Thursday, April 17, 2008


George Clooney likes to make movies of the past. His first directorial effort spanned the 60s and 70s in telling the career of troubled TV show host Chuck Barris in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Next he tackled the 50s newsroom (rather brilliantly) with Good Night and Good Luck. Now we get the mid 1920s, during the rise of pro football, which he presents with comic jingle in Leatherheads.

Clooney takes a break from his seriousness (Michael Clayton, Syriana) and returns to his wacky-comedy alter ego (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Intolerable Cruelty) that he seems to enjoy so much. The problem with Leatherheads is that he embraces his light-hearted flare too much, leaving us with an afterthought of a film.

Clooney is Dodge Connelly, one of the few remaining men in pro football that take the sport seriously. To spice things up he recruits a star college football (a sport that is wildly popular) player who also happens to be a war hero. John Krasinski doesn’t dive far from his Office Jim persona but he brings a little to the table. I have high hopes for Krasinski; he just needs a role with a little more edge.

Renée Zellweger is the sassy sports writer who comes between the two men, playing both sides and falling for each of them. She spits fire at Clooney, who throws it right back in the form of tired, reused lines that they hope come off as clever.

The football scenes don’t add much excitement, neither do the constant, over-the-top bar fights. But Clooney isn’t going for blood and tears; he wants to make people laugh with his throwback.
According to IMDB, Clooney will next direct a dark comedy that was written by the Coen brothers. This could be good for him, leave out the zany antics and get the shockingly offensive side of comedy. C


  1. Clooney. He exudes style like no one else can. And when that's enough to carry the day (Ocean's trilogy) it's popcorn perfection (although I think 12 is better than that).

    But when that's not enough, then it's a crap shoot. Are we going to get Syriana or are we going to get this? Leatherheads was watchable. Once. I think a C is spot on.

    1. Thanks man! Wait, are you saying you like Ocean's 12 the best...? Because if so, I think you and I are the only two people in the world who do.

      Yep, once was enough for Leatherheads. Have no thought about it since watching it that one time.

    2. Yes, 12 is the best.

      13 is a train wreck. 11 is fun ("I'd never been to Belize.") but 12 is far more complex and beautiful in its reveal. Yes, the Roberts as Tess as Roberts piece in the middle is fastforwardable, but Finney and the true backstory create a wonderful ending which I find charming on every viewing. In fact, I think I'll go watch it again.

      As to that being a minority opinion? When I look at things differently from most, I'm usually on the right track.

    3. "When I look at things differently from most, I'm usually on the right track."

      That is just fucking brilliant right there. Awesome man, so glad we agree that 12 is the best. I love the hell out of that movie. I think I'll watch it again as well.