Monday, 31 March 2008

Clooney's Leatherheads



I was a big fan of George Clooney's first two directorial efforts, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind and Good Night, And Good Luck, both of which revealed him to be a smart and talented filmmaker with visual acumen and something to say, rather than an actor trying to make himself look good on camera. I haven't yet seen Leatherheads, which hasn't, as far as I'm aware, screened here in the UK despite coming out in a couple of weeks' time. In fact, the US reviews are only just trickling out, with Variety's Todd McCarthy's feelings mixed. "In his third spin behind the camera, George Clooney attempts one of the hardest things there is to do — re-create the fizz of old Hollywood screwball comedies — and creates just a mild buzz. Leatherheads, a larky romp about the early days of professional football, aims only to please and proves perfectly amiable, but ultimate effect is one of much energy expended to minimal payoff. Arch and funny in equal measure, this looks like a theatrical non-starter that Clooney fans and football devotees might be tempted to check out down the line on DVD or on the tube."

8 comments:

Gerard said...

I have a lot of love for Clooney's first two films as director, but this hasn't really piqued my interest. Maybe it's the football thing.

In fact, it's definitely the football thing.

Mark Salisbury said...

I agree. Is there a good football movie? Last Boy Scout was about football, tangentially, and I love that.

Gerard said...

That is a good film. Only ever seen it once...

But to be honest, I have no idea. Sports movies VERY rarely do anything for me whatsoever. Unless they're movies about sports like Little Children is about sports - ie, some people swim and play a bit of football at some point.

J.D. said...

Mark: Good football movie? Try North Dallas Forty, Semi-Tough and the original The Longest Yard. All top notch flicks about the ol' pigskin.

Mark Salisbury said...

Never heard of North Dallas Forty. (Must be that UK/US soccer/football thing!) But Semi-Tough and The Longest Yard... duh! of course. How foolish of me.

This whole thread has got me thinking of sports movies in general, and although I haven't seen it in yearsm I remember liking Slap Shot a hell of a lot when I caught it on TV late one night. Then again, it could have been because I was young at the time...

J.D. said...

SLAP SHOT is a great one - esp. if you're Canadian... But the Hanson bros. and their "hijinks" are definitely the highlight of that film.

Despite its flaws, I do like Oliver Stone's skewering of the NFL in ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. Plus, you get Pacino in "HOO-HA!!" mode. Yeah!

Mark Salisbury said...

And not forgetting Cameron Diaz in "hard-arse bitch" mode.

J.D. said...

Yeah, I forgot about Diaz. heh. And, of course, Stone's old buddy/antagonist James Woods as the teams amoral doctor.