Half-reviews: Chloe, Pirate Radio & Inspector Bellamy

I would like to make the case for a medium-length movie — just enough time to develop the central characters and idea, but not enough to spin off endlessly into cliches and disjointedness.

Chloe is well-shot, with beautiful cinematography & camera work, and features wonderful actors who don’t quite get to act outside of the supposedly shocking lesbian scenes between Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore. There was about as much shock value as there was suspense: the whole film felt slow and tired as it inched towards an inevitable concluding tragedy.

Pirate Radio was great fun at first –devil’s music, a barge out at sea, general debauchery, and a pursuing government official named Twat. Then the film started to digress into sub-plot lines and seemingly spin off into a million different directions — good fun throughout, but needlessly aimless for my taste.

The case that Inspector Bellamy is trying to solve while on holiday with his wife in Nimes seems more suited for a serial crime show than a film. The characters are simply not interesting enough to warrant getting to know them better, their motivation rings shallow regardless, and the protagonist appears to contradict the long line of French inspectors that are eccentric, sharp, lovable, and overall excellent dinner companions with his utter lack of charm.

Each of these films could have been much more effective had it run through its script in 30-40 minutes. For obvious reasons, this would be an impractical length, but with the increase in ways one can consume film outside of the traditional theater/DVD model I find myself arguing more and more to a leaner approach to film-making.


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