Brian de Palma

A very well-known director, Brian de Palma’s career seems to be a bit underwhelming. While I’ve only seen three of his movies, looking at the ones below and reviews by those of people I trust, they all seem to have more potential than he gets out of them.

Mission to Mars: A crew goes to Mars on a rescue mission and find something fantastic when they get there. This is such a frustrating movie, since the acting is top-notch. Don Cheadle and Gary Sinise are excellent and Tim Robbins pulls his weight as well. But this might be the most boring space movie ever.

Grade: F

The Black Dahlia: Another story around Elizabeth Short, the wannabe Hollywood actress who was brutally murdered in 1947, her case never solved. Another mess of a story, but it’s engaging until the ending. Shot well.

Grade: C-

The Untouchables: One of my favorite computer games, The Black Dahlia, combines the mysteries of Elizabeth Short and the Cleveland torso murders, investigated by Eliot Ness. Fun coincidence that De Palma has directed movies about Short and Ness. Written by David Mamet, an engaging movie that is a little too long and unfortunately has Kevin Costner in the lead as Ness. Sean Connery is good as Jim Malone, and I like Andy Garcia, but Robert De Niro is only okay as Al Capone. Good, with some tense moments, but could have been a lot better.

Grade: B-

Others Brian de Palma Movies You May Have Seen

Scarface
Mission: Impossible
Carlito’s Way
Carrie
Snake Eyes
Casualties of War
Femme Fatale
Bonfire of the Vanities

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One thought on “Brian de Palma

  1. Scarface is average at best, but macho men really want to label it a legendary film. Capone mugs hopelessly all through the movie and it’s just an excessive load of violence and profanity – a product of its time, as that stuff was more accepted in film at that time, for the first time.

    Have you really never seen Mission: Impossible? The first is quite good. Purists cry foul, but fuck them.

    Carrie is worth seeing, though mostly just for two or three scenes.

    I went to Snake Eyes. I was very excited about the movie and it set itself up well, as I recall. Then the end came, and it was so goddamned fast I couldn’t believe it was over. I sat there in the theater shaking my head.

    I’ve resolved to see Carlito’s Way several hundred times and have somehow not done so.

    The Untouchables…yeah. So close to being so good.

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