So I’ve had the ‘flu for the last couple of days, and that means one thing: movie time!
Here’s the list I watched this time. Some of them old, some of them new:
- Ghost in the Shell
- Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
- The Wrestler
- The Interview
The first three I have had ever since I started my DVD collection, and this must be the nth time I’ve watched them. Where nth is greater than 10.
But I love them. On my opinion of Ghost in the Shell, most people will agree with me – it was a groundbreaking film when it arrived on the scene, both in technical terms, as well as in its plethora of myths and ideas which it presented so well. And then it had the action and great story to back it all up.
Maybe not many people will agree with me about Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Metacritic seems a bit divided on the topic: It gets almost exactly 50%, with critics giving it the entire range of ratings, from 20% all the way to 80%. No surprise where I fall: this is an awesome film. True, the technology that was used to (try and) create the photorealistic images is dated – today we can do a lot better (of course, the question remains do we want to). But the movie does have a great story, and the fight/chase scenes are a lot more nailbiting than many “real-life” action films. The characters are all unique and have a true depth to them.
Outland is special. I think I saw this the first time on late-night television when I was in high-school. I’ll admit I was a bit let-down by the film at the time. I had grown up on a diet of Robotech and Star Wars, so space was more about high-speed action outside the airlock, and less about running around inside a space station. As such the film felt slow, and actually a little boring. But I remember it being a bit of a nailbiter in the end. So I picked up my current copy on DVD a couple of years ago, and every time I watch it I become more infatuated with the film. Connery portrays the lone outcast sheriff perfectly, even acting vulnerable and scared at the end. The stern doctor Lazarus (who reminds me more and more of the Haraway character from Ghost in the Shell: Innocence) is great, and the slimy Sheppard is the perfect bad guy: he knows that what he is doing is destroying lives, but he just does not care; according to him, that is the way of life.
I’ve wanted to watch The Wrestler for a while now. I am a bit of a Mickey Rourke fanboy. Whether Harley Davidson (and the Marlboro Man), 9½ Weeks, Sin City, Domino, I love the man’s style. And The Wrestler is good. A down-and-out movie, literally at the end of its tether. A lot like Buffalo ’66 (also starring Rourke) in that regard. Sad, but beautiful. I *almost* cried.
The thing that amazes me about Rourke is that not only does he seem to become each different character that he plays, he even looks different each time.
From the high to the low. Premonition is crap. Don’t even bother. Nothing happens in the movie. It is ridiculous. It does not even inspire the viewer to want anything to happen.
I’m in two camps with Traitor. On the one hand it tries to be another serious Middle-Eastern thriller. Blah blah blah. On the other hand it tries to add something new to the mix: the double-agent, but this time motivated by faith. So in the end it feels like a remix instead of being something innovative. I guess I expected a lot more from a film starring Guy Pearce, who is another favourite of mine. The last time I saw him was in First Snow, and that movie absolutely kicked ass. This one feels a little run-of-the-mill, but it has some good qualities. Check it out.
The Interview, on the other hand is great fun! It applies a film Noir approach to an Australian accent, which is at the same time patently ridiculous and completely brilliant. It is a Usual Suspects like mind-bender, but with the added ingredient of not handing the viewer all the answers in the end. It is a great twisty story, and Hugo Weaving is brilliant.
Finally, another film I have been wanting to see for a while: Redbelt. Mostly because the story just sounded good, but also because Chiwetel Ejiofor seems to be a good actor too. Of course, I have only ever seen him in Serenity and Children of Men, so I have no idea what kind of impression he makes in Kinky Boots and Dirty Pretty Things. Redbelt is good though. It is not the hard-core all out martial arts movie, but succeeds in showing much more of the inner struggle of the main character than a lot of hard-core martial arts movies try and display, plus it does have some pretty good fight scenes. Some people ditch it, others like it. I definitely like it!