Thursday, July 19, 2012

SHALLOW GRAVE (1994) - Danny Boyle

I didn't much care for the Scots noir thriller Shallow Grave upon its initial theatrical release. Eighteen years and a Criterion Blu-ray release later, I still don't much care for it. How did this one score a coveted Criterion spot? Is it only because it's Danny Boyle's first film? Or am I missing something here?

My distaste probably has something to with Boyle's showboating camera, always moving and copping those moves from better Scorsese and Coen Brothers' films, usually to a bland techno beat. Then there's the three lead characters...all douchebags and not the interesting kind. One of the staples of noir is that it is peopled with greedy, amoral a-holes, but they need to be somewhat compelling a-holes. I couldn't give a lick about these three. From the opening scene--a cutesy-poo montage of McGregor, Eccleston and Fox interviewing potential flat-mates with ponderous questions and wry insults--they just grated on my nerves. I wanted to give them (and the disc) an eviction notice from my DVD player straight away.

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