All the King’s Men, Steven Zaillian’s maligned remake of the 1949 Oscar-winning Best Picture is a classic shoulda-been — an adaptation of a beloved American novel featuring a dynamite cast. But most people couldn’t get past Sean Penn’s boldly bewildering portrayal of Louisiana demagogue Willie Stark. Often incomprehensible (thank goodness for DVD subtitles!) and punctuating his pronouncements with spastic gesticulations, Penn is so oddly distracting that it throws the entire film off-kilter. Which is too bad, because not only is the film a visual tour de force, but the Shakespearean tragedy stalking Jude Law’s impotent lackey packs an emotional wallop. EXTRAS One would hope to find some of the answers to the plot’s blind spots (what drives Kate Winslet’s character?) on the cutting room floor — the film was famously delayed 10 months and re-edited. But this “special edition” contains only three deleted scenes and an extended finale. There’s no commentary either, but featurettes examine Pulitzer-winning author Robert Penn Warren and Depression-era martyr, Huey Long, the inspiration of the story. ”Time brings all things to light,” insists Penn’s Stark. While this particular DVD doesn’t reveal the great film that almost was, perhaps time will redeem it. B
(All the King's Men: Kerry Hayes)
Genre: Drama; Starring: Jude Law, Sean Penn, Patricia Clarkson, Mark Ruffalo, Kate Winslet; Director: Steve Zaillian; Author: Steve Zaillian; Release Date Wide: 09/22/2006; Runtime (in minutes): 120; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Posted January 9 2007 — 12:00 AM EST
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