Seen quite a few movies recently. Here's a bunch of stuff:
- The Life Aquatic is a unique movie. Not quite comedy, not quite drama, it still manages to be interesting, never dull, often hillarious and even moving at times. It tells the (fictional) story of oceanographer Steve Zissou (played by Bill Murray) in his last great adventure: trying to find and kill the shark that ate his life-long friend Esteban. Although this may sound like a modern-day Moby Dick, the rest of the movie certainly isn't. With an insane cast including Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum and Michael Gambon this movie seemed to have faded into obscurity simply because it is so odd and unusual most people simply can't figure it out. Recommended.
- Versus is a Japanese action flick which includes Yakuza, zombies and supernatural forces. Despite terrific action scenes and some amusing characters (particularly the, er, protagonist) it completely fails to mesmerize; unlike some of its Chinese counterparts (such as Black Mask) the movie doesn't flow, it just drones on and on into monotony. Stay away.
- Four Brothers is the story of, well, four unlikely step-brothers (two white, two black) whose mom is shot down by gangsters and they seek revenge. Although the base plot is pretty standard fare the movie itself is very well made; it reminded me strongly of The Boondock Saints (itself a highly recommended movie). Four Brothers isn't quite as good but still works very well and manages to combine comic relief with some drama and lots of action. Recommended.
- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is a hillarious movie with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. I usually dislike Stiller intensely, but in this particular case it works very well. The (relatively stupid) plotline pits Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) as a proprietor of Average Joe's Gym, a gym for people just like you and me (well, not really - I hope I'll never be as pathetic) facing foreclosure, against White Goodman (Stiller), owner of Globo "We're better than you, and we know it!" Gym who's trying to take over Average Joe's. Fast forward a bit, you got the guys at Average Joe entering a dodgeball tournament to win a reprieve from Average Joe's mounting debts; Rip Torn in one of his most bizarre and hysterical roles yet; great actor chemistry and goofball humour which all adds up to a really fun movie. It's not quite as good (or satirical) as BASEketball but it's great fun never-the-less.
- I saw the first two episodes of Planetes and couldn't figure out what the big deal was; my brother (who usually knows his stuff) spoke very highly of the series but the episodes I watched bored me so badly I stopped watching in the middle, instead preferring to finish playing The White Chamber.
- In other news, Serenity will be coming to Israeli theaters sometime in mid-November. Hoozah! Since the tickets to the screening at Icon were long gone by the time I tried to order this means I might yet get the chance to watch the movie, and might even do some catching up on Firefly beforehand.