florafloraflora (florafloraflora) wrote,

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Movie review: Miami Vice; Tijuana

When I went to see Miami Vice last night I was hoping for a shot of pure wish fulfillment, a summery champagne cocktail that would go down easy with no hangover. It didn't exactly work that way. Everything looked slick, for sure, but there was way too much Colin Farrell as Sonny Burnett (for some reason they changed his name from Crockett) and not enough Jamie Foxx as Rico Tubbs. I'd never seen Colin Farrell in a movie, but let's just say that his acting skills didn't benefit from the constant comparison with Foxx's or from the hilarious lines he was asked to deliver (like “It is now Friday night at 11:47-o'clock, and this is the hand we have been dealt”). I was having a good time laughing at the action-movie cliches (the good guys have to act like badasses, see, but it's all in the name of doing good!), and then the zero-chemistry romance between Burnett and Gong Li's Chinese-Cuban "businesswoman" Isabella kicked in, and things started to drag. Considering their romance is supposed to be built on dancing, neither one of them had any moves, and those scenes depended on a lot of tricky editing to make things look good. None of the extras could dance either, which is a problem for a movie that spends a lot of time in clubs in Miami and Cuba. The one really satisfying action moment came near the end when a kickass policewoman blew away a neo-Nazi kidnapper (we can still be mean to neo-Nazis, right?) but after that I drifted in and out of sleep for the rest of the action. Miami Vice wasn't a total waste thanks to Jamie Foxx and many gorgeously-photographed locations, but it's not something I'd pay to see again either. (5/10)

Earlier in the day, when I was done with my work obligations, we took a trip to Tijuana, something I wanted to do just so I could say I'd been to Mexico. We parked at the border and took a shuttle bus over to the downtown. We spent less time in Tijuana, dodging touts, than we would ultimately spend in the bus waiting to get back over the border. I might have liked to buy some jewelry or something, but the hard sell made it practically impossible to look at anything without being asked to sign away your firstborn.

Once we got off the main tourist strip things were more interesting. I was struck by how a lot of things reminded me of poorer neighborhoods at home, even though we were on the opposite end of Latin America: something about the flavor of the crowd, the sidewalk stalls, the impatience with niceties of personal space and traffic laws, the achingly sincere handpainted signs, the way every female between the ages of 12 and 40 acts like a demure little heartbreaker. We spent some time in a busy church decorated with much gilt paint, and tons of candles lit by the faithful. I liked that part. I managed to buy a rosary for my collection from a lady outside, so I wouldn't go back entirely empty-handed. Then we ducked into a supermarket, hoping to buy some amusingly-named snacks or something, but in the end all we got was bottled water. Something tells me I'll have to go to Mexico again before I can say what I think of it.
Tags: movies, travel

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