Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why “Man on Wire” fell short

My TweeterFlix review on Twitter, This film about Philippe Petite's walk between NY's Twin Towers proves that tightrope walking isn't as riveting as conspiracy. 8 (out of 10), prompted HereComeDots to write, Eight! Man on Wire gets an 8! That's a 10 if there ever was one!

I guess I could have given it an 8.5. But a 10? Never considered it. Don’t get me wrong. “Man on Wire is a really good documentary, even if the recreated footage makes it feel like an episode of “True Hollywood Stories. But the main reason: Philippe Petite never seemed like a sympathetic character. In fact, I found him kind of annoying. He was just this curious figure, an odd little performance artist who was obsessed with making this walk. And we knew he was successful so there was very little tension to it. For me, the biggest nail biter of a scene was where they were hiding under the tarps to avoid the security guards. Not too good for a film about a feat where the main character could fall to certain death at any second.

“Man on Wire”

Released: 2008

Rating: PG-13

Length: 94 minutes

Cast: Philippe Petit, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix, Mark Lewis, Jean-Francois Heckel

Director: James Marsh

Genre(s): Adaptation, Historical, Documentary

1 comment:

  1. Morris Cody (a.k.a, HereComeDots) here—I would give it a 10 because, although I knew he was successful, the way the story was told kept me on the edge of my seat. That's what made it great.

    What made it good was the subject matter—an interesting story that had never been told before. I would compare it to the first time I saw Cirque du Soleil. The performers weren't just doing amazing acrobatics; I wouldn't've believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes. I was amazed not just that they performed the stunts but that someone actually thought it might even be possible to try.

    Philippe Petite's walk between Twin Towers elicited the same feeling. It falls into the "if-I-saw-it-in-a-movie-I-wouldn't-believe-it" category. Drawing a line between the two towers and thinking, "Oh, I'm going to do that," is ludicrous. But the film contains enough archival footage and the narrative is told in such away that I felt like I was actually along for the ride.

    On every level, I think this movie succeeds. A perfect documentary. (And I'm happy to share other documentaries that I think are as good.)