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Simone /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Al Pacino, Winona Ryder, Rachel Roberts (II), Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Chris Coppola 

Directed by: Andrew Niccol 

Produced by: Andrew Niccol 

Written by: Andrew Niccol 

Distributor: New Line Cinema


Movie Image

Movie Image

Movie Image

     Simone is like a boring roller-coaster ride, the idea of it is fun, but the end result is disappointing. It has some loops and corkscrews, some twists and some turns; but when riding it you never feel a notch of gravitational force pull past you. I think that a realistically computerized actress would be neat to watch in real life; but in the movie, the whole scheme is unrealistic and incredibly farfetched. Simone can be described as a comical A.I., it has undeniably intelligent features but turns out to be bad material from a good cast.

     Andrew Niccol is a genius, but Iím not sure whether or not I can compliment him on this effort. To be able to imagine such a creative story and put it to film is an incredible achievement, but after all is said and done; his valuable time put into this picture was nothing short of a waste. The well thought out main idea is at times ingenious, but it lacks the support it needs to be intelligent enough to receive a passing grade. I loved the inventiveness of the ideas that the man created for all of ten minutes; but as they were repeated throughout the rest of the movie; I was bored by the dulling material.

      I can honestly say that I liked Al Pacino, though, who fit into his role perfectly. Since his drama career has pretty much sold out, due to the mildly amusing success of Insomnia, he has consequentially resorted to comedies, much like his old Godfather buddy Robert DeNiro did years ago. Though he most likely wouldíve hoped to take the new genre by storm, the mediocre gross of this film in its first weekend will probably cause him to have enormous second thoughts about his next choice. But Iím a critic not a salesman, his acting was done well, so I must honor him. My best guess as to why I enjoyed his performance so much is because it has a great deal of irony; to see a guy thatís been a detective, a sheriff, and a mobster in other roles suddenly appearing in a freak show about an animated actress is so odd itís strangely cool. Though Simone is usually bland, when the actors have their moments the poor material just isnít an issue; everything just lights up for twenty seconds or so that they shine for. It is hard for me to down this film because it is tremendously entertaining, but the script is too weak for anyone to think differently.

     The filmmakers and interior designers threw away their idea of new-age technology in the flick with the cheap and tacky sets used for the various backgrounds presented. They werenít simplistic, as Roger Ebert described some of the ones in Minority Report; they were just plain broken down and worn out looking. I think that itís fine to place more value in dialogue and conversational content rather than set design, but this film lacked in both areas. It was entertaining, but thatís about the only thing I have on the list of pros that it brings to the table, from a theatrical standpoint Simone is unhealthy to watch.

     This film is nothing special. I had an okay time watching it, but theatrically it is an inhumane disaster. Donít see it in theatres, but itís definitely a good rental candidate. Simone canít be described as good or bad; its impression on you is mostly determined by your personal preferences. Though at times entertaining and full of wonderful performances, it canít manage to stick with the intelligent idea originally portrayed. The movie isnít necessarily a bad time, but it is very short of a good one.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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