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Film – Quick Thoughts: Face/Off

February 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Face/Off
Face/Off, directed by John Woo
Written by: Mike Werb & Michael Colleary
Starring: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage & Joan Allen
My rating: 4 of 5

I’ve watched this before, lots of times in fact as I really like it. It’s a shame John Woo never really seemed to find his place in Hollywood as Face/Off is a very fun action film, a great core idea – a cop taking the face of a criminal to infiltrate his organisation and find a bomb, then the criminal taking the cop’s face and destroying all evidence of the swap – and lots of style.

It’s not as unashamedly insane as Con Air, Woo pulling it back from pure silliness to keep it somewhat serious, but Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are still wonderfully over the top at times. It’s like Nicolas Cage and John Travolta were told to act to extremes because they need to be both hero and villain at different times, and each needs to be noticeably different. When Nicolas Cage is overacting he’s just marvellous, making the best faces, and Travolta’s no slouch either.

Film – Quick Thoughts: Con Air

January 29, 2012 2 comments

Sucker Punch
Con Air, directed by Simon West
Written by: Scott Rosenberg
Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich
My rating: 4 of 5

My eleventh film of 2012 was Con Air, a Christmas DVD. It’s the kind of film that I don’t know if I should actually like because it’s just so stupid, almost every character in the somewhat bloated cast being ridiculous. It feels like everybody knows that though, especially people like John Malkovich and Steve Buscemi, and it’s just so much fun to watch. Every main character has at least one sentence or scene that is just so silly, and I can’t help enjoying it every time I see it.

“I’m gonna show you god does exist.”

“Put the bunny back in the box.”

“He’s off saving the rain forest, or recycling his sandals or some shit. ”

“You with me, or do you need me to draw it in crayon, like usual? ”

“Ohh… nothing makes me sadder than the agent lost his blader in the… aaaiirrrplane. ”

“Do you know what I am?” “Ugly all day?”

“One girl, I drove through three states wearing her head as a hat. ”

“That skinny little man butchered thirty-some people up and down the eastern seaboard. They say the way he killed those people makes the Manson Family look like the Partridge Family!” “Well…he’s on the right flight.”

It’s all so silly, and such fun.

Film: Recent Movies

September 14, 2010 2 comments

Time for another movie round-up, featuring every film I’ve watched over the past two weeks. There aren’t many here this time so they’ll be in chronological order (in the previous mega entry I sorted them by preference, but there weren’t any films here that I thought were average or bad):

Vanilla Sky

I had to break my 425x90 image rule to get this one to fit properly. Click the image for a link to the source.

Vanilla Sky (2001)

Summary: Playboy David enjoys his superficial life until he meets Sofia and quickly falls in love with her, which angers his fling Julianna.

First Viewing?: No, I think I’ve seen it at least twice before.

Thoughts: The summary above doesn’t really do it justice, but Vanilla Sky is a fairly odd film (Wikipedia informs me it won a LoveFilm poll for the most confusing film, though looking at the other choices makes it look like a lot of voters were just easily confused), seemingly changing its themes as it progresses and builds up to the big reveal at the end. Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz, Jason Lee and Kurt Russell all give good performances and I like the ideas it explores, so despite the relative strangeness (which it doesn’t really do as much with as it perhaps could have done) I can’t help enjoying it each time I watch it.

Rorschach at the grave.

Click the image for a link to the source.

Watchmen (2009)

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Film: Recent Movies

August 30, 2010 3 comments

The last time I did this was more than a month ago, so there are a lot of films in here (spanning twenty years of releases) and the thoughts will probably be briefer. I’ll put them in order of preference, with the worst film getting the most commentary because it was bad in a way that leaves me with lots to say about it:

The Host

Click the image for a link to the source.

The Host (2006)

Summary: A mysterious monster snatches a young girl and she is believed to be dead by everybody except her family, who set out to try and save her.

Thoughts: This was very good. I went into it expecting something like the The Ring or The Grudge, something dark and psychological, which was a little silly of me as the only real connection between them was that they’re all Asian films (but not even the same country, with The Host being Korean and the other two Japanese) and have a similar title structure.

The Host has a lot more in common with monster movies, with the monster being created by pollution, publicly terrifying the region and picking off those who go after it.  It mixes humour, horror and more touching moments to great effect and the initial reveal scene for the monster is very impressive and lengthy with some good CGI work.

Road to Perdition

Click the image for a link to the source.

Road to Perdition (2002)

Summary: A gangster takes his son on the road after they run afoul of the mobster he works for, trying to stay alive and work on their revenge.

Thoughts: I’ve seen this a couple of times before (though not recently) and still think it’s very good, even if it’s no American Beauty. Hanks does very well with a role that doesn’t seem to fit his general nice guy role history, and most of the cast are great in general. I don’t really have anything more to say about it than that.

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Film: 30 Movies in 30 Days: Day 17

August 2, 2010 6 comments

This post is part of a month-long project, answering thirty topics about movies over thirty days. The subject for the seventeenth day is:

A movie that disappointed you the most

One film immediately came to mind for this one as an ideal example, but I’ve subsequently thought of something else that is at least as relevant that I also want to cover here. That means this will be a double entry, kicking off with the one I thought of first:

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

(Click the image for a link to the source)

The first film in the series, Curse of the Black Pearl, was a real surprise. Pirate films haven’t exactly been much of a success for some time but the film was fun, had a great cast (with Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa being the highlights), and a lot of great moments (such as Jack’s initial entrance on a sinking ship). It told an entertaining story of cursed pirate gold and betrayal and was a great film, so expanding it into a trilogy didn’t sound like a bad idea.

Then came Dead Man’s Chest, and like most sequels it threw in a few more storylines to keep track of. With Barbossa defeated in the first film it added two new villains, Davy Jones (who ferries those lost at sea into the afterlife after offering them the chance to join his crew) and the East India Company’s Cutler Beckett. Jack needs to find Jones’ heart (stored in the titular chest) to force Jones to call off the kraken that’s been sent after him, Beckett wants the heart to control Jones and the kraken to give him control over the entire sea and wipe out all pirates, and Will wants the heart to stab it and free his father from Jones’ service. There are a lot of threads running concurrently and there are some action sequences (the island tribe and the lengthy sword fight) that go on a bit too long but I still liked the film, which was a lot of fun and managed to further develop its characters and give them some great moments.

Then came At World’s End. One of the strangest things about the film is that it was filmed back-to-back with Dead Man’s Chest but doesn’t in any way feel like it, coming across more as a sequel that the writers tried to shoe-horn onto a predecessor that wasn’t set up for it.

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