Movie Round-Up: January 15th, 2010

Now commencing, the week of “The” …

The Spy Next Door:

Our first “The” film is this little throwaway kid friendly family film starring Jackie Chan as a secret super spy who also babysits.  Or something like that.  Take the kids, sure, but don’t expect to be anything other than predictable.  Not worth my money, and I had the opportunity, three times, to see this for free and never did.

The Lovely Bones:

Our second “The” film is an adaptation of a very successful book.  I’ve actually wanted to read the book, however, I put that idea aside once I heard there was to be a film.  Films always have to excise content from the book, sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad.  If the film is good, I’ll read the book in a couple of years.  Anyway, if you don’t know, its about a girl who is raped and murdered looking in on the world after her death.  She follows her family and the man who killed her and she watches her family fall apart and the murderer prepare to go after another girl.  I’m not sure I’ll make it to the theater for this one, mostly because dramas don’t really benefit from the big screen (and often are hurt by people who won’t shut the hell up), but if I head to the cinema, this will be on my list.

The Book of Eli:

Our last “The” film is this post-apocalyptic tale.  I was lucky enough to get into a screening of this last night, and let me tell you, in my opinion, this is one damn fine film.  The Hughes Brothers have taken Gary Whitta’s script and painted it beautifully on the screen with excellent use of Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman.  I know some people in the theater were bored, because their shuffling and chatting occasionally distracted me, but I was enraptured.  Even having already seen it, I may pay to see it again.  Well done, gentlemen.  Well done.

And here ends the week of “The”.

Blondes and Jackie Chan

I’ve seen two movies recently, and figured I’d take a moment to give them the once over for ya…

The first one, Legally Blonde 2.  It was cute, funny in parts, but the main reason I went was to cheer up the love of my life.  And it worked.  Essentially, if you liked the first one, you’ll like the second one… Just ignore the “Snap Cup” scenes and you’ll be fine. 

Next… The Medalion starring Jackie Chan.  It was good, but like almost all Jackie Chan movies, the story takes a back seat to the action.  There is a feel to the film, if you pay attention to it, that is common in alot of anime and other films from that region of Asia, of disjointedness.  The story jumps from one plot point to another with little in the way of transition.  Plot point. *pop* Plot point. *pop* Action Scene. *pop* Plot point. *pop* Chase Scene. *pop* Plot point… etc.  And the cuts between scenes are about that abrupt.  And of course, when dealing with a Jackie Chan film, you’ll see the usual people speaking their native tongue that is later dubbed over.  Sometimes the choice to do this is odd..  They are in China, you would expect them to be speaking chinese with subtitles, and they do speak chinese, but its dubbed over in english, and then when the same actor is in a setting in England speaking to non-chinese speakers, he’s still speaking chinese with english dubbed over…  Its just one of my personal nit picky problems with dubbing.  I hate it.  And lastly, the movie gets to a certain point, decides “Its been 90 minutes, lets wrap this up.”  And it is, in about 3 minutes.

That said… I go to see Jackie Chan films for the action scenes.  And this movie delivers on that respect.  The only issue is that for whatever reason… Jackie getting older, wanting a different feel for the movie… whatever… they used alot of cable work as opposed to the normal stunts that Jackie usually pulls.  Normally, I walk out of a Jackie Chan film saying to myself “Oh my god! I can’t believe he did that!”  Things like jumping from one building to another without a safety harness, etc, etc…  But in The Medalion, its clear in many places that its not just Jackie… its Jackie and the guys pulling the wires.  And seeing that… it makes me a little sad.