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New script reviews

02.11.2002

Honest Abe is back after an extended break with two new script reviews.   (This is my favorite part of the job.  Sit back and let someone else do all the writing.)  This time we have THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE and LIFE, OR SOMETHING LIKE IT.  Read on...

THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE (mixed, minor spoilers)
Kevin Spacey stars as David Gale, a hard core anti death penalty advocate who finds himself behind bars and a few days shy of execution himself for the rape and murder of his partner, Constance. With 3 days to go, he grants an interview to Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet, I believe) and her intern/assistant Zach to try to "clear the air" on a few things. We are thusly subjected to an in-depth look at David's life as a university professor to his disgrace from a charge of raping a student (which was dismissed but the stigma cost him his family) to how he wound up on death row. Over the 3 days, Bitsey becomes convinced of David's innocence and sets out to prove it. I'll admit, up to this point I was getting quite bored and I figured since I'm almost 70 pages into this, I might as well stick it out to the end. The set-up is veeeeerrrrryyyy long and booooorrrrring. I understand why it's this way but ...*yawn..if you get the idea. I'm sure it will be another stellar performance by Spacey and a nice departure for Winslet. No corsets needed here, honey. There is a shadowy figure spotted early on that practically screams "villain" and so I thought this to be a basic formula death row pic. blah blah blah. Well, I was VERY surprised by the wrap up and the final scene proved to be quite a surprise. I sure as hell didn't see THAT coming. It's the kind of ending that will leave you stunned and yet wanting to talk about it. I'm not talking about a SIXTH SENSE (he's dead, Jim) kind of ending but definitely something to look forward to. Bottom line: matinee. The set is long-winded but the payoff is nice.

LIFE, OR SOMETHING LIKE IT (Positive, minor spoilers)
Lanie Kerrigan seems to have a nice life. She's a local newscaster and has a quite popular segment titled "That's Life". She's fit and healthy, she gets along with everyone, she's engaged to a star baseball player, she's up for a job with Pressline (kinda like 60 minutes) and doesn't seem to have a mean bone in her body. One day while interviewing a local homeless man named Prophet Jack who claims to have visions (he can randomly predict sports outcomes, for example) he tells Lainie that she'll die in one week. Thus, the premise of Life, is Lainie reevaluating her life and what she has accomplished. Let's just say that she goes a little bit nuts. Enter Pete, one of the segment producers for her network and a former flame. You can totally identify the sexual tension between these two. Pete is a pretty likable guy though. He's not some self centered jerk as most movies would depict him. Anyways, by the third day, Lainie is going nuts waiting for her end to come so she then decides "screw it" and really starts living. She's eating whatever she wants and wearing whatever. What is the point of what she's sacrificed? There's a great scene where she does a live feed in front of a bunch of striking laborers and Lainie, just a little bit tipsy, leads the boys in a rousing chorus of Satisfaction. This is a nice departure for Angelina Jolie as Lanie. I don't recall seeing her in a romantic slightly screwball comedy before and I just know she'll be able to pull it off. Her character is quite well developed and her supporting cast is shown just enough to see what kind of impact they have on her life while at the same time for the most part remaining interesting to the story. Can Lanie live life on her terms (job, etc.) and still be happy with who she is? Bottom line: go opening weekend and see for yourself.

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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