WEIRDLAND: "The Lookout" DVD release

Monday, August 13, 2007

"The Lookout" DVD release

AVC: "The character also feels this lingering shame about his responsibility in causing the accident.

JGL: That's true. And I think that Chris suffers from that more than he suffers from the brain injury. And that's something we can all identify with, whether you've been hit in the head or not. You know what it's like to be ashamed of yourself, to regret something. And those are powerful feelings, and they can tear your life apart. And I think that they are tearing Chris apart even more so than the scratches on his brain." Source: Avclub/content

"The Lookout" has a strangely purposeful way of tipping its narrative "surprises".
Pratt, for instance, takes a menial job swabbing floors as the lone overnight employee at a rural bank. This is a situation that an unscrupulous person could exploit, and when just such a shady character (Matthew Goode) befriends Pratt, "The Lookout" immediately tips us that he's up to no good.

Frank also lets us know, right away, that Pratt's gorgeous new girlfriend (Isla Fisher) is too good to be true.

This studied series of anticlimaxes (a variation of the techniquein "Zodiac") handled better may be Frank's way of saying the movie isn't really about twists and turns, but people.

But so was the livelier "Memento," since its final twist revealed the ghastly truth about its lead character, played with sardonic intelligence by Guy Pearce."

"Gordon-Levitt effortlessly burrows into the character's frazzled mental and emotional state. He makes Chris a sympathetic stand-in for anyone who has ever felt crippling self-pity over failing to achieve one's dreams.
Fisher plays Luvlee with a sweetness that nicely contrasts against the usual femme fatale archetype, while the most memorable supporting performance comes from Goode, oozing riveting menace and persuasive charm as the heavy". Source:

"Gary eventually clues Chris in on his plan to rob the bank after the bank receives an influx of cash from the winter harvest. Gary promises Chris a cut of the heist’s proceeds and a shot atnormalcy with Luvlee. Chris agrees to become the lookout for the heist. But Gary isn’t to be trusted, Chris begins to have second thoughts, Lewis suspects something is amiss, and the winter harvest money is due to arrive any day now.
From the emotionally and cognitively impaired hero haunted by his past, to the gang leader who induces the hero into breakingthe law, to a femme fatale who seduces the hero with the promise of intimacy, to the build up and execution of the heist, double-crosses, and voice over narration, it’s obvious we’re firmly in noir world". Source:

"Frank wrote the screenplay for “The Lookout” almost 4 years ago, and it has long been rumored, like Lem Dobb’s still unproduced “Edward Ford”, to be one of the greatest unfilmed scripts on the studio shelves. David Fincher toyed with it a bit before chasing the “Zodiac” instead and left it for Frank to direct himself. Frank acquits himself very effectively in the director’s chair, but this isn’t so much a director’s picture as it is a true “auteur” film, as in “author”.

The film’s effectiveness is entirely within the pages of the script, and the talent of its fine cast. Like John Huston, who debuted with his own crime adaptation, “The Maltese Falcon”, Frank clearly sees writing and casting as the most important parts of making a successful film. Huston once remarked that 75% of a picture’s success could be attributed to good casting. If the material is any good, the director merely has to photograph it cleanly." Source:
"Between The Lookout and Brick, it's interesting how Gordon-Levitt's become a sort of post-modern noir hero. In Brick, he was the classic detective; in The Lookout, he's the classic sap." from Source: review.
"Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt the new king of neo-noir? Could be. [...] It’s an extension of - and, yes, improvement on -his stunning, multifaceted turn in “Brick” subtly layered and richly realized. New king of neo-noir? Undoubtedly, and after this performance, most deservedly." from Source:

"In the old-school noir pictures that The Lookout nods to —such as "Black Angel" and "Somewhere in the Night" —the heroes needed to remember what they did to get to the end of their stories; here, Chris has to remember who he is. For real." from Source:

"Scott Frank's "The Lookout" makes atmospheric use of the wide spaces at its outskirts and surrounding farms to tell a compellingly neo-noir tale of an unusual recruit in a bank robbery. Film noir may have been born in an urban world (Los Angeles, perhaps, with a few childhood visits to San Francisco and New York) and defined by the look of a labyrinth of seedy bars, dark alleys, mansions in the hills, crowded lunch counters and broad sidewalks, but modern noir is just as likely to be found in Midwestern suburbs as in your pick of America's big, bad cities." from Source:

"I’ve been ripping through the pulp noir of Charlie Huston recently, so I slipped comfortably into "Get Shorty" screenwriter Scott Frank’s directorial debut -a dark neo-noir about ChrisPratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt of last year’s criminally overlooked Brick), a high-school hockey standout whose future crashed into a stalled combine on Highway 24 along with his Mustang, girlfriend and two passengers - without hesitation. [...] Frank gets a lot of the little stuff right. He nails the tragic, stupid, teenage romanticism of Chris’ accident and the stiff shot of humor provided by the blind roommate (Jeff Daniels). The Lookout could have been a bit of a tougher talker. Also, stories like this -good guys pressed into morally questionable action by really bad guys don't usually end like this one does. A tougher Lookout could have scared two broken thumbs up out of me". -Drew Wheeler. Source:

Jeffrey M. Anderson: "I was curious about the restaurant that Lewis wants to open with Chris, "Lew's Your Lunch." Does everybody have a secret dream of opening a restaurant?
Scott Frank: "Well, in the movie, it's such a ridiculous idea. It's so clearly a "Lewis" idea. It's another example of someone imposing their agenda on Chris. The only one who's being honest is Gary. He's telling the truth: you're not independent, you have no friends, you have no life, you have nothing. You think you're doing fine; you're not. Whereas Lewis, because Lewis doesn't want to be left alone, so "Let's open this restaurant together." He kind of imposes it on Chris. I wanted to make it a real Lewis thing". Source:

Andrew O'Hehir: "And it seems like you hit on the idea that one of the main things that manifests for Chris is that he gets angry when he's not able to do something the way that the so-called normal part of him would want to. Was that one of the key things for you?
JGL: It's true, there's two edges to an injury like this. There's the injury itself, which does change your brain, but then I think the even more severe and painful truth of the condition is that he remembers who he used to be and wishes so badly that he could be that and isn't. So it makes him insecure and it makes him feel bad about himself, and that's way more painful than not being able to have your brain work like it used to -- way more painful. I think that's something he has in common with everybody. Everybody's fears and insecurities, those are the real demons. The problem is when you're scared. The problem is when you don't love yourself. And Chris has a healthy portion of lack of self-love, and that's what's really holding him back, I think, even more than the brain injury". Source:



clairex said...

I liked "The Lookout" very much, although I saw it more as a laid-back drama and thriller than a noir film, imo.

gr77 said...

I want to see this (I bet it will be released straight to DVD here!!).
Lovely video,Kendra.Is that Mark Bolan I hear at the begining?

Kendra said...

Yes, you guessed it, it's a song from T Rex, the second is "Goin' home" by Luna.

Kendra said...

"Girl" is the song by Marc Bolan.