Posts Tagged ‘Day Watch’

“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.

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“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.

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Movie review from LA June 3 – June 10: “Hostel: Part II”, “Day Watch”, “Ocean’s”, Apatow’s “Knocked Up”

June 12, 2007

Gosh where do I start from this past weekend. I’ve seen 4 very different kinds of films between last Friday and today…Monday. Not only that but I’ve been going through the worst cold I’ve had in 4 years time. My head is swirling with sharply and poorly acted and written characters, dialogue, styles of directing, images of gore, of the fantastical, of 60’s and 70’s throwbacks, of comical and dramatic moments, of brutally hilarious disturbing images, of sexual intercourse (the kind that leads to really bad things). My weekend has been filled with tension and laughs, escapist fun and reality that’s almost too real to want to laugh at, and then reality that’s too real to watch. For one weekend at the movies, that’s a pretty crazy ride. I’m going to start with the most recent seen and perhaps the least favorite moment of the ride.

Being sick there’s that moment when you think you’re done using the bathroom, so you pull away and to your surprise realize that you may not have been done and end up having to wipe off the floor or your leg a little bit. Eli Roth’s “Hostel: Part II” felt like that dribble to me. Or at least parts of it did. Large parts of it. Only instead of cleaning those parts up and flushing them down the toilet with the other bad ideas, Roth kept it to show the world. Thank you Eli! In keeping some of those ideas there’s a certain kind of inspiration that you find in the Hostel films, one lacking in other films of this recently resurrected genre (Saw and it’s sequels). There’s a joy that Eli Roth takes in the carnage, and in that joy you see moments of someone who has the potential to be a really good filmmaker, which means there are moments of”Hostel II” in which we witness a great film, just as there were in the first “Hostel”.

“Hostel” surprised me. It was in fact a film that I intended not to see. It wasn’t until I was thoroughly creeped-out by the very simple teaser for “Hostel II”…

…that I started jonesing to see the first. That same level of psychological fear that I found in the teaser flowed underneath Roth’s surprise hit. Sure, there was gore to be had, but much of it was hidden in the shadows or cleverly built up to, or used to create emotional gravitas. And this is where Roth excels in part II. (more…)