Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Jake Goldberger's DON MC KAY gives work to a bunch of good actors -- but little else
Must Academy Award-nominated performers such as Thomas Haden Church sign on to executive-produce and star in a fourth-rate fumble like DON MC KAY in order to come up with a decent role? If so, we're all -- actors, audiences, moviemakers -- in bigger trouble than I imagined. This sorry excuse for a comedy/thriller is plain woeful -- a shaggy dog story that goes on and on until you discover that you'd figured it out early on but decided -- no, it couldn't be that simple-minded and ridiculous. It could and it is.
Jake Goldberger (shown at left) have been thinking? According to the press kit, he had been inspired by the Cohen Bros' Blood Simple when he sat down to write his script. Yet his plot is so far-fetched and full of meaningless twists and turns that -- after only a couple of these -- his title character, played by Mr. Church, should walk away the first chance he gets. But no, he stays and plays. And when, toward the final moments we learn the reason for this, McKay's three-word answer is even more difficult to accept.
Sideways, Spanglish and Idiocracy, we have Elisabeth Shue (above, left, and at bottom) and Melissa Leo (below), both Oscar nominees in search of decent roles (Ms Leo has done better on this score than has Ms Shue).
James Rebhorn and there are terrific turns from Pruit Tayor Vince, Keith David and particularly M. Emmet Walsh, shown below, as an ubiquitous cabbie. You could not ask for a better ensemble, and indeed, each member does everything possible to bring the movie home. To little avail. The blame, and I don't like dumping on first-time filmmakers, must be laid at the feet of Mr. Goldberger, less I think for his directing -- which is rather staid and by-the-numbers but serviceable -- than for his writing.
here for cities, theaters and ticket purchases.