December 01, 2006

The Very, Very Bad German

When Steven Soderbergh's "The Good German" screened before a Director's Guild of America audience last week, it was greeted with guffaws and little applause, even though Soderbergh was himself in the audience. I saw the film today, and... let's just say, the DGA was way too kind.

The film is a gimmick - it's filmed just like a movie from 1945 - and absolutely nothing else. The plot takes about an hour to get going and even then is deadly dull, as we're given no reason to care about anything that happens. The casting is also all wrong from top to bottom, as Clooney talks like himself, and unlike anyone in any '40s movie that I've ever seen.

"The Good German" is clearly aiming to be the new "Casablanca," even borrowing its final shot from that film. But if you took "Casablanca" and subtracted the romance, action, acting, scenery, poignancy, humor, music, and everything else that makes it memorable, you'll have "The Good German," probably the emptiest "major motion picture" in memory.

I didn't think I'd ever like a Soderbergh film less than "Erin Brockovich," but life continues to surprise me every day.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 1, 2006 12:53 AM

Yeah, I saw a clip of this too and felt the same way. at first I thought it was trying to be humor in charicaturing Casablanco. I'm looking forward to the Good Shepherd instead.

Posted by: A at December 1, 2006 10:45 AM
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