Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ann Magnuson (Part One): Chris's Review of “Panic Room”

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

My car has a tape deck. It’s a device that plays music when you put cassettes in it. They are these little rectangular things with a magnetic tape that will record sound and data. I’m sorry, but I won’t explain what sound and data are. Go ask your mommy.

I’ve been listening to Bongwater’s “Double Bummer.” Well, in this case it’s a band name, but normally… sigh. Go ask your mommy.

One night I decided to do some reading about the band and its members. The truth is that before the internet it was hard to learn about bands you enjoyed. What little bit of information you got was from occasionally catching a band interview on TV or radio, or what you could learn from various magazines. Mommy. Go ask.

Sheesh.

All I really knew about Ann Magnuson was that she was also an actress, and had a role on “Anything but Love,” which I never watched. I also knew that she played a role in “Cabin Boy.” While I never saw that movie, I did see the scene she was in, and a couple of other scenes.

Finally getting a pretty complete list of TV and movies, I thought that perhaps I might watch some of her work. The title that stood out was “Panic Room.” It was a movie I was already interested in seeing. She is only in the first ten minutes or so of the movie. She played the realtor who sold Jodie Foster the house. It meant that her part didn’t have much depth to it, so it’s hard to critique it without sounding dumb:

“She was so competent at delivering her lines that convinced Jodie Foster to buy the house that I believe that she was really looking for a commission,” says Chris McGinty of AccordingToWhim.com, “Compelling! Riveting! Rivethead!”

That just doesn’t work. I guess that’s the world of bit part acting though. All you’re really doing is avoiding being unconvincing. She did have a couple of funny lines too.

So I guess what I’m on to then is my review of the movie itself. I rather liked it. It starred Jodie Foster, Forrest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and a very young Kristen Stewart, who I thought was a boy at first.

I think that the basic plot may be lost on some viewers, because it is predicated on an urban legend premise; and could therefore, be something right out of “Scooby-Doo.”

“Old man Withers died and hid his money somewhere in this house. Jenkies!”

It also feels a little like “Home Alone,” minus the holiday spirit, and the lighthearted approach to home invasion.

I genuinely enjoyed the movie though. It was exciting. I found myself rooting for the heroines. The plot progressed realistically and with good pacing. The entire cast did a great job, and for as much as I’ve heard complaints about Kristen Stewart’s bland acting in “Twilight,” I think she’s quite good. Maybe this movie just gave her more to do than to try looking lovelorn with Cedric Diggory.

In the case that you have not seen this movie, and are still not sure whether to watch it, I would say that if you like a good solid action movie, then check it out.

That will be all for today. I will likely continue to follow the direction of watching Ann Magnuson stuff for purposes of writing material. So until then, um, until then… I don’t know how to close this.

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