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Life & Movies....

Life has been... rather eventful this week. Not quite ready to share with the masses though. Suffice it to say that things are ok. Synchronicity is interesting and it makes me wonder how the timing of things can sometimes work out so well and sometimes so horribly.

Right now timing is good. Things seem to be falling into place nicely and I'm really looking forward to the future (particularly in a couple of months ;).

Now then, movies. I've seen quite a few lately. This week we had:

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (DS=9): Good movie. My type of fiction. I liked the inherent depth of all the characters. I'm also a big fan of this type of story. One where you mix characters from across fictional worlds and throw them into a "real" world. The effects were spot on, the casting was good, and the plot was interesting. It's definitely a comic book type movie, but I think that's a good thing, I'm also a fan of Alan Moore's writing (he did the original graphic novel) and I liked how they adapted his work to the big screen.

I'd say this is of the new breed of action movie which we are seeing a lot of this year. The action scenes are almost too numerous to keep track of and you feel like you're on a ride through most of the movie. Gone are the days of major exposition that tied together older movies. These movies are intended to keep you wanting more and more. These are action movies that are not ashamed of what they are. Definitely a movie to get on DVD.

Pirates of the Caribbean (DS=8.5): Well, speaking of rides, this movie was not quite as action packed, but it still had a lot of great, fun acting and an entertaining story. I also give it credit for being a relatively unique idea. The movie is based on the ride and the plot derives from it, but it's still a unique interpretation of the bits and pieces they started out with. This and LXG are my favorite movies of the summer (so far) and neither is a sequel. Looking at the offerings that we have coming up this year and next, I'm increasingly disappointed at how many sequels keep showing up and not quite delivering as well as the originals did. PotC delivers in spades and I have to give Johnny Depp credit for taking on the potentially disasterous costume action movies (e.g. Sleepy Hollow) with such style. Definitely a movie that will find it's way into my DVD collection.

Terminator 3 (DS=8): Now comes the best sequel of the year. T3. The big thing that helped this one out is that it didn't take itself too seriously. Arnold does a great job of playing with the stereotype that his Terminator character has become. The movie delivers a lot of action and a surprising amount of humor. I was pleased with the movie, but a little disappointed with the continuity aspects between it and the first two (always a problem with sequels... the Highlander series being a great example of horrible continuity). Don't get me wrong, it does do a good job of sorting out the continuity issues, I just wasn't thrilled with it. If anything I'd say watch this movie without watching the first two immediately before and you'll be set.

I've watched some other good stuff recently (most notably The Guru (DS=8.5), but it's late and I have a somewhat busy day planned tomorrow.

Comments

Wow, can't believe you like LXG! I've heard only HORRIBLE reviews of it so far, and from several sources.
Heh, I've mostly stopped listening to reviews from folks other than friends at this point (I've heard critics pan kung-fu movies for "borrowing from the Matrix").

LXG is definitely not a movie for everyone. I had a bit of trouble with the pacing at first (it reminds me a lot of the pacing you'd see in the old TV/radio serials... except maybe 2x as frantic). I imagine that some folks will also find the plot too convoluted to be enjoyable, it draws heavily from the backgrounds of all the characters and even though the major points are explained reasonably well, there are tons of little details that you either catch because you are familiar with the characters, or you don't.

One thing that I was fascinated by is just how all of the characters were worked into a single story. I really enjoyed the fact that Moore created a world in which so many of the major literary figures of our past co-existed and interacted with one another. The movie draws from that concept and does something unique with it (and in the modern world of movie magic, I think a unique story is almost reason enough to like a movie ;)

I could probably go on and on about this. The movie deals with some of my favorite literary characters and it puts them into a comic book format. So as a comic book geek, I think my opinion is probably biased in the movie's favor. I've always enjoyed comic books because they combine action and adventure with interesting ideas and concepts that you don't normally see in "real" literature. Throwing "real" literature into a comic book and appropriating it in that fashion is quite fascinating to me. However, beyond those geek-aspects, I think the movie did a good job of being a reasonably intelligent, genuinely entertaining action movie.

Re:

Yeah, I understand. I don't listen to one or two critics, but when I hear 6 or 7 critics that I often agree with hate a movie and it's down near 19% fresh on rotten tomatoes.com, I usually figure I won't like it.

But I also am biased towards some movies that other folks don't like, so I definitely get that. :)
My favorite reviewer Gary Coghill. A reviewer, not a critic hehe... He'll point out things he didn't like, but will admit "I just liked it" or "it just works", and I think that's pretty cool. he can accept a movie for what it is/is supposed to be, unlike most critics that dislike action movies and often try to compare movies like LXG to something else (Xmen) or bash it for not being "artistic" (ala Martin)

btw...you have to register to check out hsi site, but it's free so :-P
Yeah, so far I think he's the only movie person that I'd seriously think about listening to.

Out of curiosity, what did he say about LXG?
That's why I like calling him a reviewer, not a critic. When you see him, you get the feeling that he'd review movies for free just b/c he loves film... it's not just a paycheck..

Here's his review for LXG...again, admits not everything is perfect, but that it just works hehe

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By GARY COGILL / WFAA-TV

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is an extravagant, fun film to watch, and much better than I expected. Oscar-winner Sean Connery plays Allan Quatermain, the world's greatest adventurer. All of a sudden, the planet is threatened by a maniacal presence, and before you can say superheroes, the room is filled with outcasts from literature, including the invisible man.

Throw in Mina, the Vampiress from Dracula, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Dorian Gray, and even a sharp-shooting Tom Sawyer, and Connery and company are soon speeding across the ocean aboard the Nautilus to save the world. If it all sounds a bit strange... it is.

The movie is directed by Stephen Norrington, who directed Blade, and is produced by Connery. It's also based on an elaborate comic book series by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. This movie showcases a number of interesting characters, most of them with a dark sense of humor.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is rated PG-13 for violence, and it won't win any awards for subtlety. Sometimes it's a bit of a mess, but more often than not, it works in a "fantastic adventure" kind of way. You might call it X-Men meets The Wild Wild West meets Pirates Of The Caribbean meets the The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad .
sorry about that...cut/paste the wrong thing...

http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?ID=1038013

it'll bring up the RM player...but it's his little internet movie rant (LXG and Pirates)