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The Book of Eli

Posted by james on Sept. 4, 2010

(post.rating: 6)

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This movie looked really neat on the previews, but then again the genre is a bit crowded. However, I was intrigued by the tease of some biblical themes or influences, so I really wanted to see this.

After about 10 minutes, my wife couldn't keep watching. The movie is pretty disturbing for those not used to post-apocalyptic movies. Regular fare for me, so I watched the rest by myself.

Some very good choreography, lightning fast w/o slow motion (*thank you* Dan Inosanto!), really nice to watch (sometimes more than once, it goes by so quickly). There's not a ton of action in this though, as it's mostly a character-driven and plot-driven piece. The whole movie was tinged yellow & washed out, which really made you feel the UV in the film (a bit like Pitch Black).

I was looking forward to Mila Kunis, as it's been really neat to watch her branch out from her 70's Show role. However, she falls a bit flat again. It always felt like she was acting - no heart in her, and not believable as a naive or semi-fragile girl. It reminds me of Max Payne - too much trying, not enough emotion there. Like she's built for a different role, and this is a bit of a shoe-horn. Oh well, next time.

The plot is... intriguing. There's a good feel for the world they're in, a bit of action to keep things going, and an overall mysterious plot that drives it. But the ending... while it makes logical sense, it's just a bit less satisfying than I'd hoped. The whole time I was wondering - How is this going to tie together? And at the end - Ahh, yes. That makes sense. There's still a bit of twists at the end, but the "big question" of "What's his mission?" is just not... satisfying. Somehow they answer they question of "What" without really satisfying the "Why?"

But it was still a good movie. It wasn't a feel-good movie, and not an action/adrenaline movie. A slower "feel" movie. I kept noticing the soundtrack - very ambient, mood-setting, a bit sad. It reminded me of some Death Cab for Cutie tracks in places, definitely slow and down-beat. I really like it.

It's hard to rate this movie. There was a lot good, some falling points, and a neat feeling to the whole thing. Very worth watching, but not something you'd end up loving.


Posted by james on Sept. 4, 2010

(post.rating: 9)

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Right away when I saw the preview for this, I was hooked. I try to see/hear/watch as little as possible about a movie before I watch it, and as soon as I saw the preview I knew I was going to see it. It's hard to get to theaters lately, but this one I was able to see on the big screen. Before I want, Banko told me what to expect: Matrix, Memento, Eternal Sunshine. If that isn't a strong recommendation, I don't know what is.

Wow. This thing is amazing. Even after reading the tagline and knowing the general gist of the film, it's still a mind-bender. It's hard to imagine new and creative things happening in films, as if all the good ideas are taken. This may be an evolution and iteration on the previously mentioned films, but it still ends up being something new, exciting, confusing, and amazing.

There was one jaw-dropping scene - one of the fight scenes while a van is tumbling in slow motion. I love good action (not glam-action aka. Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2), but this was incredible. Who knew I'd ever take Joseph Gordon-Levitt seriously as an action star? But it happened. I was really excited to see Ellen Paige in a serious not-Juno role. She didn't stand out as much as I'd hoped - but then again, none of the characters really did. It was really all centered on DiCaprio, as it should be.

The funniest thing I realized afterward; I *loved* the music! Walking out of the theater, pumped full of adrenaline, that's all I could think of. Those low horns blasting are distinct, and really set the whole mood. It made the hair on my arms stand on end in otherwise impressive scenes.

Really neat movie. Amazing. Mind-bending. I can't wait to see this again, but only on a big screen with *huge* sound. Maybe Banko will want to sit through a home-screening when it comes out on DVD.

Green Zone

Posted by james on Aug. 13, 2010

(post.rating: 7)

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This looked good - from the makers of Bourne Identity. Indeed, from Jason Bourne himself (Matt Damon). It was very suspenseful, and had a nice mix of middle-eastern city warfare action and political intrigue. The political side reminded me of Tom Clancy movies, but not as heavy.

Overall, I liked this one a lot. It's not one of my favorites, and doesn't nearly hold up to the Bourne-series (which have a lot more heart), but still a very good movie.

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