A new friend of mine asked me last Friday what was my favorite that I’ve seen recently. Being an avid cinemaphile and generator of opinion (as you may have noticed), this caused a mental lag akin to calculating pi to the power of pi on a watch calculator. (Me: “Duuuuuh …”) I came out of the stupor by shifting parameters to my favorites — plural, but this helped little. None of the 2-4 movies a week since January in short term memory leapt to the forefront . Several days later, I’ve got some picks. (SPOILER ALERT: if you’ve read the title you already know the picks, … so … no need for the alert actually — Stand Down!).
Jet Li and Jackie Chan FINALLY make a movie together, and THANK THE TAOIST ELEMENTAL SPIRITS that it wasn’t in a Rush Hour. (novel idea once = good, two or more times = lame). Forbidden Kingdom was interesting in it’s premise of a fan boy entering the fantasy. (complete with hot Asian girl love interest, no tentacles this time though) It also payed homage to actual Chinese myth of the Monkey King in a vain like American classics such as the Karate Kid, perhaps key to it’s success . It walks the border between classic and cliché many times — meh. FK is also was very family-friendly, which is code for nerfed. Fuck it though: where else can we see Jet vs. Jackie?
George Clooney’s Leatherheads was alright if you like mild comedy, romance, and sports mixed into a thin porridge. As a director, G likes to make movies about the past because more modern settings would likely cause a level 5 smug alert. Well cast, Clooney, John Krasinski (The Office joe average), And Renee Zellweger (who is hot when the only woman in a film) do an decent job of painting the elements of a love triangle. No need to bring a spare pair of pants, it aint pee your pants funny but more a chuckle worthy date flick. It’s funny to learn that pro-football was like the Harlem Globetrotter in terms of on field antics; had it remained this way, I may have deemed the sport worthy of watching.
Stop-Loss, named for the continuing military practice, I think is my favorite so far. A drama about a very real subject of soldiers being bamboozled into fighting and facing death longer after their tour should be over (another show of Bush support for the troops). Ryan Phillippe, my dog from Way of the Gun, is quickly becoming one my favorite actors. He portrays the anger and frustration of a young soldier that is faced with this crisis and examine who he is and truly wants to be: a free deserter or a soldier captured by his own nation. Ryan does this expertly , validating his acting chops and taste in scripts — if not women (Reese? Really? )
Enough writing, I’ve got more movies to catch.