Update: Films I Should Have Seen

Knock two off the list.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was pretty much what I thought it would be, a straightforward and all-around mediocre affair. Which is a shame, because the concept is so compelling. Much of the time is dedicated to action sequences which aren't bad, but don't really stand up to comparison with what's going on in the movie industry today (and the special effects were less than spectacular). What was really missing was characterization. One of the neat things about the League is that they all have skeletons in their closet, so to speak. We're only given a glimpse of that, just enough to piss me off. I guess I'll have to check out the comic book to see what can really be done with this concept...

This stands in stark contrast to my other viewing choice this weekend, Owning Mahowny. I originally described it as "Bank clerk played by Philip Seymour Hoffman takes on Vegas," but that isn't quite accurate. First, though he makes a few trips to Vegas, he spends most of his time in Atlantic City. Second, I should have said he takes on Atlantic City, and loses. This isn't what I thought it was going to be, but it was still very good. Rather than exciting gambling scenes where we get the inside scoop on how someone cheats the Casinos, we get a fascinating study of addiction. Such films aren't very pleasant to watch, in part because a happy ending is something of a cop-out, and Owning Mahowny doesn't (er, does?) disappoint. Worthy of a mention are the performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the gambling addicted Mahowny, and John Hurt, who turns in a great performance as the slimy casino director who schemes to keep Mahowny gambling. A worthwhile movie, if you're into this sort of thing...