A blog from Tonto Books, featuring musings from the publishing world and some occasional special guest appearances.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rocketbelt movie premiere - first reviews

First reviews are in for Pretty Bird, a movie based on the Rocketbelt Caper story, which premiered at Sundance on Sunday night. It would be polite to say the reviews are mixed...

Blogger cha no ma-ri says, '"Pretty Bird" is about a con man who is so mired in his lies he doesn't seem to know what it would be like to tell the truth. It's well-written, brilliantly acted by Billy Crudup and Paul Giamatti, but I came away from the theater feeling that I didn't care too much about the characters.' The quote they will use on the posters is 'well-written, brilliantly acted'...

Lou Lumenick on the New York Times Blog offers a less quotable view: 'I knew 10 minutes into "Pretty Bird", the self-indulgent directorial debut of actor Paul Schneider, that it wasn't going to work for me despite the presence of Paul Giamatti as the inventor of a rocket belt who develops a conflict with an entrepeneur (Billy Crudup, incredibly annoying). I stuck it out for an hour; there were plenty of walkouts, including the L.A. Times' Kenneth Turan.'

Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch Blog says: 'Laced with a mordantly off-kilter sense of humor, the movie seemed to make many people laugh out of confusion as much as anything else, and the last 30 minutes left most completely bewildered. Waiting outside for the shuttle bus afterward, one long-standing indie distributor muttered, to no one in particular, "I don't understand why they even placed that in the festival. It was so bad."' Oh dear. Still, it's early days....

Now would be as good a time as any to remind that, although Pretty Bird is obviously based on the Rocketbelt Caper story, it is not affiliated with the book, the option for which had been previously taken up by another movie production company. Why not buy the book and imagine a movie in your head? More details, extracts, etc are here.


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