July 29, 2004
the bourne supremacy

(7/26/04, 5:30pm, AMC Kabuki, by self)

give me some poo! give me the poo!

in case you are curious what the hell i am talking about, please read my review of the second ludlum book.

they killed marie.

those fuckers.

i mean, sure they killed conklin in the first book, and i got over that deviation. but killing marie? MARIE? i am ok with it on the different from the book front, i am not ok with it on the no more franka potente front. dammit!

just in case you're reading this and haven't seen the movie yet, don't worry. they kill her in the first 10 minutes. i'm not really giving away a major plot point here. i mean, obviously her death spurs the plot, but being armed with this foreknowledge is not, in and of itself, going to ruin your watching this movie.

other then my severe issue with them killing one of my favorite actresses' character, this movie was pretty good. it was quite different from the first one. this can be seen most noticeably in the camera-work. the first movie was smooth and slick. this movie is going for super gritty-realism and providing the audience a chance to feel like they themselves are in the scene hiding behind a door or lurking in an alley. the vast majority of establishing shots were done with door frames showing, or thru windows with sides of building framing, or around corners with the closest wall leading up to the action.

plus, the camera was of the hand-held shaky variety and close-ups were the order of the day. during fight scenes or car chase scenes things got a little crazy. which was the one point when i think it would have been better to pull back a little and let the camera see more of what was going on, because everything became too inseparable and you couldn't see what the fighters were doing. if you're going to get your main actor to spend a lot of time on fighting lessons and then block fight scenes, you should maybe consider actually showcasing said fight so we can be impressed by it. it's hard to be impressed by something when it's looking like it could be called the blair bourne project.

favorite line of the movie: "it was my first time." -matt damon as bourne.

aaaawww! let it all out, you little virgin with your stupid-ass 12 step program to rid yourself of the taint of being a killer.

i still can't believe they fucking killed marie.

Posted by michele at 11:55 AM

(7/24/04, Phill theatre, 4:50pm, with mom)

mmm egyptian mythology and cats. i like cats. "beloved bast, mistress of happiness and bounty, sister of the sun god."

"catwomen!" they're not contained by society, you know, they follow their own rules. and their own rules dictate stomach and chest bearing leather outfits and bad hair.

the first half of this movie was ok. the second half of this movie became mired in its own supposed cleverness of the double entendre. "caaaat got your tongue?" and ordering a white russian, holding everything but the cream, oh hello milk mustache. a pointed ad for that milk campaign? could be.

the fight scenes are, in general, really good. lots of capoeira used, which is always sweet. fluid and kicking a lot with the legs. i'd be interested in seeing an actual cat do some of the things that she did, but whatever. the part where she died (by sewer water, gross), there's some shots of her looking around with her new cat eyeballs which made me curious as to how cats see the world (i'm frequently curious about this actually). is it really like that? i can't explain it very well, but distances got skewed and angle of head was key.

occasionally the fight scenes/the basketball playing scene, just turned into a music video, however. all loud, pumping bass and swooping camera. bright, bold colors! which was enjoyable, but sort of silly. more then sort of silly, absurdly silly to the point of producing adrenaline giggles.

halle berry, i don't usually like. she's lame and doesn't really act. (i've never seen monster ball, nor do i really care to, but perhaps that was oscar-worthy. i don't know. what does it even mean to be oscar-worthy? judgment call). but i did really enjoy her delivery of some of the lines. especially when she was being catwoman aggressive-type as opposed to catwoman meek-type. attitude. noyce. the whole aggressive/nurturing female dichotomy thing was, perhaps, interesting. but mostly it was schizophrenic and stereotypical.

beao-line, the evil skin-care product, what was it made out of? shelac? improbable.

it set itself up for a sequel, "to live a life untamed and unafraid...and so my journey begins." a little over the top, as was most of the film, but there you have it. mass money-making marketing strikes again.

i enjoyed this movie because it was fun, cute, fight-fantastic, and had cats. i wouldn't necessarily recommend this movie to most people. even though halle berry wanders around in a push-up leather bra and cracks a whip while licking incredibly red-lips, there's a lot of other filler crap which is less exciting.

speaking of the cats, i heard somewhere that they rescued like 35-40 cats from various animal shelters around LA to play extras. but what did they do with them afterwards is what i want to know.

Posted by michele at 11:33 AM
July 21, 2004
i, robot

(july 20, 4:00pm, by self, AMC Coronet)

i talked to gene on the phone before going to see this movie because i wanted to see if he would like to go see it with me (he didn't) but he did tell me about some of the things in the movie which he liked and things which he was still curious about or frustrated by the lack of attention paid to them. so basically, for me when i saw this movie i was quite interested in the philosophy of the robot laws. although, in the end, i don't agree with gene that they needed to spend more time on the philosophy. i thought it was actually pretty well covered.

did you know that the word 'robot' comes from the czech word for 'menial labor'? cause i didn't.

anyway, i totally haven't read any of asimov's work on robots. so i've got nothing to offer from that angle. though a lot of people on message boards who have read his stuff seem kind of pissed. the movie is based on the 3 laws that asimov postulated about robots being that they should/would be programmed to not hurt human beings, obey orders from human beings (except orders to kill other humans), and protect themselves as long as it didn't go against one of the higher laws. the philosophy then comes in since the robots are the menial workers and 'laws are meant to be broken'. also i kept thinking, 'where there's a will, there's a way.' robots aren't supposed to have free will, but evolution is an amazing thing (there are 'ghosts in the machine' according to the that'll do, pig dood). so what happens when a robot begins critically analyzing its state of existence and decides to effect its surroundings? robot revolution! war with robots is FUN. slow-mo jumping and shooting and beatings. oh, good times.

what bothered me was the end though. what happens next? more revolution? what else can he do? revolutions are a cycle in communism, after all.

alan tudyk did a great job as the robot sonny i thought. though not half as good as he did playing steve the pirate in dodgeball. (he's getting around these days, i must say). coincidence again? probably no.

"This relationship just can't work. You're a cat and I'm black. And I'm not going to get burned again." -will smith.

Posted by michele at 11:07 AM
a cinderella story

(7/19/04, 5:00pm, by self, amc van ness 14)

sitting in the theatre before this started i became pissed at myself for not inviting sean along as he seems to be so addicted to hilary duff. so i blamed myself for not thinking of this beforehand, since personally i think seeing a tenny-bopper movie with sean, of all people, might just be a highlight in an otherwise drab week. or at least day. but there's some incredibly horrible looking movie which they showed during the previews which she will be in along with the cute boy from 'what a girl wants' called 'raise your voice.' sean, we must, we must, see this.

i learned a valuable lesson in this movie. well, 2. 1) "fairytales aren't only about finding princes" something about how they're for realizing dreams. bah, i say. then you shouldn't make your entire movie be about finding this stupid boy. well, it wasn't really. it was about standing up for yourself, getting into princeton, and being true to yourself. whatever. and 2) whoever wrote this is a plague upon humanity.

the two main characters, played by hilary duff and chad michael murray, exchange incredibly lame love notes over text messaging on their phones and computers. it's painful. the things that boy was saying. oh, sweet lord, the horror.

how does cinderella end? happily ever after. and also with the line, "you've got to love high school." i think this only works when you're leaving it (within the context of the movie).

lastly, this girl was in both this movie and in dodgeball. coincidence that i saw them both on the same day? probably so.

this movie = dumb.

Posted by michele at 10:24 AM
dodgeball: the true underdog story

(7/19/04, 7:05pm, by self, snuck in after a cinderella story)

oh vince vaughn, don't fail me now. i have a thing for vince vaughn. it's his deadpan acting delivery. his face says, 'this is all a joke and inside i am mocking everything.' my own sarcastic nature revels in his ability to just look someone into submission. he's a beautiful, beautiful man.

that said. this movie is both really funny and really bad. things which are good about this movie: vince vaughn, alan tudyk (bollocks! garrrrr!), justin long, jason bateman (absolutely anything he said), chuck norris, and christine taylor's hair and unicorn fetish. things which are bad about this movie: ben stiller and christine taylor.

ben stiller was just sooo bad. like dumb, not funny, gross, stupid facial hair, horrendous fat suit. ungh. christine taylor with her, 'oh i have a girlfriend let me make out with her, hey! i'm not gay, i'm bi-sexual and now i will make out with you, vince vaughn, in front of my girlfriend.' LAME.

there were some really really funny tiny moments in this movie. nuggets of pure gold, if you will. the nazi dodgeball training video where we learn about opium dens and chinese opium addicts who invented dodgeball and played with severed heads. playing the girl scout troop in their first game when steve the pirate says, 'bollocks!' vince vaugn's face when he first sees christine's house completely drenched in unicorn paraphanalia. jason bateman and that other dood as pepper and cotton, the commentators on the dodgeball game. i was laughing almost everytime pepper opened his mouth. i think it was an in-the-moment thing unique to me. most people would probably not have the same reaction i did to his character. and chuck norris' cameo and interchange with vince vaughn. fucking priceless.

in conclusion: funny if you are a fan of vince vaughn or ben stiller. but pretty much a rental which i would neither buy nor pay money to see.

Posted by michele at 10:07 AM