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June 19, 2009     Cape Gazette
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June 19, 2009

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Cape Gazette ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT FRIDAY, JUN E 19- MONDAY, JUHE 22, 2009 97 'Pelham' offers viewers a couple hours of escapism the same route as the original subway thriller Screenwriter Brian Helgeland ("La. Confi- dential," "Mystic River") sprin- kles on the grit and provides more information on its leads. The backstories are a nice touch, had they been given a chance to flourish. But they are shelved in favor of endless, needless car chases throughout the city, which Scott directs with his usual Ritalin-starved flair for all things shiny and loud. Tmvolta's hair-trigger hijack- er, Ryder, does not hold much empathy even with the addition- al information about his woes. But Garber, Washington's hum- bled transit dispatcher, is lay- ered just enough to keep us wanting to hang with him a little longer. The f'flm is frustratingly popu- lated with a host of go-to sup- porting players, none of whom are given much to do outside of barking a few lines as Scott dizzyingly swirls and swivels his camera around them as though the director were on some exercise routine that does not allow him to stay seated for more than a few seconds. John Tur- turro, James Gan- dolfini and Luis Guzman all show up to the party, but are kept on a very short leash. It's best not to dwell on some of the cavernous plot holes M the film's story (just why are Ryder's henchmen so nonchalant about discovering a passenger video-conferencing the whole ordeal with his needy. girlfriend? Any why are they so Continued on page 98 am convinced that "The I Taking of Pelharn 12 3" would be a much better film without Denzel Wash- ington and John Travolta. I am not suggesting that their acting ability is somehow insuf- ficient (though Trav01ta, at times, amps up the ham factor). Rather, with star wattage like those leads, expectations are much higher for a film as slight as this. Had this flm been cast with a couple unknowns - and if director Tony Scott would switch to decaffeinated - I'm convinced this film would be better re- ceived. For it has all the core elements needed for nail-bit- ing: electricity-gen- erating confronta- tions, clock-ticking races and a time- tested premise of the little man up against the system. But with the pres- ence of two Oscar- nominated actors, there comes the promise of so much more. As it stands now, "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" is a loud, frenet- ic, faint breeze of a movie that loses its impact the minute the lights fade during the closing credits. Based on the workman- like 1974 original (which was far from a classic and fair game for a reboot), this "Pelham" follows IT'S BEST NOT TO DWELL ON SOME OF THE CAVERNOUS PLOT HOLES IN THE FILM'S STORY (JUST WHY ARE RYDER'S HENCHMEN SO NONCHALANTABOUT DISCOVERING A PASSENGER VIDEO- CONFERENC|NG THE WHOLE ORDEAL WITH HIS NEEDY . GIRLFRIEND?) Serving Unique Breakfast & Lunch Fresh Fruit Juices Organic Salads Fruit Smoothies Gourmet Sandwiches 108 Second Street, Lewes BREAKFAST (with all your favorite morning newspapers) 6:30 am to 11 am LUNCH DAILY 11 am to 4 pm (302) 703-2161 ph (302) 703-2162 fax Healthy breakfast foods[Market fresh salads[Gourmet sandwiches[Homemade Soups Free Local Delivery on orders of $25 or more. Free parking for curbside take-away - access through Third Street 1. advance order only) (302) 645-6611 108 Second St., Downtown Historic Lewes Gtee=Ma=