February 15, 2006 Wednesday
Catch Me If You Can
Actors: Leonardio di Caprio and Tom Hanks
Director: Steven Spielberg
It's not exactly the latest Hollywood offering, but with movies at P150 a pop, a borrowed DVD is extremely appealing.
Leonardio di Caprio plays the true-to-life role of Frank Abagnale Jr. - impostor, forger and con-man. Before he reached 18, he was already the world's most successful bank robber. Tom Hanks is the FBI guy who unrelentingly pursued him.
Brain vs. Brawl Bank Robbers
The typical bank robber barges into a bank, shoots the security guard and spirits the loot away in a getaway car. Impressive? Yeah, maybe in the penitenciary where he earns bragging rights. But what about the bank robber in a 3-piece suit who cashes a check and then disappears without a trace? The FBI knows such a man exists, but knows nothing how he looks, what his real name is or where to begin. That's the kind of criminal competence this Frank Abagnale is. By knowing how the system worked, he printed and kited checks on a global scale.
A Fitting Role
This is one of the few movies that linger after the movie is done. Finally, here's di Caprio playing a role that fits him to a T - a kid playing a grown up. He is so good here, he made Tom Hanks role actor proof. Just to use a reference, when di Caprio played Howard Hughes in Aviator, he was out of his depth despite good acting. With his boyish looks, he simply cannot pull off playing a grown up.
Bombing on a Role
I could think of a few movies where a top-drawing actor miserably bombed on a role. Take Kevin Costner with the movie, Wyatt Earp. This dude couldn't play a tough-guy role even if his life depended on it. Compare him to Kurt Russel who competently played the same role in Tombstone - night and day if you ask me.
Or take Christian Slater playing Lucky Luciano - another boy playing a scary man role. He looked really wet with that. Compare that to his ground-breaking Pump Up the Volume where he was a kid playing a rebel kid. He got to eat his cake and keep it too.
Actors Who Hack It
So, who ever played a tough guy role and scared the audience with his sinister menace? A vivid imagery comes to mind - Morgan Freeman (yes, that same guy who played a very benign driver in Driving Miss Daisy) cornering Christopher Reeve in a dark alley and threatening to gouge his eyes out in the movie, Street Smart. He got me so scared I refused to pass thru a dark alley after that. But hey, he's Morgan Freeman. He's probably the best character actor in Hollywood today. I haven't seen him in a bad movie...not yet.
Okay, back to the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and see it. Direction by Steven Spielberg is enough hint it's a good one.
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