Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Movie Reviews

Thoughts on some of the latest viewings. I should note that I never go to theaters to see movies anymore. Besides being over priced, over crowded, while serving crappy food, the people there tend to be social morons who have no common courtesy for people around them.

Plus, at home I can pause, rewind, and drink as many beers as I want. So there

The Illusionist This was just ok. Ed Norton was, as always, very good, but I hate when movies supposedly have a 'surprise ending' that I guess halfway through. There is a pivotal moment that dictates exactly what the main character is thinking and what his plan is going to be.

The Prestige I love Christopher Nolan's work. 'Momento' is still one of my favorites and thought his 'Batman Begins' was the best of the series. Sadly, this movie is a mess. Not only is it hard to follow, but there are times when the movie consists of the two main characters sitting there reading each other's journals. I think at one point the movie had a flashback within a flashback within a flashback. One more and it might have created a black hole. To top it off the ending came off like a screen writer's personal challenge in how many surprises they could throw at the viewer. And one of the 'twists' turns out to be a bit of a cop out. I'll give Nolan a mulligan on this one.

London Gotta admit, this one started out gang busters. A darkened, explicit sex scene with Jessica Biel going down on the guy in the final moments. Unfortunately, that's the highlight as the rest of it degenerates into who can over act the most. Scenes are cliched, loud and annoying. The guy trying to get Biel (London) back is played by the guy that plays the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies. He spends the majority of the movie in a girl's bathroom with the guy from 'The Transporter' snorting coke and crying over his lost love. You know what? Fuck him! He's a loser and, if the flashback scenes of their relationship were any indication, treated her like shit. You got what you deserved, dickweed. Stopped watching this after an hour and the only reason I lasted that long was to see if there were any more Biel sex scenes. There was, but nothing worth mentioning.

Sidenote: The Transporter guy wore one of the worst hair pieces in movie history. You know it's bad when you become obsessed with it when ever it's on screen. It basically diverts your attention from everything else.

Some others while we're here:

Alec Guiness in the first 'Star Wars'
Bruce Willis in 'The Jackal' and '16 Blocks'
Nicholas Cage in 'Con Air'. His mustache in 'World Trade Center' should be mentioned, too.
Tom Hanks in 'Da Vinci Code'.
I'm sure there are others, just can't think of them at the moment. This may turn into it's own entry.

Children of Men Now we're talking. One of the best movies I've seen in some time. It's a bleak, depressing view of the future in which women have stopped becoming pregnant for reasons unknown. I don't want to give too much away, as part of the pleasure of this was not knowing where it was headed. I know when a lot of you heard 'bleak' you immediately crossed it off your list, but just because it's depressing subject matter doesn't mean it's humorless. Michael Caine (who I neglected to add to the 'makes it look easy' list in the last review entry) sees to that.

Two things to note. This movie contains two visceral scenes that astonished me. First is a single cut, hand held take of Clive Owen's character navigating his way through a gun battle between government militia and rebels. It's intimate and terrible and you actually feel like you've been through a battle by the time things wind down.

Second is the impact a newly introduced character has on the people around her. Again, don't want to give away too much, but the reverential silence from everyone around her stuns you to tears. Or near tears anyway. What I loved about this movie isn't it's realism, although that does come into play immediately after the above scene, but the sliver of hope that ends the movie.

Highly recommended.

Today's distraction: Another movie quiz. I've done about 4 of these and have fun with all of them. For the record, the titles have to be exact. For example, you can't write Tango and Cash, it must be Tango & Cash for you to get credit. I got 20 out of 30.

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