January 5 - ROAD TO PERDITION (2002)
"Sons are put on this earth to trouble their fathers."
ROAD TO PERDITION is entirely too self-serious and poorly written than it deserves to be. Director Sam Mendes follows up the vastly superior AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999) with a dreadfully boring but pretty-looking waste of Tom Hanks and Paul Newman with this film. Stanley Tucci and Jude Law are also underused, but the missed potential of a Hanks-Newman tour de force haunts the movie at every turn. Strangely enough, the actor given the most to do is Daniel Craig, although his character is still uninteresting and Craig -- mostly unknown at this point -- is still wet behind the ears.
I don't like to hate on movies, and so usually I'll be nicer than the bad ones probably deserve, (Will's review of a garbage fire: "Warmed me up! A+") but ROAD TO PERDITION is just so disappointing. I loved AMERICAN BEAUTY and SKYFALL (2012), and obviously Paul Newman and Tom Hanks are my dream dads, so I was really looking forward to watching it. It's tough to see why someone thought the screenplay was worth producing, honestly. The idea of a period crime drama with a powerhouse lineup is obviously enticing, but not like this. Not like this at all. The only times the story isn't predictable is when it's even lamer than you'd expect. I should have realized what I was getting into when Tom Hanks appeared with a nightmare mustache (which appears to have been removed from the poster above, interestingly enough) or when he sat down at the piano to play cinema's weirdest duet with Paul Newman. Think about that: instead of spending time preparing a legendarily emotional and compelling scene to give to Paul GD Newman and Tom GD Hanks, the filmmakers/studio/the sweet Lord above decided to have two American heroes practice performing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while gazing into each other's eyes.
Enough negativity, though. I'm passionate because I'm hurt. A quick note on this movie-a-day business: since I'm the poor sap who is inflicting this nonsense upon himself, I get to make the rules. There are a lot of movies in theaters that I want to see, and connecting them to the challenge would be dangerously flimsy in the best case. Thus, I'm just going to go see the damn movies I want to see and continue the next day with where I left off. Please stop flooding my inbox with suggestions on how to torture myself more efficiently.