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Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Depending on how highly you rate Francis Coppola, it's either ironic or tragic that the man who helmed the great narrative epic of his generation has such disdain for his own true gifts as a popular storyteller. Ten years after his last pic (THE RAINMAKER/’97), he returns with this woebegone Faust knock-off about an aging philosopher/professor/scientist who finds his youth renewed after being struck by lightning, and then meets the beautiful girl whose trance-like spells may allow him to complete his life’s work. Alas, his good fortune may be the death of his new love. Beginning in Romania during the Nazi era and branching out for thirty years in picturesque European settings, there’s not a memorable shot or moment to be had. Coppola once aimed for ‘mere’ entertainment and found art , now he aims for art and delivers arty. There’s a razor’s edge between wisdom & windbag and this film is for everyone who loved APOCALYPSE NOW/’79 because of Marlon Brando. With a Stateside gross of $250,000, it’s a dwindling crew.

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