Monday, September 12, 2005

Movie Mondays, take 1!

Let me preface this post with the following: under no circumstances should my endorsement of a film be taken as a guarantee that you will also enjoy said film. Taste in film is a highly subjective thing, and I have yet to find anyone whose opinion matches mine 100% of the time. Still, to give you at least a general idea of where I'm coming from, here's a random sampling of some movies which have provoked a strong opinion from me, both positive and negative.

Donnie Darko
12 Monkeys
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Fight Club
Young Frankenstein
Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
Moulin Rouge
Garden State
Shaun of the Dead
Napoleon Dynamite
Batman Begins

Meet the Parents
Batman and Robin
Battlefield Earth
Do the Right Thing
House of the Dead
Soul Plane
Summer of Sam
Very Bad Things
White Man's Burden

And now, on to this week's mini-reviews.

Ong Bak: the Thai Warrior: A naive Thai villager (played by Tony Jaa) must venture into the big city to retrieve a stolen idol, a search which results in lots of chases, fights, and unbelievable stunts. In a lot of ways, this movie makes me think of Bloodsport: a badly written film with weak dialogue and poor acting, but nobody cares because of the awesome action sequences. Tony Jaa did some pretty spectacular stunts here, and I'm looking forward to his next film. Here's hoping it has a decent script

Oldboy: A loudmouthed drunk is kidnapped and held hostage for 15 years by a shadowy figure, who suddenly releases him in order to play a twisted game of cat and mouse. One of an ever-growing list of movies that made me go "Wow, that was awesome, totally loved it, gotta recommend that one to . . ." only to draw a blank on who else I know who would appreciate it. Alternately funny and disturbing, touching and brutal, this Korean revenge tale has some beautiful visuals and inventive camerawork, as well as one heck of a finale. I think my friend Christal (who, it turns out, did appreciate the film) summed it up best when she told me that after watching it she was speechless.

Crash: A group of random, multicultural (and, on the whole, very prejudiced) strangers find their lives intersecting in various ways over the course of a 36-hour period. Loved this movie. Not only were there great performances all around (particularly Thandie Newton), but the script sucked me in from the opening scene on. While a bit bleak (not everyone gets a happy ending), this is a film I would heartily recommend to anyone who enjoys character studies. Random weirdness factor: this film marks the second time in the past few weeks that I've seen Marina Sirtis (a.k.a. Counselor Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation) play a Middle Eastern woman.


Dudbud said...

Just wanted to know where the movies Momento, No Way Out, and Better Off Dead stack up on your love hate list.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

See, when I was making the love/loathe list, I knew there were movies that were going to slip through the cracks. One of my friends has already berated me for omitting The Jerk. And now, two more great movies I forgot about: Memento (a great combination of a noirish story and non-linear storytelling) and Better Off Dead (a hilarious movie I still quote to this day. "Fronch dressing, fronch fries, fronch toast, and to drink . . . peru!" Classic)

No Way Out, on the other hand, its a film I neither love nor loathe. I haven't seen it since it first came out in 1987. Remember enjoying it, especially the big "twist" at the end, but other than the seemingly never-ending limo sex scene, it didn't leave that lasting of an impression on me.