Thursday, May 15, 2014
Presentation Is Everything
DIE ANOTHER DAY) seems to have a knack for working with actors but doesn’t display any particular affinity for the material while the screenplay (story by Pete Dexter and Floyd Mutrux, screenplay by Pete Dexter) has potential with the occasional speech that offers genuine bite but it feels like too much may have been bled out via rewrites and studio notes. It was also edited by the late, great Sally Menke and individual sections often play fine with certain edits within scenes in particular showing off how good she was but the entire picture doesn’t coalesce, as if a reel or two was accidentally left out of the release version (Glenn Erickson at DVD Savant seems to have been in the know on the production and confirms that cuts were made). Nothing really connects very much—the central mystery involving Connelly is never as enigmatic as it seems it might be at first and any metaphor, whether connected to the nature of the film’s title or the atomic age imagery, just comes off as a void like that huge pit in the middle of the desert courtesy of a test blast that the squad stops to gape at.