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Miami Vice knocks down the "digital can't be beautiful & cinematic" argument

Just got back from watching Miami Vice (a dude's gotta take a break from a steady diet of d.i.y. film activity & sample some hyper-hyped hollywood stuff every once in a while :). What sealed the deal on going to see MV was the New York Times review I read today, it said something like that MV is an art film for action fans or an action film for art film fans, something like that. Plus a little bit of decadent shiny-ness reflected back from the 80's was thought to be a welcome diversion for a couple of hours. Anyway, back to the artiness of MV: yeah, it's arty. A lot artier than most Hollywood action flicks. At one point the camera pans away & focuses on ordinary highway activity, this happens at the end of an intense confrontation between the two MV cops & an informant, then the flick completely surprises us by....(see the movie for that :) and then jumps into the next, unrelated to the previous, scene as if nothing happened while the audience collected their breath. Unpredictable storytelling coupled with excellent visuals (the film did not suffer due to the use of digital video, in fact, I think dv was the ideal format for this flick, but, like the old argument goes, it wasn't the format but the talents behind the camera that sealed the deal) lifted the film far higher than it would have gone on actors & plot alone.

And so now on to the not so great aspects of the film. The flick could have used better dialogue. The two lead characters should have been introduced in greater mundane detail (small talk - well written small talk, a little bit of humor, some unique habits, etc.) at the beginning of the film to help the audience forget the famous real life personalities of the actors who are playing the roles. The reasons for the relationship between Sonny & the criminal woman, how it ended up being what it became, needed to be revealed - why did those two individuals put their careers & lives at risk?

There is room for improvement in the character & dialogue areas, but the cinematic storytelling (mostly the images, also editing, use of sound in relation to images & story details & emotions) in MV is excellent.

- Sujewa


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