04/29/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

On 'Formation' World Tour, Beyonce Through 'Lemonade'-...
Nyle DiMarco's attitude on DWTS is annoying everyone ex...
Ripa's return to 'Live!' is all smiles following Straha...
10 Juicy Lyrics From Beyonce's New Lemonade Album That ...
Prince's last days: What we know ...
Jason Bourne Trailer and Poster Released!...
Why I quit 'Game of Thrones'...
Stephen Colbert teaches Hillary Clinton the proper way ...
'Jungle Book' ensures it: Parade of Disney-classic rema...
Captain America: Civil War reactions ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Infamous (2006)

"When Truman asked me to go to Kansas, it was deep calling to deep."
- Nelle Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: February 28, 2007

Stars: Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig
Other Stars: Peter Bogdanovich, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Isabella Rossellini, Juliet Stevenson, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Douglas McGrath

MPAA Rating: R for language, violence and some sexuality
Run Time: 01h:57m:53s
Release Date: February 13, 2007
UPC: 085391137382
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- B-B-B C+

DVD Review

You can't help but feel badly for Douglas McGrath—it can't be any fun losing a game of Hollywood development chicken, and pretty much any discussion of his movie Infamous has to make some mention of Capote, which deals with almost the identical set of historical circumstances. (In Cold Blood is unquestionably an extraordinary book, but to see two movies about its writing released in two years seems excessive, even by the standards of Truman Capote.) If you've seen the Philip Seymour Hoffman film, it's impossible to watch this one and not compare and contrast, and Infamous in almost all aspects places second in this two-horse race.

By 1959, Capote had written celebrated books like Other Voices, Other Rooms and Breakfast at Tiffany's, though he may have been as highly regarded for his celebrity status as for his literary skills. This elfin bon vivant with the reedily high voice was always at the right parties, flattering the wealthy and beautiful and working overtime to burnish his own public image. An article buried in the front section of The New York Times caught his eye and changed his life: it described the murders of the four members of the Clutter family, in Holcomb, Kansas, by an intruder or intruders unknown. Capote immediately sensed the ripeness of the material, and what he initially envisioned as a profile for The New Yorker on how an unsolved crime sowed terror in a small town became a years-long, career-defining project for him.

McGrath, who wrote the screenplay and directed, worked from George Plimpton's oral history of Capote, and this film is as much about Truman's standing in New York society as it is about his pursuit of the big story. And this seems very much to the movie's detriment, as does McGrath's frequently madcap tone—he was Woody Allen's co-writer on films like Bullets Over Broadway, and seems to want to lend an air of high society hijinks to Capote's story. And ultimately you sense that he's not very interested in the Clutters, or in Kansas, or even in Capote's book—but these brutal slaughters are at the heart of the story, and become more of an inconvenience for McGrath than anything else. You almost sense that the filmmaker has chosen the wrong chapter in Capote's life for his movie—McGrath seems like he'd be much more at home with the fallout from Capote's La Côte Basque chapter of his unfinished novel, Answered Prayers. Essentially Capote bit all the diamond-clad hands that had been feeding him—his story consisted principally of thinly veiled recountings of embarrassing stories told to him in confidence, now published in the pages of Esquire and making fools of all of his rich friends. The breaches were irreparable; essentially Capote became incapable of finishing his book, and died in a sad haze and quick decline of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Instead, though, we get wacky little Truman with his society swans, all of whom are hammily overplayed, especially by Juliet Stevenson (as Diana Vreeland) and Sigourney Weaver (as Babe Paley). Toby Jones' performance as Capote has a weird, Frankensteiny quality to it—no doubt he's researched the documentary evidence to death and his likeness to the writer is a pretty fair one, but you never sense that the character is fully inhabited, and too often his Truman is an insufferable, charmless namedropper. Sandra Bullock gets at the dowdiness and decency of Nelle Harper Lee, Truman's childhood friend and companion in Kansas, but McGrath's script doesn't quite allow her to function as Truman's conscience. Jeff Daniels is standup as Alvin Dewey, who leads the investigation of the Clutter case. He's late to the party, but Daniel Craig is brooding and menacing as Perry Smith, one of the killers, and the second half of the film focuses on the relationship between him and Capote, much of which is highly speculative. Craig gets at Perry's dangerousness, but not his delicacy; on some level this has to be why his partner in crime, Dick Hickock, gets little more than a cameo in this telling of the tale.

The movie follows some of Capote's own structure, revealing to us only very late the particulars of the grisly murders, but by then the story has become an impossible muddle, sometimes a comedy of manners, sometimes a sick and twisted love story, occasionally a meditation on the confidence game of journalism. Unfortunately for all involved, it functions better as a companion piece than an entertainment, unless your appetite for all Capoteania is boundless.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Kind of a blotchy transfer, with a fair amount of debris. It's a shame that the colors aren't sharper, because it's clear that much of the production design—especially the reproduction of Diana Vreeland's legendary red living room—was painstaking.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 track can sound a little thin, though all the words in this dialogue-driven story are reasonably clear.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Painted Veil, For Your Consideration, Fur, The Prestige
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Douglas McGrath
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: McGrath is gracious and chatty on his commentary track, discussing the detailed physical reproduction of Capote's world, and offering some bon bons on casting—first Mark Wahlberg and then Mark Ruffalo had to bow out of playing Perry Smith, and Craig was a pre-Bond, last-minute replacement. He confirms the suspicion that the bits of characters talking directly to the camera are included because of the nature of Plimpton's book. His family would be proud of his manners, for when it comes to Bennett Miller's doppelganger of a film, McGrath abides by not saying anything at all if you cannot say something nice.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Timing is everything, and this film suffers from the inevitable comparisons. Even on its own merits, however, it's uneven at very best, with some tonal shifts that are weirdly abrupt and inappropriate, and a handful of performances that never get beyond two dimensions.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

music, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donŐt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, television, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncŽ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, movie, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, hbo, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, melissa mccarthy, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation, celebrity, robert de niro, vaxxed, dr. william schaffner, vanderbilt university medical school, autism, cannes film festival, woody allen, cafe society, kristen stewart, blake lively, reality, the voice, alicia keys, miley cyrus, blake shelton, adam levine, marvel, georgia, gov. nathan deal, anti-gay, chad griffin, lollapalooza, chicago, red hot chili peppers, radiohead, lana del rey, ellie goulding, major lazer, dance competion, jodie sweetin, kim fields, sasha farber, paige van zandt, erin andrews, ariana grande, dangerous woman, a cappella, sxsw, drake, fader fort, know yourself, legend, energy, jumpman, hulk hogan, gawker, sex tape, florida jury, $15 million, melissa rauch, the big bang theory, the bronze, captain america: winter soldier star sebastian stan

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store