Monday, July 28, 2003


A Video Review of "Tape"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Two high school buddies get together after ten years and confront each other over Amy, a girl they both dated. Simple idea stretched into a David Mamet-ish conflict in a motel room. Great acting and all the good points of My Dinner with Andre without the tedium contrasted by the limits of a play. Tape is based on the Stephen Belber play and it so feels like it. Play is written all over this, sometimes so much so it's suffocating.

Ethan Hawke who plays the drug dealer is a whirlwind. He's been behind the camera for quite a few years now and when he does deign to act it is always a juicy part as is the case here. I wish he'd do more in front of the lights. Sean Leonard, although good here as the aspiring filmmaker, is essentially playing the same guy he always plays - a less whiny more intellectual Albert Brooks. When Amy played by Uma Thurman shows up things really get dicey. She's very good here which is a nice change of pace.

I won't give away the secret of the title but it is a twist that will keep your rapt attention throughout. At times the camera work is dizzying but you don't mind because it just increases the intensity of the scenes where it whizzes back and forth. It's a trademark of director Richard Linklater that actually works here. This is a brilliant film.

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