It was fun, it was fast paced and it looked splendid. It was also utterly silly, and that in my book makes a good comic book film.
The plot is something like this: Generic terrorists want to take over Asia for some reason, they do this by killing villagers. Tony Stark builds a suit and kicks ass, nearly killing himself in the process. Tony Stark builds a suit and kicks ass, nearly killing himself in the process. Tony Stark builds a suit and kicks ass, nearly killing himself in the process.
Somewhere along the way we meet Dr. Yinsen, sporting the briefest sidekick lifespan ever to be recorded in film history. You meet him as the movie starts, learn his origins, sympathize with his character and watch his deathbed outcry in just under 10 minutes!
One might ask himself, what is those crazed terrorists' obsession with Asia? Talk about ambitions. Also, for some reason they need the most powerful weapons manufactured by Stark's corporation to fight those peaceful villagers. Yes, they use MIRV missiles against children. Did I mention they were terrorists?
Now about the suit itself -
I can accept the fact that the iron man suit creates jet fuel out of thin air and flies. I can accept that he has rocket launchers, poisonous darts and an assortment of other death tools coming out of nowhere. I can accept that he flies up to 40,000 feet without the pressure and cold killing him. I can accept all those things and my belief would be happily suspended - but I just can't accept the fact that about a dozen of times in this film he crashes into earth at a velocity strong enough to break concrete, but apparently not strong enough to fracture bones. He doesn't injure himself one bit. Not even an "ouch"!
As a strong-headed businessman that co-runs the company along with Stark, The Dude AKA Jeff Bridges decides that the best course of action would trying to kill the best engineer in the company, Tony Stark. After his ingenious plan fails, he comes up with another plan, which is to kill the best engineer in the company, Tony Stark. So he steals the suit-powering thingambob from Stark's chest and manages to complete his own fat iron man suit, all this while being chased by a couple of feds. What's the smart thing for a business man to do while being chased by feds? Run? Hide away? No - as a man with practically no insight past the next 10 minutes, The Dude decides to kill all feds and cause a general mess using the iron fat suit. Let me tell you something - if you're trying to build more of these so you could sell them to the army, maybe killing civilians isn't the brightest way to do so.
So here is how it's going to be: I'm going to pretend that these events happened this week, even though they happened two weeks ago. Why? I don't know. All I know is that if I don't, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is going to get really, really angry.
The Air I breathe
Sometimes you just feel like going to the movies. You don't know exactly what you want to see and if there's anything good out there at all since it's not the season, but then you decide, what the heck – it's only 450 dollars a ticket.
On Sunday, We took the chance and went to see The Air I breathe. I remember seeing the billboards and saying: Sarah Michelle Geller and Brendan Fraser? What a weird cast. But there weren't any alternatives. For us at the cinema, that is. I'm pretty sure there are thousands of starving actors who would have loved to have their careers destroyed by playing in this movie.
The movie starts with a worn out cliché about how we go through life doing as we're told, studying hard just so we'd be rewarded with more studying, so eventually we will be able to make lots of money and have expensive possessions and live a nice life. Honestly, this "protest" became unoriginal and sanctimonious maybe two minutes after Fight Club, and I'm sorry, but ten years later – living a good life still isn't such a dreadful fate.
We're told about this path by Forest Withaker, who plays a smalltime investment banker, in a performance so neurotic that would even make Woody Allen twitch in his seat and say "Oy vey! this is making me uncomfortable..." Withaker decides to follow Harold (Sans the Kumar) and some other guy from work to the horse tracks because they have a lead on a "fixed race". Now how they get the horses to cheat, that I never understood.
Withaker puts all his life savings times ten on the horse, which obviously loses, and then he is taken to the back room where he is met up with Andy Garcia, in his usual Mobster role (but this time with a twist: he likes R&B!), and he is called fingers, because… well I think you can figure it out by ourselves. Fingers asks Forest some questions, but he's so neurotic he can't say anything but "I like butterflies". So then Forest gets a gun from Brendan Fraser and robs a bank, gets chased down by the cops, throws the bag with the money off the roof and is shot down dead while laughing. Lesson learned: It's better to die laughing then live… sitting. By the way, those were about the first two minutes of the movie.
I guess I should have learned my lesson after seeing Hulk: never watch American movies directed by Chinese directors.
So apparently Brendan Fraser has the power to see the future, which is always nice. Fraser gives an untypical performance: instead of looking surprised all the time, he appears… moderately disturbed. I know that it's a slight difference, but it's there, believe you me. It's like, maybe he USED to be surprised by seeing the future, but now he's gotten used to it. But then he loses that power because he sees a picture of a pretty girl. Well, a picture of Sarah Michelle Geller, anyway. And she, apparently, is a fergie-like pop singer, who was sold to Andy Garcia. Fraser, obviously, works for Garcia, and is given the chore of guarding SMG. He takes her down to his basement like apartment with no windows, which appears to be strangely similar to Angel's apartment, and then he goes out to work. She gets the impression that since she's been there for five minutes, it's okay to start completely redecorating the place, because "she's going to be staying there for a while". Then Fingers calls the house phone while Fraser is away, and after that idiot bitch got so comfortable there, she decides to answer it.
So now he's dead, and she's forced to shake her ass for money and pretend she's singing (Sarah Michelle Geller, not her character). And all of the sudden there's a doctor (Kevin Bacon) who needs to save his best friend's wife (who he has been love with for his entire life), after she was bit by a snake (yeah, that’s right. Bit by a snake!) and she has a rare blood type, but so does SMG's character, so then he she tries to jump off the roof but he saves her and she gives him her blood and he saves the woman so she can live to boink his best friend another and then SMG drives away and suddenly a bag full of cash falls on the top of her car.
And this is supposed to be the depiction of some ancient Chinese wisdom. I guess the Chinese aren't that smart after all (See Hulk for proof. On second thought, don't.)
I know what you're thinking: What, that's it? Well I left some details out. I tried to stick just to the significant parts, but quite frankly, there were none, so I randomized it. This movie was as tedious as hell. Imagine what I wrote now, only two hours long, and feeling like eight. The movie is divided to four parts. Happiness (guy makes the greatest mistake of his life and gets killed for it), Pleasure (Guy who sees the future and resorts to a life of crime because of it), Sorrow (Sarah Michelle Geller talking, and "singing") and Love (Snakes on the mother fucking plane!). And let me tell you, after half of the main characters of the movie were dead, we were sure the movie was over. Imagine our disappointment when Love came along. It's always nice to be introduced with a new main character after 100 minutes of film. We returned home exhausted. Conclusion: if there's nothing good in the cinema, there are probably still hundreds of classic movies you haven't seen yet and can easily steal on the internet.
The Kite Runner
This movie is based on a best-selling novel that I never bothered reading. So I figured it's a good thing they made a movie out of it, because otherwise… well, nothing significant would have happened, really, except me still not reading the book.
After almost being late to the movie on Wednesday (i.e. arriving exactly on time) we (a different we) sat down and listened to approximately two hours of Persian in a movie that was technically made in the USA. Actually, this movie was quite good. And Persian sounds like a beautiful language, unlike the brute Arabic dialect we get in these parts of the Middle East. There were also like, four sentences in English, but who cares when you got subtitles anyway?
It tells the story of two friends, Amir and Hassan, one is the son of a rich and powerful man of the elite, and the other is the son of that man's servant. So Basically Hassan is Amir's servant, but despite that, they manage to create a special bond, similar to BFF but even closer!
Then some stuff happens. I don't want to write too much about the actual plot because I've already wasted like 700 words on that piece of shit movie and I'm really trying to cut my posts short. The bottom line: go watch this movie; it is well-worth the mortgage you'll have to take on your camel in order to buy a ticket. It's got everything: friendship, honor, laughter, romance (not between the two boys, although… it's close), sports (well, if kite flying is a sport… in the movie it seemed pretty cool), and even some action, for those of you who feel like seeing the Taliban get their asses kicked. And who doesn’t?
Now, I'm sure there are some people out there who will start bitching about how this movie didn't follow the book to the letter, because the book had 200 pages describing the views and detailing a completely insignificant event that contributes practically nothing to the plot, but is still somehow totally important and the story is worthless without it. Well, I'm going to say this once and for all: fuck books, okay? Fuck them up their anti-environmental tree killing asses. There are no good books – there are only bad movie adaptations. And you can quote me on that!
So this is it for now: more posts coming soon, for real this time!
Sometimes I think Samuel L. Jackson has another person living inside his head part time; A fellow resident guiding his thoughts and actions from time to time, kinda like in "Being John Malcovich". Only this time I highly doubt it's Cameron Diez. After all, the evidence is all there: You see, sometimes he picks good movies: Patriot Games, Jurrasic Park, not to mention Pulp Fiction and Die Hard: With a Vengence, least we forget his appearance as Mace Windu in Star Wars. But then you have to ask yourself what exactly was the guy thinking signing up for Deep Blue Sea, Snakes on a Plane and more recently Jumper.
The movie is erratic, oddly paced, and consists mostly of a series of intermingled and seemingly random events taking place one after the other. Maybe the best way to convey how this movie feels is "a version of Jumper re-enacted by bunnies re-enacted by bad actors".
The story opens in medias res, with Hayden Christensen as David Rice standing on top of the Sphinx in Egypt revealing to the superpower deficient viewers how much fun it is to actually have one. "It wasn't always like this, of course, once I was a chump like you" he claims, and then we get on with the exposition. Of course, the use of this plot device is entirely is moot, since the script doesn't even bother returning to this place and time in the plot. Also, if you're trying to create a likable character, insulting the viewers with the first line of dialog is hardly the way to go.
We are then introduced to a discrepant younger version of Hayden Christensen, which looks nothing like him. The film's lack of subtlety continues with the second scene introducing both the younger version of the female lead, Mili, as well as Rice's bizarre and questionable obsession towards her. Not 30 seconds later and we find out what his superpower is - "jumping", or teleporting from place to place. We know this because right after teleportation occurs for the first time, the words "Ok, so I can teleport" are uttered, information that we couldn't have possibly deduced otherwise.
You see, the suspension of disbelief in this film affects mostly the characters on screen rather than the audience itself. In the world of Jumper, important and vital pieces of information relevant to the plot (if you're kind enough to call it that) are thrown around indifferently into the air. For example, the first conversation between our protagonist and Griffin, his new superhero compadre revolves around video games, take-out food and oh, yeah – the fact that "Jumpers" are being hunted by "Paladins" ever since the middle ages. These Paladins, I can only assume - since the movie doesn't bother mentioning, are a group of random individuals dedicated to hunt down Jumpers for no apparent reason. Their leader is our dear friend Jackson, who plays a black villain with oozing white hair that goes by the intimidating name of Ronald(!) Cox(!). To maintain the notion of obscurity and idiocy, these paladins don't use guns, but electric sticks that threaten Jumpers by causing them slight discomfort and also sometimes prohibits them form jumping very far. On numerous occasions Ronald pronounces with zeal that "only God should possess that power". Why does he even care if God is the only thing capable of teleportation? What the heck difference does it make?
I liked how most of the movie doesn't bother following its own logic (or lack thereof). "I never hurt anyone!" cries Rice when confronted with his numerous mischiefs, five minutes after "jumping" an innocent guy into a vault and framing him for bank robbery. Griffin, on the other hand, a Jumper who lives in a cave in the desert trying to keep a low profile doesn't mind at times stealing a BMW and taking it for a joyride in the streets of Tokyo, causing massive collateral damage.
Is this movie any good? Hell no. But it's entertaining, and other than that, it has been quite a while since I've last seen Hayden Christiansen and Samuel L. Jackson go at each other's throats. True, last time they had lightsabers, but this time L. Jackson has a stick and a bad haircut, so it kinda evens out, don't you think?
Yesterday marked our very first live concert. It's hard to believe this happened six years ago! Back then we were a formidable foursome, equipped with Zoom multi-effects and a handful of misguided dreams. Those were the days!
In order to celebrate this event, we went to Kol HaKampus for an interview an acoustic show, and you can read all about here.
Later on, we went to see No Country for Old Men, which was… I'm still not sure. I think you can call it a "movie", but movies usually have some kind of beginning => end sort of thing going on, and this one just went on and went until it suddenly stopped.