Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Duplicity”

duplicitypic5[1] by you.
Ha Ha !  Now This Is What I Call A Review !

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
Double Your Fun Today With: Duplicity

Stylish.  Smart.  Sexy.  Stimulating.  I know, it sounds like I’m talking
about “Daniel’s Critical Corner” again !  I very well could be with such
nifty words…  But I’m actually referring to the new internal espionage
flick “Duplicity”.

It’s about time they came up with another good old-fashioned caper
film.  (No, I’m not talking about “Batman” folks).  This movie features
Julia Roberts and Clive Owen as double crossing double agents.  Yes,
having Julia back up on the big screen is awesome.  Well, it’s actually
more like propped up…

For the first time in history, her chest comes out farther than her lips.
Maybe she has had some work done in that area ?  At any rate, in this
venue Julia’s boobs arrive in London twenty minutes before the rest of
 her…  There are moments when her acting might fall flat, but nothing 
else does ! 

Not to put Julia down or anything.  I’ve been a fan of hers for YEARS,
and boy, does she look fabulous for fifty.  (Unfortunately, she is only 
forty-one) !  In her very first scene, she’s standing outside on a sunny
day…  I noticed the “Erin Brokovich” star was wearing what appeared
to be a wool scarf.  I thought this was rather odd, because it looked 
like summertime !  A couple of moments later, I realized she was not 
sporting a scarf at all.  She has a hairy neck !!!

Director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) probably should have caught
that.  If he were shooting a documentary on “Sasquatch”, he could
 skate by.  Or a film titled “Gorillas in the Mystic Pizza”.


large_duplicity-julia-roberts-cli[1] by you.
Duplicity ?   …Or Dual Plastic Surgery ? 


Actually, for a couple of minutes, I thought perhaps I was at the
wrong movie.  When Julia looks at the camera, sporting some red
lipstick, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had said something
to the effect of “Wanna know how I got these scars?”  

OK, enough of that.  I’m going to get off of Julia Roberts…  (And
really, can you blame me) ?  Let me focus on Clive Owen for just
a moment.  This guy is as suave as they come…  He could easily
become the next James Bond !  Clive was fantastic in “Sin City”
and memorable in “Gosford Park”, and he just Owens this flick ! 

Julia and Clive play a couple of moles in “Duplicity”…  No, I’m not
talking about that thing growing on Eva Mendes’ face.  By mole I
mean covert operatives !!!  They are working for two companies
that HATE each other.  Julia is working for one business as intel,
but selling the secrets she obtains to its rival business via Clive.

At first, it seems these two double agents are far from pals.  All 
of this stems from a colorful history that dates back about five 
years…  We learn that when Julia was working for the CIA, she  
seduced Clive (and consequently drugged him) in order to snatch
some of his top secret files.  The poor guy was actually working
for MI6 when he was duped, and the fiasco nearly destroyed his 

But everyone is willing to forgive and forget, and they traipse all
over the world pouncing on each other in exotic hotel rooms !  It
must be said, their chemistry is believable. These two people just
click…  And the witty dialogue laced with sexual innuendo is kind
of fun !

On the flip side of the coin, who really wants to watch two people
in their forties shag to no end ?  (They lock themselves in a luxury
suite for three days, going at it like mad).  Yea.  Like THAT would
really happen.  In real life, if a couple approaching middle age was
locked in a hotel room for three days, it’s because they are dead.

I kept wondering why on Earth they didn’t use body doubles for 
the above mentioned steamy scenes…  In movies such as “Pretty
Woman”, Julia had a sensual stand-in.  But in “Duplicity”, she just
lays around with everything hanging out of her pelican briefs…


Duplicity by you.
You could pull off James Bond.  I Did Last Week !


 *Warning:  Teenagers might not be able to sit through this flick,
  as one scene conjures up images of Phyllis Diller wrestling with   
an alligator in a wading pool filled with jello.

  Despite our saggin’ protagonists, this movie rocks.  It is an intelligent
 heist extravaganza !!!  Filled with double crosses, triple crosses, and
 even a super quadruple cross !  What comes after a quadruple cross
I wonder ?  Octuplets ?  

People start to get conned left and right…  And then Paul Giamatti
gets down into the mix for good measure.  Paul is deliciously sleazy
as the head of a corrupt business, and his nemesis (portrayed by 
Tom Wilkinson) is not much better.  They will stop at NOTHING to 
destroy each other !!!  It appears that Julia and Clive are no more 
than mere pawns in a diabolical scheme…  A couple of clever plot  
twists later, however, reveal that maybe Paul and Tom are indeed 
the fools in this game of “cat and mouse”.

What sets this flick apart from others in the genre is its refreshing
lack of violence.  No one ever brandishes a gun.  Or a knife.  I think
someone brandishes an umbrella.  (Thank goodness it wasn’t Britney
Spears) !  

There is a fistfight of sorts (between Tom and Paul).  And that is
very entertaining.  For the most part, people just use their minds
to gain any advantage.  Of course, there is a lot of talking, and 
I did find myself bored for just a few minutes.  Better than being
bored for three days straight I suppose !  
Steal away to see “Duplicity”, it’s a bargain at twice the price !


Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “7.5” out of “10”



Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Watchmen”

drmanhattan1[1] by you.
Blue Man Group Promoting Hydroxycut

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
In Need Of Some Comic Relief Today:  Watchmen

Hey !  What’s that up above ?  In the sky ?  I think…  It’s a bird !
No… It’s a plane !  Wait, it’s…  it’s…  A naked blue guy !!!  Could 
someone call Superman and tell him he left the house without his
tights ?  Better get back to the phone booth, pronto

Oh !!!  That’s not Superman.  This dude is balled bald and VERY
well endowed.  Don’t get jealous boys, I’m sure that it’s all CGI. 
Either that or it’s Milton Berle’s grandson…  At any rate, the guy
in the sky is none other than “Dr. Manhattan”.  And he’s here to
save us…  I think.

Dr. Manhattan is one of the unconventional superheroes in the
highly anticipated new flick “Watchmen”.  A movie that features
tons of DICK !!!  That’s right… President Richard Nixon himself is
one of the star players.  Our story takes place many years ago,
in an upside down (and inside out) vision of the mid 1980’s.

This is a world that looks like something out of “Blade Runner”,
and in it superheroes are just a natural part of everyday life…
There is the very buff and very blue Dr. Manhattan of course,
as well as hottie “Silk Spectre II” !  And the rather studly bird
guy, “Nite Owl II” (played here by Patrick Wilson).  It just so  
happens that “Nite Owl I”  was a victim of evil poachers, and 
his head is over a mantel at some woman’s cabin in Alaska.

Also, we are introduced to the very strange “Rorschach”, who
seems to be the most introspective of the bunch.  He wears a
mask of material on his face with ink blots all over it…  I kept
wanting to pluck it off of his head and throw it into a washing
machine.  Rounding out our rather odd crew is the gruff, cigar
smoking “Comedian” and the highly intelligent pretty boy they 
call “Ozzy Madness” (or something like that).


wm4_435x326-1-1[1] by you.

‘Nite Owl



  richard-thomas-then by you.

‘Nite John-Boy


When the twelve-issue comic series for “Watchmen” was first
created, the general idea was to “deconstruct” the superhero
  persona…  In other words, the writers wanted to make these  
masked avengers more human, and therefore more vulnerable. 
Well, they went too far if you ask me.  These superheroes are 
 just a bunch of weirdos in disguise.  Still, they are played with 
such sincerity that it is fun to watch them in action.

No doubt, the biggest extreme in this group is The Comedian. 
He really shouldn’t have been part of any superhero elite.  This
guy is a nut, who just shoots anyone he pleases !  (They even
show him shooting JFK).  If Peter Parker’s “Uncle Ben” came up 
to him saying “With great power comes great responsibility”, he
would just blow the old fart’s head clean off.  So, the logic of   
this wacko being allowed to stay in a justice-seeking vigilante
team really never makes one lick of sense.

But then again, a man dressed up as an owl having intelligent
conversations with some naked blue dude makes no sense at 
all either !  I’d probably start giggling…  It wouldn’t matter if I
was Nite Owl II or Dr. Manhattan, in that scenario I would be 
thinking to myself  “You’re kidding me, right?”  Ha Ha !  At one
point, Dr. Manhattan actually does nude yoga while floating 
in midair…  What a crack up

Anyway, for obvious reasons, President Nixon outlaws so-called 
“superheros”.  Then, one of them is found murdered.  Rorschach
 decides to lead his team on a final mission, to find out who has   
killed their buddy and get revenge.  But, while all of this stuff is  
transpiring, the world is on the brink of a full scale nuclear war. 
The Soviet Union is ready to wipe America off of the map  !

So, numerous hijinks ensue.  Rorschach is caught doing superhero
stuff, and then temporarily incarcerated with a real angry midget. 
Midgets always earn a film an extra point here at “Critical Corner”,
whether they are angry or not.

Silk Spectre II finds herself in a pickle as well, because she can no
longer relate to her well hung meaning boyfriend, Dr. Manhattan… 
She starts to realize that the Batmanish Nite Owl II is more up her
alley.  Gratuitous sex scenes soon follow.


large_SilkSpectre[1] by you.
Uma Thurman, Eat Your Heart Out !


 It isn’t very long before someone tries to kill brainy Ozzy Madness, so
everyone regains their focus and gets back to the daunting task now
at hand:  Find out who wants them all dead and save the world from
total annihilation !!!  A series of flashbacks occur as we put together
pieces of the puzzle.  When our heroes get closer to the answer, the
blood and guts really start to fly !

Things look bleak as the “Doomsday Clock” gets closer to midnight,
and Dr. Manhattan decides to take a vacation on Mars.  Strangely
enough, he is the only character that has any real “superpowers”. 
An accident at some sort of nuclear facility mutated him, similar to 
what happens in “The Incredible Hulk” !  (Except the Hulk managed
to keep his pants on)…

Everybody else is just an average Joe with exceptional fighting
abilities and technical savvy.  Nonetheless, these characters are
really kind of cool in their own way.  Our heroes have dark sides
and deep secrets, but they are still somewhat likable…  I’ve got
to admit, the costumes and special effects are very well done.  

“Watchmen” is not your typical superhero film.  Then again, it
never professes to be.  I am a bit of a traditionalist in respect
to comics, always preferring the stories of “Iron Man” or even
“Green Lantern” over such hardcore issues and violence.  But 
director Zack Snyder (of “300” fame) keeps this fiercely true 
to its source material, and rather unique at the same time.   

We are looking at a “thinking man’s” superhero flick here, which
is rather philosophical at times, but never preachy.  This movie
shows both sides of every story, and then leaves the audience 
to ponder the outcome’s moral implications.

Still, it is a far cry from a masterpiece.  The characters are not
quite developed enough, and the narrative is all over the place.
The gore is effective in some spots, yet unnecessary in others.
And, at almost three hours long, this film noticeably drags…  At
     least it should tide everyone over until “Star Trek” comes out !    

      “Watchmen” remains watchable, despite a few shortcomings.     


Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “7.5” out of “10”