Schlichter vs. Joffe

Four days before I posted that Dutch film critic’s review of Anton Corbijn‘s The American, Big Hollywood‘s Kurt Schlichter reviewed Rowan Joffe‘s screenplay, and I have to say it’s moderately amusing. Even though Schlichter is one of “them,” he can be funny. Except he needs to spell arrivederci correctly next time.

“We never find out much about [George Clooney's] back-story, which is okay because we really don’t care,” he says toward the end. “His tattoo reveals that he’s ex-Special Forces, because, as we know, all Green Berets leave the Army to join that giant high-priced international hit man industry we somehow never hear about in real-life. If in reality half as many people were employed as high-priced professional assassins as Hollywood movies depict, the unemployment rate would only be 9% and the Obama administration would point to it as evidence the stimulus is working.

“The script is technically proficient and evocative, meaning that I could clearly and fully visualize all of the tired, hackneyed cliches. On the plus side, other than the ‘you Americans don’t know how to live life’ crap, it’s not political. It’ll be equally dull for adherents of every political stripe.

“And there’s another upside – there’s a hot Italian girl character in it and in pretty much every scene she’s taking off her clothes. I don’t mean just once or twice — I mean this gal makes Lindsay Lohan look like a particularly repressed Amish chick during Sunday school. So Clooney gets to pick up a big paycheck for hanging out in the Italian countryside surrounded by hot naked girls (yeah, there’s more than one), so I can see what was in The American for him. Unfortunately, I still can’t see what’s supposed to be in it for the rest of us.

One plus for the film, Schlicter says, will be the talented Corbijn, last seen directing the very cool Joy Division movie Control. And yet “terrifyingly, a true story about a Goth band and its lead singer’s eventual suicide has more laughs than this script does, which is to say at least one.”

It’s now 12:45 pm. The American will screen in Manhattan a little more than six hours from now.

Update: Who was I to talk about Schichter misspelling arrivederci when I couldn’t spell his last name correctly? Apologies.

17 thoughts on “Schlichter vs. Joffe

  1. DiscoNap on said:

    Reviewing a screenplay is like reviewing a recipe. Colossal waste of time.

  2. “Except he needs to spell arrivederci corrrectly next time.”

    That, and correctly only has two r’s.

    [Fixed -- thanks.]

  3. I liked it. More about the visuals/atmosphere than the story, but isn’t that what we would expect from Corbijn? It’s definitely a man’s picture. I heard multiple scoffs from a female critic in our gang–extremely fetishistic of the female form (and little else about her). Very technical and precise, but it has a fine subtext. Lots of meditation, not a lot of plot, but not a lot of sag either. Clooney has exactly one scene of real acting muscle, and he knocks it out of the park. Should make for a great Oscar clip.

  4. I’m so excited to see this movie on Wednesday. I’m completely down for a stylish, sumptuous, Corbijn-directed mood piece. The film based on the “true story about a Goth band and its lead singer’s eventual suicide” was one of the best, most moving films of the last ten years.

    I wonder, though, how putrid mainstream word-of-mouth will be. Solaris (2002)-level bad? Since there’s no doubt Focus is hard-selling this as a Bourne-esque action romp.

  5. Wells fixes his spelling mistake on “arrivederci” without acknowledging he made the gaff, yet doesn’t correct “corrrectly” in the same sentence. None of which would matter except for the fact he was taking another writer to task for sloppy spelling at the time. That’s funny.

  6. I got the dumb, adolescent, sneering part of Schlicter’s writing; I always do. I missed, though, the “funny” part you mentioned. Which was it?

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