So I got to see a bunch more movies lately (right now it's the only
thing keeping me sane in the face of the dreaded Technion HEDVA/1t
course). Here's a brief review on each:
- Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven is a rather belated attempt to capitalize on the "psuedo-historical epos" trend of the last few years which was ironically started by Scott's own Gladiator (in case you were wondering, Braveheart
was not a little too early for its own good, having come out in 1995).
Synopsis: Balian, the son of Lord Godfrey, is knighted, takes up the
task of defending Jerusalem from the forces of Saladin and ends up
saving the day etc. Throw in a bunch of clichés about love, what it
takes to be a humane leader back in the crusades and some generic
morality crap and you've got a seriously badly written film. In its
defense it does feature some superb photography, OK action and a huge
cast consisting of some favourite actors of mine: Orlando Bloom (who
finally appars capable of acting), Alexander Siddig (of DS9
fame), Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Irons, Edward Norton (who does not
appear visually), David Thewlis and finally Liam Neeson, who isn't
actually on my list but does deserve a mention. Too bad the movie just
- Nicolas Cage's latest movie Lord of War
was an absolute blast. It is an amasingly cynical, mostly funny and
quite surprising satire of what makes third world countries wage war,
as well as what makes greedy people tick. It doesn't make any excuses
for the clichés it employs, and in my opinion it hits the spot
precisely: some messages simply do not come across until you bang them
into someone's head with an allegorical hammer. My only issue with it
is that it fails to keep the satire simply as that, and culminates in a
verbal political message which is an exercise in redundancy.
- Instead of making a long point I'll skip to the very end with a summary of The Exorcism of Emily Rose:
good acting (particularly by Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson),
reasonable dialog, crappy predictable storyline and no boobs at all. In
short, a movie not worth your time; if you're interested in the
legal/judicial aspects do yourself a favour and go watch Law &
Order, it's what they do.
- I've heard a lot of conflicting opinions on I, Robot. Maddox went as far as to say:
Here's how I would have changed this film: start out with a
shot of Will Smith in a grocery store buying a 6 pack of Dos Equis
beer, except instead of paying, the cashier is a Dos Equis marketing
rep who hands Smith a thick wad of bills. Next shot: Smith finishes the
last of the beer, walks over to Isaac Asimov's grave and lets loose.
Why not? Same message, none of the bullshit.
I won't deny that this movie has some serious issues (particularly with product placements; here it was even worse than The Island, if that's even possible) but I would take an opposite view to Maddox's: I enjoyed the movie immensely. Having read the book
quite recently I find that the only place where the movie deviated
completely from what is detailed in the stories (because I, Robot is
not a single coherent storyline, rather comprised of several short
tales) is in the depiction of Susan Calvin's character, who is actually
very true-to-form in the beginning of the movie. Regardless, the movie
features rather imaginative photography, some great action sequences, a
plot which ultimately doesn't suck and some of the funniest dialogue
I've heard in years (the only competition comes from the underrated Constantine). Bottom line? Recommended.