An Unfaithful Wife

By Adam Lippe

unfaithfulwifeIt is rare that a flashy, sexed up American remake of a French film is so superior, but here is the prime example. What Adrian Lyne’s version, Unfaithful,  has in character development, pathos, introspection, believability, and the ability to relate to the characters, Claude Chabrol’s version has none of. Chabrol refuses to lay the groundwork for the affair, and the result is very dull and matter of fact (despite being significantly shorter than the remake), and the husband doesn’t really come off as anything much. There’s a nice final shot and a well handled line where the private detective he hires says, with obvious foreshadowing intended, “I don’t think we’ll see each other again,” but like Chabrol’s other films, it’s not that he expects us to read into the symbolism by being spare, he simply hasn’t done any filling in, not on the lover, the wife, or the husband, so we don’t feel anything at all at the supposedly suspenseful events, other than impatient.

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Roadracers

By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]


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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.