Thursday, July 26, 2007

Movie Mini Review: Beyond the Sea

Title: Beyond the Sea

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman

Plot summary:
Late-1950s pop sensation Bobby Darin reviews his life and times from childhood to his death in this musical bio-drama.

My thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised to see the my Supermodel Wife had DVRd this flick. I remember being interested in it when I saw Kevin Spacey making the late night talk show rounds last year.

Back then, Spacey described Beyond the Sea as an homage to Bobby Darin and his music. And I guess that's one way to describe it.

But the way I would describe it is an homage to Kevin Spacey.

Spacey, who gives himself credit as writer, director and star is never off screen for more than a minute or two. The scenes seem designed not so much to advance the plot, but to showcase Spacey's acting, singing and dancing skills.

It's too bad. I've really enjoyed some of the work Spacey has done. I think his roles in The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil were top notch.

But Beyond the Sea had the look and feel of a Spacey vanity project.

I understand Spacey has been spending a lot of time on stage productions for the last few years as artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London. Some of the stage and musical influence made its way into Beyond the Sea. But in my opinion it didn't translate well.

Many of the scenes were contrived especially to lead to a song and dance number. For example the scene that introduces the title track is only tenuously related to the content of the song.

Hearing some of Darin's best songs took a bit of the edge off of all of the Spaceyness. And even though I was looking at the clock on the DVR to see how soon the movie would be over, I still enjoyed Spacey's rendition of Mack the Knife.

My final rating: meh.

Favorite quote:

"Listen you prick, there are four guys around here who can't be fired. And you're not one of them. "

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