— by JASON EAKEN —
There are some directors I trust implicitly, and Werner Herzog’s on the list. Whether his films are ultimately good or bad, they are interesting, they have thought and care and perspective breathed into them by Herzog. Watching the five clips from his upcoming remake (more of a re-imagining, really) of “Bad Lieutenant,” it is this notion that retains my slimming interest in the film.
These clips display two things that are good, one that’s bad and another that, well, who knows. Good: Herzog’s direction and the visual style. Don’t let the posters fool you into thinking the film was have a polish and sheen to it. The film’s texture and look are so natural, they’re almost damp.
The direction looks equally spare and stripped — longer takes, the handheld camera. He’s going for gritty.
Bad: The writing. It sounds and feels like a dime-store novel. A few gems — “It’s amazing how much you can get done when you have a simple purpose guiding you through life.” And “Money’s money. Tell you what, you be the frontman, I’ll be the power… behind the throne. It’s like we workin’ for a greater good.” The aren’t outright BAD, they’re just not that terribly good either. Perhaps we’re seeing them out of context, but they seem to be shoe-horned into the movie, little moments of THEME and IDEA branded on the film.
As for Nicholas Cage, I like him as an actor and I like him in these sorts of roles. But I just can’t tell if his performance is any good at all. We’ll have to wait and see.
Click here to view the movie’s trailer.
Jason Eaken is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EAKEN.