Monday, October 15, 2007


I thought this was Johnnie To's masterpiece when I first saw it a year ago. Then I thought Exiled was. Then Election 2 -- which I got at the same time as this -- superseded both of those. I am going to suggest that perhaps To is just getting warmed up!
Consistently challenging and enjoyable films make him a director to watch. Once again i am caught having several of his films in the drawer without knowing. He directed the femme team "Heroic Trio" and the sequel, "The Executioners", "Throwdown" and "Fulltime Killer"...all waiting patiently for me to spread the word on.
"Election" is a more recent film, and is probably not the best place to start. To has developed his style, and there is no reason to mistake deliberate pace and nuance for slow and boring. I could spend pages fawning over the camera and colors but that would be telling!
I got the region 2 deluxe edition of this film and it is a great transfer, packed with extras. Unlike most of the R2 special editions there are actually subtitles on the special features.
I am waiving my geek flag proud here!
Come back to Election once you have so To under your belt.
Highly Recommended.

Halo 3

Halo has been the new Quake for the 2.0 kids, and as such one should be thankful for the 2 excellent single player campaigns that came before this. Halo had stunning graphics back in the day...Halo 3 is no "quantum leap" but has moments of beauty.
Great vehicle integration, F.E.A.R. style cutscenes, and a fun co-op mode got this nearly as good a rating as Gears of War in my book. Steve and I blasted through this one in the course of a few nights, and I must say fun was had by all -- even those 2 nitpickers!
Be warned -- if you don't play online (which, in truth, is what this game is about) you may want to rent this, the campaign is fairly short (I say this as we prepare to hit it again on a higher difficulty)...

We Own Something...

The title of this movie is taken from the badge on the arm of a policeman -- to lend an air of time and credibility to this cop family drama. That isn't family cop drama like something you could bring the kids to, but the old worn two sides of the law thing. Which leaves us to the mechanics, which are passable like a good meal.
Moments of music, costume and camera. Craftsmanship on display warrant the big screen viewing..and that, apparently, is what the movie reviews in this blog are turning into. Is it worth seeing on the big screen? I could watch Ms Mendez emerge from the back room in an alleged period outfit smoking and smoking hot over and over, on the biggest screen in town. I'm not that hard to please though--the lush reds of Joaquim's alleged period clothing will not pop at home the same either.
Duvall burns the screen in a fine, understated performance that is not about you the viewer liking his character.
I'm not sure I'd spend the money for the babysitter, but a fine Matinee..

Across the Universe

Psychedelic Musical.
Music by the Beatles, performed by the actors.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster? Most critics hedged there bets and judged it as such.
They are wrong. You know the words, the story is US history. The performances are terrific, the arrangements of songs we all know inspired and audacious. See this in the theatre or tune up your iPod playing flat screen and pretend you have a system worthy.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Kingdom

[03:30:17 PM] what about the kingdom? i know it already opened but..
[03:30:28 PM] i want to see
[03:30:28 PM] and I've already seen it
[03:30:31 PM] [03:30:32 PM] ah damn
[03:30:36 PM] was it good?
[03:30:41 PM] what'd you think?
[03:30:53 PM] umm
[03:31:09 PM] that good eh
[03:31:11 PM] Three Kings and Syriana
[03:31:16 PM] were both better
[03:31:24 PM] hmm i gotcha
[03:31:31 PM] Three Kings was action/comedy/satire with a point
[03:31:42 PM] Syriana was full on message drama
[03:32:00 PM] Kingdom opens VERY well -- with a history lesson
[03:32:15 PM] subtle racism pervades last half
[03:32:26 PM] FBI guys are not Delta Force
[03:32:36 PM] I have actually trained urban assault
[03:32:43 PM] and it is just where you die
[03:33:18 PM] so, last act is FBI people acting like Delta Force and the movie has devolved into a straight ahead actioner
[03:33:23 PM] which is ok
[03:33:31 PM] if i hadn't seen so many!
[03:33:44 PM] worth the 2 hours
[03:34:00 PM] has Garner
[03:34:15 PM] she is wasted mostly
[03:34:18 PM] but Alias
[03:34:23 PM] spoiled me
Go ahead, worth your 8 bucks.