeeling towards his "brother". He ends the film being sensitive and loving. He goes out of his way to cater for his brother, have him treated with respect, and ensure he is taken care of. For the most part this transition is believable. AS Charlie points out, he spends 7 days on the road with Raymond, and learns to love him. I was definitely pulling for him to win custody at the end of the movie, whereas, at the beginning I thought he was a greedy, selfish jerk.
Another question I couldn't help but ask is, Why didn't they just take a train across country? And, why would Raymond be more comfortable with cars or trains, than with airplanes. As Charlie says, flight is the safest mode of transport. Surely, Raymond would know that.
Not sure why Susana popped in and out. She just kind of showed up in Las Vegas. Would she really be able to track them down that easily? Would she really want to find Charlie? And the elevator scene seemed a little forced, too.
So, after I've picked the movie apart, I still think it was darn good. 4 stars.
Posted by etibbs at 11:26 PM