Monday, June 23, 2014

Alan Rickman Reel: Closet Land

My household are big fans of Alan Rickman. As such, we've decided to (continue) review(ing) his films from start to finish. Using IMDb, that puts us starting with...

Die Hard (DIE HARD!!!!) and continuing with...
Closet Land (yeah, we know it's out of order:)
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

The trailer makes it seem a lot less terrible than it is!

sgwordy: Wow! That movie was really weird. But mostly just bad.

Dr Musacha: Yep, weird and bad. I think we're done here!

sgwordy: Haha, it's tempting to leave it at that but our adoring fan expects more. Actually, I did have a question. The set-up is pretty interesting so most of the terrible is in the execution. Would it have helped the movie at all if the cast had been two men or two women rather than one man and one woman?

Dr Musacha: Fine, this is for you, Fan. :) Maybe, but Interrogator was so unhinged that it didn't feel like an official proceeding. I really like dystopian police state stories (like 1984 and V for Vendetta) but in this case the threat never hit home with me because the whole situation was so surreal. Instead of making me feel like Victim had become another casualty to the philosophy of safety over civil liberties I just kept wondering if Interrogator was some random, well-dressed sexual predator who had kidnapped his latest victim to torture.
sgwordy: I felt the first half of the movie did a much better job of playing into the police state idea (you don't really know since the movie never leaves the one room) but the second half became mostly about the torture and Victim's psychological resistance to it. The police state threat disappeared and it just became a torture film. Speaking of that, even if it had been a good movie I still don't think I would have liked it as I really, really don't like watching torture. Even implied torture is really unsettled for me as a viewer.

Dr Musacha: With only two actors and one set, Rickman and Stowe have a lot of room to explore their skills. Did you think Alan Rickman took advantage of that?

sgwordy: I think his performance was uneven to tell the truth. At times I thought he was dead on for the zealous police interrogator but at other times it felt more like scenery chewing. That might have a little to do with the surreal aspect you mentioned. What did you think?

Dr Musacha: I think Alan Rickman is a master of threatening violence but when he moved into the actual violence I think he wasn't the right actor for the role. He's more of a controlled menace type of actor.
sgwordy: I would agree with that. Any other thoughts? I'm ready to move on from this one so nothing from me.

Dr Musacha: Despite my thoughts on Rickman as this particular villain my dislike of the movie didn't have anything to do with him or Stowe. It was the writing and the tone. There aren't any actors you could put in this film that would make me like it more.

sgwordy: On to the ratings then.

Rate the movie on a scale of 1 to 10:
Dr Musacha – 2
sgwordy – 2
Was Rickman the best thing about this movie?
Dr Musacha –No but he did have a couple good one liners.
sgwordy – Naw, but what was really?

In the context of his body of work, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Rickman as Rickman?
Dr Musacha –3
sgwordy –3

Favorite Rickman quote from this movie?
Dr Musacha: I don't smoke.
sgwordy concurs


  1. Great idea! Can't wait until you guys get to some of my favorites. Wait…where's Sweeny Todd, Harry Potter series, and of course, Love Actually? ;-)

  2. Rest assured, they will come! :) Admittedly, there are some titles we are looking forward to quite a bit more than others. The next one up, Close My Eyes, might get skipped altogether as it doesn't look like a lot of fun and the whole point is to have fun, right? (Basically we just want to get to Galaxy Quest - ha!)