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Saturday, August 18, 2007

GREENLIGHT Reviews #161: The Ten (with "Going My Way" and "Six Degrees of Separation")

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Ann and Les had faith the The Ten (2007) would be a movie worth seeing but, alas, it was not. To them it was yet another imbecilic film made by immature filmmakers. Even when they managed to stumble upon a funny concept about the Ten Commandments, they manage to beat it mercilessly to death. Almost nothing can be said to recommend the performances of Jessica Alba or Adam Brody and simply nothing other than money can be said for why actors the caliber of Oliver Platt and Liev Schreiber would even do such a movie. And perhaps this movie kindly puts the final ten nails in the coffin of Winona Ryder’s career.

For their GREENLIGHT Rentals, Les recommends a thoroughly enchanting movie about two religious men called Going My Way (1944.) This film features Bing Crosby as a hip-modern priest (of the 1940’s mind you) taking over the parish of a traditional priest played by the absolutely charming Barry Fitzgerald. Les, a non-Catholic, assures you that you don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy this one – especially the scenes with Crosby and The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir. Where, oh where, did the disciples of director Leo McCarey go? Ann recommends a thoroughly modern movie about people who think they’re thoroughly modern. The cast is lead by Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland who play a couple who are thoroughly taken with a strange young man, played by a young Will Smith, who introduces himself to them by declaring he is a friend of their children’s and the son of Sidney Poitier. Much interesting thought and theory follow in Six Degrees of Separation (1993.)

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Blogger David Wain said...

I'm a regular listener to your podcast, a Cleveland native, and the director/co-writer of the movie THE TEN.

I make no defense of my movie - if you didn't like it, you didn't like it, but I simply want to point out a few factual errors and incorrect assumptions:

1) The actors in The Ten did not do the movie to "make a buck" - in fact every actor was paid SAG minimum scale, which on a low budget film is a few hundred dollars, before taxes and commissions.

2) Your description of the audience reaction is definitely in the minority. I've attended screenings all over the country and the vast majority of audiences have laughed from beginning to end. Many of these screenings have been reported in the press, and of course this reaction is reflected in the glowing reviews the film has received from such critics as the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Chicago Sun Times, Philadelphia Enquirer, Hollywood Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Richard Roeper, Jeffery Lyons, etc, etc.

3) I'm not a first-time filmmaker - I'm a film school graduate and I've been a writer, director and performer in the entertainment industry for twenty years. I've directed two feature films. The last one I produced, "Diggers", which was written by The Ten co-writer Ken Marino, was one of the best-reviewed movies of the year.

4) I have seen and studied the old classic film comedies.

5) The scene you describe with Liev Schreiber is about Cat Scan machines, not MRI machines.

1:03 PM  

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