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Showing posts from November, 2011

Empire List #420: Jerry Maguire

When you have a movie where the title is the name of the main character, you can assume a few things off-hand. First, said character is about to encounter a heap of trouble. Second, he will most likely find love, or at least re-deem a relationship. Third, by the end of the movie he will have made some major changes in his life. “Jerry Maguire” follows all of these rules by throwing the life of its protagonist upside down and have try to turn everything right side up. He is like the Coyote in Looney Tunes: if he stops and looks down, he just might realize he is walking on thin air and will fall into a canyon. Sometimes it’s better to keep looking up.
 The funny thing is, the first time I watched this movie I didn’t know I was about to fall down a canyon myself. It was in January of 2003, back when I was still living in Chile. In May my parents and I were going to move back to my native Canada, but first, a father-son trip. My father thought it would a great idea for him to take me to Ar…

Empire list #421: Lethal Weapon

Take a look at any bubby cop movie that has come out in the past twenty years and odds are it has been influenced by Richard Donner's “Lethal Weapon” franchise. It has all of the necessary elements for that genre: two cops, one white, one black, one is by the book, one breaks all the rules, one is a family man, one is single, one is old, one is young and they both have a weapon of choice. In real life cops investigate, gather evidence, and then arrest all the bad guys at once. Buddy cops investigate, get shot at, find out where the bad guys are hiding and then kill everybody in a massive shoot out while dishing out quips.
There are a total of four titles in this franchise and in just about all of them Danny Glover’s character says: “I am getting too old for this shit.” By the fourth one even Mel Gibson was getting too old and everyone knew it. I have seen all of them, but not in chronological order. I saw the second and third on TV and the fourth one on the big screen. Finally, on…

Empire List #423: Kill Bill Vol. 2

Quentin Tarantino must be a major annoyance to a lot of film teachers. They say to become good at anything you must first learn from the experts. Tarantino learned a lot before becoming a filmmaker, but from watching the stuff other people had done. It’s the dream of every guy who has ever worked at a video club: I have watched thousands of movies, what if I made one myself? Of course now that video clubs are going out of business we’re not likely to see someone emerge with a similar back story, but if anything he has proved you can watch and learn. With “Kill Bill Vol. 2” Tarantino shows what he learned by watching Westerns and Kung Fu movies, resulting in one of the best revenge movies of the last ten years.
By the time Volume 2 came out in early 2004, I was still reeling from having seen Volume one the year before. I must have had a weird facial expression after I left the theatre because my brother had looked at me and said: “You’re not going to go see the sequel aren’t you?” To wh…