Friday, January 18, 2008
Viggo, Chappelle et al
Viggo Mortensen's performance in Eastern Promises gathers steam as the film moves on. Literally. It peaks in an extended, bloody fight scene in a Finsbury Park steam bath with two Chechens. I enjoyed Mortensen in A History of Violence. I was nervous for a few mintues in this one, but in the end was even more convinced. And the London sets and lighting are wonderful. Dig the way the camera lovingly goes over opulent Russian celebratory meals, from preparation in the kitchen to presentation on banquet tables in one of the film's main locations, the inside of a Russian mob restaurant.
On the topic of good shooting locations, props to the scouts who found the Bed-Stuy block for Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Jill Scott and Erykah Badu singing together, Chappelle's hand selected marching band from Dayton, Ohio, etc... Chappelle shows himself to be a great bringer-together of people. Fun way to spend some bread if you have plenty, thats for sure. Movie was a little long, though.