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Showing posts from June, 2010

Invictus

Clint Eastwood’s Invictus features a politician who is smart enough to unite his people in spite of themselves and a rugby captain desperate to lead his team to the world cup. The politician is Nelson Mandela played by Morgan Freeman and the captain is Francois Pienaar, played by Matt Damon. All great names who all deliver to the best of their ability in a truly inspiring story based on true events.
The movie begins by setting the stage in an unsubtle but effective way. White children in South Africa are seen playing soccer with their coach. The camera pans to the left side of the road and shows black children playing the same game but with shoddy equipment and no uniforms. Several important-looking cars then drive by and the black kids cheer at the car, while the white kids simply stare. One of the white players asks the coach who the man in the main car is and the coach answers “It is that terrorist Mandela.”
This scene illustrates the difficult task that lay ahead of the newly elect…

Give'Em Hell Malone

Give’Em Hell Malone plays out like a step-cousin of Robert Rodriguez’ Sin City. Both movies feature film noir characters, fedora hats, femmes fatale, old cars, menacing hitmen, and at the same time e-mail and cellphones. Of the two, Sin City is more visually creative and has a stronger story, but Malone is fun too if you like the genre.
Thomas Jane plays Malone, a hired gun with only one name. His own mother only calls him Malone, but it’s not because she is so old she forgot his first name. She still has enough functioning brain matter to take bullets out of her son’s body in the relative privacy of her retirement home. After a particularly deadly shootout, Malone walks into the lobby of the home and the receptionist tells him to try to keep the screaming to a minimum this time.
This particular shootout, the most violent of the whole movie, occurred over a suitcase that Malone was paid to recover. Here is a classic film noir object: a suitcase with a mysterious content that everyone is…

Micmacs

There are many words that could be used to describe Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs. Chief among them would be creative, whimsical, old-fashioned, inventive, and visual. This is a movie that creates its own universe and finds a way to reference itself while the story is being told.

It all begins when the father of the protagonist, Bazil (Danny Boon), dies while trying to disarm a land mine in Africa. Subsequently Bazil’s mother is sent to an asylum following a mental breakdown, forcing Bazil to be raised in a strict Catholic school, from which he eventually escapes. As an adult he can only get a job as a video store clerk, but he doesn’t mind since he loves old Bogart and Baccal movies and can even lip-synch the dialogue. Unfortunately, a drive-by shooting occurs outside the store one night and a stray bullet ends up lodged in Bazil’s head. He clearly cannot be described as lucky guy.

At the hospital, the doctor flips a coin on whether or not to try to remove the bullet. If he tries to r…

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

The title of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is similarly structured to that of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, though sadly not quite as entertaining. Still, it makes for a decent enough adventure movie set in the scorching desert featuring dastardly villains, a princess in peril and a sword wielding hero.
Set in a time when Iraq and Iran were called Persia, the action begins when adopted Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his two brothers are about to invade the sacred city of Alamut that may or may not be providing dangerous weapons to the enemies of the Persian empire (sound familiar?). Dastan is an orphan from the streets who was adopted by the king (Ronald Pickup) who was impressed by the boys Parkour abilities while fending off his guards. His brothers Garsiv (Toby Kebbell) and Tus (Richard Coyle) accept him although sometimes disagree with his brash ways. Accompanying the three brothers on their journey is the family uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley). Here is a clue to fi…