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March 17 2005

(SPOILER) Variety Cool Money Review. Rather lukewarm review of Cool Money - liked the actors though, including James. (reg. req.) There's also a review of his TV movie at The Hollywood Reporter.

"...the actor is more than equal to the challenge of a new look; he's completely convincing as a surface charmer,"

Does contain spoilers for the movie itself. Looks like the reviewer feels James would be good in a meatier role, "with more edge."

He simultaneously seemed bothered by and refreshed by the lack of "techo" used in telling the story. Maybe he isn't aware that the heists actually took place in the 70's?

Hving read the full review I especially Liked the fact that they called James "charismatic" and praised his convincing performance. I wasn't too sure what the reviewer was expecting, he seemed to have a problem with the fact that the robbers are sympathetic characters and too likeable. Oh well I'm really looking forward to seeing the film and making my own mind up.
It seems whatever problems the reviewer had with the movie were directed toward the writing and production, while he was happy with the performance of the actors. I like that he pointed out that James is nothing like Spike in either appearance or portrayal in this role. It shows the industry folks who read these things (Variety being an industry Trade Magazine) that's he's perfectly capable of doing other roles. So, James now has some decent footage where he looks like his regular self to show to casting directors.
Well, now I'm really looking forward to this movie.
It should be fun, and to see James in a different role/persona than Spike is always good.
And he's so cute with the shaved hair too!
"returning to TV for the first time since sucking up fans as virile vampire Spike on "Buffy" and "Angel."

Actually, he *was* totally wasted on "The Mountain". Shhh. Never mind.

"he's completely convincing as a surface charmer, though he's ill
served by the character's general passivity and lack of anything even remotely resembling an edge."

Why does he have to have an edge? We know James can play a nasty, manipulative smart-ass and I’m sure he does too. Maybe the interest or challenge of the role for him was to play a normal guy with a family who happens to like thievery. He could make a career out of playing different versions Mr Charasmatic, but why would he want to? Although from the review, it sounds like something that just comes out naturally.
A “refreshingly uncynical” old-fashioned, gadget-free heist film sounds like fun. And retro animated credits make me think of Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies before Spielberg. James is one of the few actors I will watch in anything (see: The Mountain) and I have no doubt he'll make this worth watching.
Yeah, I broke my WB boycott to tune in for the Marsters episode of The Mountain, even after reading how terrible that series was. And JM was so poorly served by that material. So this looks really interesting, and I cannot wait to see it. The shaved head is even growing on me.
Strange review. Very contradictory about almost everything. Good for JM, though.

I have kept it in, but it is going to burst out----The hair is soooooo wrong for the 1970's!!! Okay, I feel better now. And yes, I would rather have it short and wrong for the period, than a bad wig.
Read the full interview, too. Obviously, this reviewer loved James portrayal of Spike, and seems to think James is almost too talented for the role although he does seem to think he is convincing in the part. Not every character has an "edge" like Spike. James is going to have to live with the comparisons for a while, it seems. Spike was a GREAT character.

Personally, I am interested in seeing James play the lead for two hours. Who am I kidding? I'm a shameless fangirl. eeeee!!
The longer the review went on, the more the reviewer found to like about the film ! I really wasn't expecting this film to be dealing with weighty moral issues or to be big in the techno department ! If it's "refreshingly uncynical," then that's great in my book. From the trailer, it looks pretty entertaining and of course, I am really looking forward to seeing James in a leading role.
"Why does he have to have an edge?"

Very true, but like killinj said, I think the comments are meant more towards the movie itself (or the history) and how it and the characters are written than toward how he played the character. From what I've read Bobby Comfort was a "nice" guy, didn't sound like there was much of an "edge" to him.

"Strange review. Very contradictory about almost everything. Good for JM, though.

I have kept it in, but it is going to burst out----The hair is soooooo wrong for the 1970's!!!...


It was VERY contradictory. Luckily I'm glad for the parts the reviewer WAS happy about, James, etc. Actually, I thought it was a "good" review in that it seemed to try and touch all the bases from the acting to the writing, not just a flat out "compare" this to Spike type article as we've seen in some other articles. The recent article about Amber Benson's "Chance," that seemed to think it was some sort of 'verse movie, springs to mind.

Do we know the movie is actually SET in the 70s? The impression I got from the trailer (though it was hard to tell) is that it may not be set in any specific time or else they didn't try real hard to do the "period" look. At least I didn't get an overwhelming sense of 70's cheese! Guess we'll see this weekend!

ETA: Found this review just now: Hollywood Reporter.

"Marsters gives a believable performance as an intense, tortured soul..."

"It's a movie that aspires only to be entertaining and winds up delivering nicely. A great film? No. But not a terrible way to spend Saturday night, either. "

I'm thinking what we'll see as a general consensus on this flick is:

movie=fair
actors=good

[ edited by Grace on 2005-03-18 04:04 ]
Based on stuff I've read about Bobby Comfort, I'm not sure he had an edge! He seemed kind of lazy, though never cruel or heartless. Thieving was just a way to make a buck without exerting himself too much!

I'm glad JM gets praised and that the reviewer points out how much different he looks than Spike.
Actually...I think this reviewer does seem to praise James, even though he feels the material wasn't up to snuff. It is going to take awhile for people to get used to seeing James in anything different than Buffy or Angel, and certainly not as 'edgy' as Spike. But the sheer fact that this critic gives James a lot of credit and says he is far better than the material he has to work with is a compliment.
I am just so happy to get a chance to see more of James on my TV...I could care less what the critics say. Half the time the movies they pan are the ones I most enjoy anyway. With James in it....I know I'll love it no matter what.
I just hope the networks see that he indeed CAN carry a show on his own, and that we may someday get lucky enough to see Spike return, but in the meantime a nice leading man role for James, or several movie and guest spots will be great......oh, and I do think he looks gorgeous, even though I am missing the blond or at least longer locks.
Well, I've long been outspoken about James' current hair, and I have to agree that it is really not a 70's look at all. And if you're doing a 'period' piece, it would help to nail the look. But, no, I don't think I'd have liked a wig, so I guess it was either this or no James. And me likey James.

I'm sure the material isn't up to his talent, but he even made a tad bit of The Mountain watchable. Tiny tad bit. Itsy bitsy.
Well, I've long been outspoken about James' current hair, and I have to agree that it is really not a 70's look at all

What is a 70s look? I was there - I just can't remember ;-)
I'm sure the material isn't up to his talent, but he even made a tad bit of The Mountain watchable. Tiny tad bit. Itsy bitsy.

Yeah, the tiny amount of time where he was actually on screen during "The Mountain" were good - the moment the camera moved to another character it went back to squat. It's like the other actors didn't engage him or even each during the performance.

I'm happy to see the Hollywood Reporter also give a positive review of James performance. Yah James!!!
OK, I'm trying a link to the Holllywood reporter review. We'll see...

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/reviews/review_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000845894

Nope. Tried different things but could not figure out the instructions. So above is the address.
Strange comment on the "not enough edge" since the character is based on a real person. I assume an effort was made to make him true to life.

I'm sure James is wonderful in the movie, so I'm looking forward to it. It is nice for him to get good press in Variety.

On the hair - I was there, too, Ruadh, and trying to remember. It seems to me that buzz cuts were not unheard of, but were uncommon, in the 70s. I was in High School, and I don't think any of the HS boys had them, but some older men did. My uncle did, come to think of it.

I wonder how the real Bobby C wore his hair during that time period?
Crew cuts were left over from athletes in the 1950'sand early 1960's so I guess someone Bobby Comfort's age could have one...though they were a bit different from a straight buzz cut. It was a little longer on top and was supposed to stick straight up...no big deal...I can ignore that, easy. Yeah, gym teachers and my Uncle Oscar (who I think was a storm troper in another life) did keep their crew cuts into the 1970's, now that you mention it.

Thanks! I feel better now. (I'm such a jerk to care, but it is the little things that can be distracting. :-) )
CJ - Grace posted a link to the Hollywood Reporter article. Scroll up a little bit and you all can read it.
Killinj, Great, she did it just after I gave up. Good for her. Maybe sometime I'll try again...
Having graduated from high school in 1977 I vaguely remember the 70s but choose to forget all the ugly clothes and hair.

*has sudden nightmarish flashback of prom date wearing powder blue tux*
I've found a review of his movie at the other trade paper, The Hollywood Reporter and added the link to the subject line as well.
Thanks for the link, Simon. So, combining the two reviews, James plays the role with charisma, charm and tortured soul intensity. Sounds like another excellent performance from him.
*has sudden nightmarish flashback of prom date wearing powder blue tux*

Eeeewwwww! You brought back the painful memory of my ex wearing a powder blue tux for our wedding.

Frankly, when I think of the 1970s, I think of polyester leisure suits or the polyester pants with white belts and white shoes. And moustaches and long sideburns, with, yes, bad hair (although not the helmet-headed hair of the 1980s!). The only people I remember with short hair were the guys in the military and some military supporters in a time of anti-war protests. Even my very conservative father let his hair get a little longer on the sides. The hair issue aside, I don't think even JM could make a polyester leisure suit look good. So maybe it's a good thing that the film doesn't go strictly for a period look.
70s hair - My cousin would have been age 9 or so and his dad made him get a buzzed head - he was teased constantly (they called him "bald eagle"). It was not the style of choice for younger people at the time, it was an old fogie look.

I hope to see this movie and many more starring James!
OK, now I have to see this movie, because the first review gave new meaning to the word "mixed," making me wonder 'what the heck,' and then one reviewer says in regard to JM's performance that there's nothing resembling an edge while the second says deep and tortured. This I gotta see.
hee! Cmbackshane!! Yes, I also want to see "deep and tortured" without an edge. It seems that perhaps the Hollywood Reporter reviewer may not have been as familar with James as Spike, and therefore hasn't really seen "deep and tortured" James style.

Great review here of COOL MONEY: they give it an "A".

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