Directed by: Jieho Lee Written by: Jieho Lee, Bob DeRosa Starring Kevin Bacon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, Emile Hirsch, Forest Whitaker,Julie Delpy,Clark Gregg,Kelly Hu FILM:
rating:1.5Available at Amazon for $12.99 Review by Ray DeRousse Occasionally a movie erupts with deserved confidence onscreen, growing in magnitude and importance in the hours and days after viewing; PULP FICTION is one such film. Other times, a movie feels like that, but, after settling in the brain, disappointment sets in, followed by frustration. THE AIR I BREATHE is that type of film. The film features a veritable galaxy of stars in service to a story broken into four parts: happiness, pleasure, pain, and love. We know this because the words appear at the beginning of each story ... thanks for the help! The plot leaps around in time, each individual story interlocking with the others at some point and finally creating a cohesive loop. Just like PULP FICTION. It is told in a hard-boiled-yet-sincere manner reminiscient of SIN CITY. Credit first time writer/director JIEHO LEE with excellent taste. The performances range from pretty good to pretty distracting. FOREST WHITAKER shines in a too-brief and sloppily-written segment about a desperate man, and ANDY GARCIA regains some of his once-glorious swagger as a mob boss known as Fingers. However, the talented EMILE HIRSCH is wasted in a terribly annoying role as Fingers' nephew, while SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR and BRENDAN FRASER appear to be hypnotized and/or medicated in their respective roles. From the hyper-stylized credits, to the flashy camera angles, to the look-at-me jigsaw puzzle screenplay, the film has auteur writtne all over it. LEE is clearly emulating some of his independent influences and gunning for the same respect. However, the script trickery quickly becomes labored rather than illuminating. The time element in PULP FICTION allowed the audience to ruminate on the fates of the main characters; here, it's just a gimmick. The story has no emotional heft or philosophical investment upon which to base its contortions. Instead, it is a gimmick looking for a purpose; perhaps Lee and M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN should team up for a truly bewildering and vapid piece of cinematic genius. EXTRAS What extras? There is nothing of note on this disc besides a commentary track that is mostly technical in nature. Surprisingly slight considering the talent involved. OVERALL Can't recommend it. Unless you like your films stylishly pretentious, I think you'll find this one a little too precious. The collection itself is nearly as thin and lightweight as the plot.