Saturday, July 26, 2003

Swim Pool, BBoys 2, How to Deal, FF, Seabiscuit, TR2, POTC, LXG

Anyway, I've seen some stuff in the past couple of weeks. Here goes:

SWIMMING POOL: I liked it, but I had the feeling that I had seen it before, and knew how it would play out before it did. I thought the performances were good and the story was good, but it did have familiarity to it.

BAD BOYS 2: I didn't like the first one, and what a surprise since it comes from the master of terribly macho-drenched, cut-a-millisecond, death-to-the-movie-industry Michael Bay. Bay has made one movie I would go back and watch and that's THE ROCK but mainly because Nic Cage and Sean Connery are so great. Here, Bay directs two car-chase sequences that mimic the worst aspect of THE ROCK, which is the car chase scene that not only rapid fires cuts, but moves the camera in a dizzying fashion while cars are moving at high speeds. Every time Bay does a chase scene, the camera will focus on the driver or passenger, zoom in slightly, move to the left, back to the right, and up, before cutting away to more destruction. 2 hours and 20 minutes, and about 40 minutes could have been cut and shown on DVD as deleted scenes. One of the worst of the year.

HOW TO DEAL: A refreshing break from car chases. Not a spectacular film but decent enough time-waster romance that you could have on as background while thinking of other stuff.

FREAKY FRIDAY: What I take out of this movie, which opens Aug. 6, is that Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis do great jobs reversing roles, and the movie is therefore enjoyable.

SEABISCUIT: One of the best of the year. Tobey Maguire, who I feel got unnecessary flak before Spider-Man as a boring actor, is fantastic here as is Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper. The race scenes are stunning, and the underdog storyline is in fine form. Randy Newman does a good score, although it warms over a theme from THE NATURAL that screams, "Who are you fooling?"

TOMB RAIDER 2: The latest of sequels this year in which I didn't see the first (Legally Blonde 2 and 2 Fast 2 Furious were others) and like those films I found extremely lacking. TR2 is like THE LAST CRUSADE in many ways, and as such you can see where it's going to go before it gets there, and it takes too long to get there. Only one brief scene is worthwhile involving two huge and quick monsters in the woods who swiftly dispatch unnecessary characters.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Johnny Depp is finally in a movie where he not only shines, but lots of people see him. His previous movies, in which any of them he should or could have been nominated, such as ED WOOD, DONNIE BRASCO, or FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, had miniscule audiences and not much of an uproar over his disclusion. Although, look back at 1994 and tell me is there a performance that is more dynamic and interesting than Ed Wood. He IS this movie. Without Depp, this would suck. As it is, he makes it a GREAT movie, which has to say something for his award chances. Gore Verbinski has another hit after THE RING, but I'm wondering if this non-genre director has any real style. He seems to be a Joel Schumacher type, eagerly directing whatever might go across the table, and some hit, some miss. Try watching THE MEXICAN.

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (LXG): All this action, but so boring.

I haven't seen SPY KIDS 3D yet, but I've seen the first two so it won't be long. I'm also planning trips to Green Hills to watch SPELLBOUND, WINGED MIGRATION, MAN ON THE TRAIN, and maybe WHALE RIDER.

This post has been edited to emphasize movies--Chris.

Wow, Jonathan, I was wondering if you were dead.

I still watch THE NATURAL and wonder, how in the world can anyone hate this movie?

As for fantasy football, I am the team, Preempted For Heidi.


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