Archive for July, 2008

“Mongol: The Untold Story of Genghis Khan”

July 28, 2008
The warrior before the warrior.

The warrior before the warrior.

In the modern day and age of “diaries” and “confessions” the title Mongol: The Untold Story of Genghis Khan makes me giggle. It’s almost like it should be a cover story for People Weekly. “Let’s take a look behind the scenes at what made Genghis Khan the brilliant war tactician and brutal murderer we know him as today.” Instead the film has a deep sense of reverance for it’s lead character. In fact, as far as the movie is concerned, it was love and a deep sense of honor to the handful of people who he felt closest to that drove him to become the legend we know and love today.

Though the title implies that we’re going to get a good, honest, no-holds-barred look at the man behind the myth, known through his life as Temudjin, there’s no doubt in my mind that most of this story is bunk. Elements may remain truthful, but with so much time having passed since that era it would be difficult not to embellish and fictionalize and even create a much grander mythology to go toe-to-toe with the others in existence. And from what I hear this is the first of a trilogy, so they have to find ways to draw it out a little.

(more…)

The Cognitive Dissonance of Batman’s Dilemma or Why did it end that way? **Major Spoiler’s Included**

July 26, 2008
What to be or what not to be...a split identity.

What to be or what not to be...a split identity.

Below is a comment/question from a reader about Batman:The Dark Knight, one that a few people have asked me, so I imagine it will be on the minds of many more people, and so it should probably be addressed with an article unto itself. Watching the film again you’ll notice that everything dealing with Bruce Wayne throughout the film leads to what we’re about to talk about. While my answer may not be sufficient for some, it will give you something to chew on. ***And yes there are spoilers that give away the end of the film included in this post!!!*** If you want to read my spoiler free review go here. But avoid reading the comments at that post because this question is included.

(more…)

“Wanted”, “Fight Club”…cinema of the depressed

July 24, 2008
Like the Narrator in "Fight Club", corporate shenanigans weigh down on our hero.

Like the Narrator in "Fight Club", corporate shenanigans weigh down on our hero.

Jim Emerson has a post on his blog SCANNERS (here) that talks about how and why the film Fight Club made such a strong impression on him. As the narrator deals with depression so does Emerson. It’s a strongly written piece and one that sums up my feelings not only for Fight Club, but also for my feelings concerning Wanted.

As in most super hero films if you can’t connect with the hero’s dilemma as a normal person you won’t feel as drawn to him trying to break free from that prison he finds himself in. For Wesley, McAvoy’s character, it’s his depression. His inability to feel anything. To feel something – even anger, is a freeing thing. Anger can in fact be a great thing to feel. It’s both Fight Club‘s and Wanted”s notion to take that initial breaking free point and carry it through to an extreme. And they realize that those extremes probably aren’t the healthiest way to deal with things.

(more…)

“Batman: The Dark Knight”

July 22, 2008
There's a little Alex in all of us...even The Joker.

There's a little Alex in all of us...even The Joker.

There’s a lot of talk these days about Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight, and while it’s certainly deserving it’s only one part of the masterpiece that is director Christopher Nolan’s newest installment in the Batman Franchise. To say that the film’s a piece of something beyond it’s scope almost diminishes it, because as a singular whole there’s so much right about this film, there’s actually nothing at all wrong with it. But even to say that is doing it a disservice.

To start at the beginning. This is the the best plotted and written script (written by both Christopher and his brother Jonathon Nolan) I’ve seen since North by Northwest and Chinatown. In every scene there is conflict. Every character, major or minor, has to make a decision based on what they think is right and they are forced to live with the decisions they make. And those decisions not only further the story but add emotional depth to everyone’s character. Do you know how difficult that is to do in a movie? And the brothers make it look easy.

(more…)

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

July 22, 2008
Hey, we could really use Harry Hamlin right about now!

Hey, we could really use Harry Hamlin right about now!

There’s a sadness at the center of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army. A sadness that lends a poignancy to the humor and action that was sorely missing in the first Hellboy film, which after being a huge fan of Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone and Blade II, I was very much looking forward to, and never really ended up liking. Hellboy II lives up to that promise.

Del Toro, like fellow comic book director Christopher Nolan, is a master of plotting and pacing. So even when Hellboy II makes some jumps in story logistics you’re carried along without feeling the bump in the road. It begins as Pan’s Labyrinth did, with a bedtime story about an evil army of Golden soldiers, so from there you know it gives itself permission to go anywhere.

(more…)

“Wanted”: What have you done this week?

July 17, 2008
Fates trail of destruction.

Fates trail of destruction.

In any comic book super hero movie, and Wanted is a type of comic book super hero movie, there has to be that one moment in which your understanding of the main character, here Wesley Gibson played by James McAvoy, suddenly becomes a deeper understanding of yourself. This movie or comic book isn’t just about Peter Parker, or Bruce Wayne, or Bruce Banner, or Neo – it’s about me…it’s about the audience member sitting next to me.

There comes a point in Wanted where I had that moment. When Wesley has met the fist end of Angelina Jolie’s, here the beautiful Fox’s, arm a few too many times, and his face is dripping blood and he can hardly breath much less speak, he finally has the courage to utter the honest words to her question “Why did you come here?”. A moment that sent chills up my spine. A moment that for Wesley, who has been beaten down by every aspect of his life and can’t fight anymore, decides to open up and be vulnerable. It is also the answer any cult waits for so they can pounce.

(more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.