March 10, 2003

Movies and more movies …

I spent the weekend watching an eclectic selection of movies – both old and so brand spanking new that I don’t think they’ve even hit the theaters yet :p I started the movie marathon off with a really old movie – a Steven Segal movie called “Hard to Kill”. Personally, I though it looked dated and that most of the acting was terrible and the action was only passable but it was watchable enough to be not a total waste of time :p I then went out on a DVD buying spree with my brother since I had a couple of DVD’s which weren’t working properly and so I actually needed to go return them and in the process I ended up with a few more DVD’s though fortunately it wasn’t as bad as the last time when I came home with 25 DVD’s <vbg>

Anyway, one of the DVD’s I wanted to exchange was “The Gangs of New York” since the disc wasn’t being recognized by my player. The new copy worked and that’s the first thing I watched. It was an OK film again but the characters just failed to capture my imagination or make me really interested in them. I could sort of empathize with Leo De Caprio’s character and see what Daniel Day Lewis’ “butcher” was about through all his racial bigotry but overall, the story just failed to hold me. While Martin Scorsese does succeed in showing these characters as not being black or white but in all their grimy shades of grey <g>, I just could not identify with any of the characters to feel much for the movie – probably it’s just me …

I then watched “DareDevil” – yes, the same “DareDevil” starring Matt Damon and Jennifer Garner which probably has not hit the theaters yet :p It was a really bad camera-copy but I wanted to see if it was worth watching since the trailers had looked promising. I usually make it a point not to see live-action movies starring any of my favorite comic-book characters since it almost inevitably spoils the magic for me – I have not seen any of the Superman movies and only one Batman movie (and even that was because they were playing it on the plane and there was nothing to watch :p) and certainly not any of the recent Marvel movies. But somehow, “DareDevil” was different. I have not read too many of the “DareDevil” comics since I never could lay my hands on them as a child – so I knew of DD only as a guest-star in the comics of other characters like Captain America. So, for whatever reason, I thought I’d watch the movie and while I don’t like some of the changes they’ve made in the movie (I’m a purist – give me the comic-book version, however implausible it may be – no biological webshooters for me thank you <vbg>), the jury is out on the final verdict still :p Again, there wasn’t enough meat to most of the characters for you to invest emotionally in them. I do like Jennier Garner though from her excellent TV series “Alias” and so loved her appearance as Elektra but even there, there were elements to the storyline that I just didn’t like. Just can’t comment on the action or the special effects since this was a camera copy and so I guess I’ll have to see the movie again in the finished form before I decide one way or another …

I can talk about the other movies that I watched “Shanghai Knights” with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, the sequel to “Shanghai Noon” – pretty funny and watchable; or the much talked about musical “Chicago” with Renee Zelweger – good music and watchable but I still haven’t seen the full movie; and go into long discussions about each, but instead, I’d like to take the time to briefly mention some movies worth watching which are coming up – mostly so that I’d remember to see them when they are released :p First, there is Ang Lee’s Marvel movie “The Hulk” – not sure I want to see this … and the CGI looks pretty bad on the trailers BTW … but it’s Ang Lee after all and so I probably will end up watching it. Was that Kris Kristofferson playing Bruce Banner’s dad? If so, he might end up in the unusual position of playing father figure to two of Marvel’s heroes – the Hulk and Blade :p Then there is “Basic” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Travolta – I’d just pay to see the movie just for the two actors but it looks to be an interesting thriller. Another movie with powerhouse talents is “The Hunted” with Tommy Lee Jones and Benecio Del Toro – I’m not missing that … or “The Recruit” with Al Pacino and Colin Farrel or for that matter, Farrel’s “Phone Booth”. Then there is Bruce Willis’ (why is Willis doing so many military movies recently – or for that matter, why do we have so many military movies generally recently – sign of the times?) “Tears of the Sun”. I usually stay away from military movies (unless it’s military courtroom drama or something) since I am just so tired of seeing people kill each other and people killing each other on a mass-scale is worse … but this again looks to be an interesting movie … plus I like Bruce Willis :-)

Of course, there are the usual bunch of sequels that don’t even need to be mentioned – the two “Matrix” movies (I wouldn’t even dream of missing those two and will probably get the DVD as soon as it is out :p), “Legally Blonde 2”, “Bad Boys 2”, “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “The Return of the King” and I’m probably forgetting some others. I probably could go on and on and on with all the movies that look interesting and so I will stop for now … Oh, except for one last movie “Cradle 2 the Grave” with Jet Li and DMX :p I’ve loved Jet Li movies since “Romeo Must Die” but have yet to find a movie equal to that in where I liked the storyline. All of Jet Li’s later movies have failed to capture me as far as the characters and the storyline goes. I’m hoping that “Cradle 2 the Grave” will actually prove to be the exception and that it will turn out to be a great movie. I haven’t checked on this yet but it looks to me as if it could be another movie by “Romeo Must Die” director Andrezj Bartkowiak – I hope it is and I hope that it has as good a script …

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