While I did watch it last night, I was also fucking around on 1up enough to think I need to give it a second, fairer shake.
From what I could pay attention to the movie was very interesting visually, especially the black and white parts (I adore new age black and white filters in movies).
Story-wise, it depended on the actor. I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on with the little black kid or what that had to do with Dylan. Then again, I'm not up to speed on Dylan's history but shouldn't the movie fill me in more than "this kid sings about things before his time he doesn't deal with, you figure out whether that mirrors Dylan". And from the songs I've heard like "Hurricane" he was current when he sang so I have no idea why that kid's story is there yet.
Richard Gere's Dylan is also wierd to me as I don't remember sizing Dylan up as a guy riding a horse... even though a different motorcycle riding Dylan makes perfect sense to me, go figure. Maybe it's cause I like that Dylan and his French girlfriend so much. Christian Bale does a good enough job acting Dylan but his deadpan delivery of the folk song about Patty Carol where Dylan emphasized some of the dam words in the real version doesn't help the tune. Heath Ledger's Dylan gets the coolest gig as one that just talks straight to the camera in black and white scenery and I think I like Cate Blanchette's sarcastic and witty portrayal best of all.
Overwhelmed by all those names and Dylans yet? Yeah, that's why I need to watch again and focus more, especially since I liked what I saw of the dialogue whether or not I know what the hell the storyline is attempting to achieve with all these different viewpoints or whether a coherent storyline is even a part of this experience.
Anyway, as I mentioned before I'll be giving it a second viewing not only for what scenes I missed while browsing blogs but its gorgeous photography. Simple diner conversations are given distractingly interesting shots done through mirrors, and what in any other film would be a loud and obnoxious scene filmed in an overly loud night club takes place in a large, quiet black and white room with go go dancers just so you know it would theoretically be a night club scene if not handled by brilliant photographers that understand how generic and dull I find those sets.
In other news, my favorite band Children of Bodom has announced a headlining tour for U.S. in the fall. ... Ok for anyone who knows who Bodom is, this comes as absolutely no surprise but for me it's exciting anyway as the set they had at Gigantour truly was too short.
Of course, no complaints from them as they like to play short sets and then go party, but complaints from me for their trying to forget their first album. Fucking ouch, do they really not recognize how ludicrously awesome it was?
And, icing on the cake, THEY LIKE JOURNEY! Isn't it great when you're favorite heavy hitter plugs a softer band you love? I do, and keyboardist Janne loves downloading it too. Alexi, not so much:
On the downside I essentially wasted $5 on a raffle ticket I was going to use for a softball event today but couldn't attend due to lack of communication (i.e. false information). Maybe I can talk my boss into a refund, but even then it hurts to miss a chance at an iPod Nano or Wii :(
My real review is actually somewhat the same. It's still pretty disjointed and plotless, and certain parts of these not-so-intertwined storylines work better than others.
Most of what does work achieves greatness through either visuals or the particular actor and on ocassion the storyline. Cate Blanchette is the most convincing Dylan and gets the coolest and most coherent storyline, which always seems like an LSD trip and features comedian Dacid Cross as a close friend. Her Dylan is the "wtf did he just say?" rockstar reluctant to be a voice for a generation or even a voice fpr himself.
Richard Gere's character, according to the Ebert and Roeper review I just rewatched after seeing the film isn't Dylan at all, but Billy the Kid. Yeah... I'm not sure what the hell that's about either and it isn't particularly interesting. The director mentioned that his female dog named Henry is just there cause a lot of Dylan songs mention the name Henry. .... o....k.
The little black kid version of Dylan, as uttered at the very begginning of the film represents Dylan "the fake". That explained him singing about crap that doesn't affect him and being a fugitive. I still hate most child actors including this one when they try to act like adults but it's still one of the more tolerable storylines and a cool looking wtf? moment as a giant grey whale swallows him and then images of a French woman and him walking dreamily underwater segway into Heath Ledger's storyline.
Now Heath actually isn't the cool Dylan that just stares into the camera playing rebel poet and spouting advice as I initially thought. That Dylan is Ben Whishaw. Ledger is instead the film's wife trouble entry who actually just acted as a Dylan type in a famous movie and woos his French lover in a diner, in which takes place one of the better conversation scenes in a movie mainly because they utilize mirrors to intrigue the viewer rather than just switching back and forth between the two talking with full 180 swings of the camera. Other than that Ledger has a couple funny lines when he distances his wife later on, but overall it's the same "uh oh wife problems" story we got in Walk the Line and Ray, and it doesn't do much new with the material from a script standpoint.
Christian Bale is cool as the misunderstood then born again Christian Dylan, but gets very little screen time. He looks the most like Dylan does now in his preacher scenes.
Back to Ben Whishaw and Cate Blanchette they are what gives this movie life... in black and white. Yup, I still love black and white filters today as they offend my eyes so much less than what I like to call the WWII gray so many films go with that mutes the crap out of everything (this is seen in Ledger's broken love bits). It makes me love seeing Whishaw every time he pops up to say something cool and explain what's going on, and makes Blanchette's LSD/dream style story appear so much more vibrant.
I'd reccomend this movie for its originality and any part of it that's in black and white. It is easier to swallow when you know something about Dylan at least by reading his wiki entry as I did, but even without knowing him it's a photography tour de force and presents some interesting concepts and ideas.
Still, I feel it would have been quite a bitmore effective with only Blanchette and Whishaw's entries.