Dan Movie Reviews

When I get an invitation to a screening, usually it says something like “You and a guest are invited to the ALL MEDIA SCREENING of (film name)”. So, last week I got an invitation to Spartan. Aside from seeing the poster and “Written and Directed by David Mamet”, I really had no idea what the film was about. So, Edgar and I went to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight to attend the “ALL MEDIA SCREENING” of Spartan.

When we got there, we discovered that this was no “ALL MEDIA SCREENING”. Rather it was the FILM PREMIERE. I can’t say we were thrilled with that, considering our attire was completely inappropriate for such an event. Nonetheless, they let us in, and we sat in our assigned (yes, assigned) seats, on the side. Bleh. When the film started, we moved to a better location.

One nice thing about seeing a movie without knowing a single thing about it is that you can be surprised and get more from the film because you honestly have NO idea what is coming next. In short, the film is about a military guy (Val Kilmer) who is helping the secret service find the President’s daughter, who has been kidnapped. That’s all I’ll say about it – I really think this movie should be seen WITHOUT the benefit of the trailer (which ruins a bunch of things).

While there aren’t very many “quotables” in the film, the dialog is, for the most part, pure Mamet. Pure Mamet. Pure Mamet. But not unto itself for that which being, with the film, a way of talking in prose that almost – but not quite – seems to be unnatural but just works indescribably well in an almost juicy way. (Yes, that sentence intentionally was mangled.)

When we were leaving the theater, Mamet was walking near us – I don’t think anyone recognized him (those silly press folks!) and it would have been easy for me to approach him. Since I already have my Untouchables laserdisc signed, I really dunno what I would say to him! But I know what I say to you: go see this film. Get the girl.