May 24, 2008

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK -- Indy stares into the eyes of a cobra

One realizes when watching a movie like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK just how digital and overdone today’s action-adventure movies are.  RAIDERS was so organic, so believable.  Sure there are spectacular stunts and set pieces, but none that really made me think they were ludicrous and totally implausible.  It felt like I was watching a world that was entirely possible, if I only knew where to look. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones seemed bold and tough, not like he was just waltzing across bluescreens.  

I couldn’t say when the last time I saw RAIDERS was.  Maybe I’ve only ever seen it once in my life sometime back in the 80’s.  I can’t remember if I saw it in a theater when it was released.  So my fandom of the series is more just out of respect and faint memories of the films.  On this viewing the original-ness of the series really takes hold.  Yes Indy has a gun, but he more often uses and gets out of jams with his whip.  He needs his book knowledge as much as his physical skills to solve the various mysteries.  

And as I have written in the past, for a film series to truly be iconic, it must have an iconic score. And RAIDERS most definitely does.  Humming the theme song after the credits roll happens naturally.  And it’s a theme that is instantly recognizable years later.  This is what modern franchises like SPIDER-MAN lack and why I don’t view them as classics.  

Just think how awesome it was the first time you saw Indy put sand into that small bag at the beginning of RAIDERS, and you thought to yourself, “why in the world did he do that?”  And then the payoff.  That’s why RAIDERS is great and will endure long after CG movies look dated.  

GHOST DOG [1999] review

May 23, 2008

Ghost Dog review feature

Like GHOST DOG said, it’s all about moments. Just a series of moments. It really struck me when GHOST DOG read that from the code of the samurai he follows so truly, for all my life I’ve been just setting up a series of moments. You can’t keep everything perfect forever, but for a single moment, you can. And then it passes, as does GHOST DOG.

I was totally IN for this movie. Loved the silent no dialogue opening, just GHOST DOG walking between people in rhythm, they didn’t even notice him as he slipped between open door, sidewalk and trash can. I could feel him feeling it. RZA’s score punctuated every image on the screen.

Amazing that the director, Jim Jamarsh, let scenes breath like the first time GHOST DOG talks to young Pearline. … They are just letting a scene between GHOST DOG and a little girl go on like that talking about books? … Total human moment, which served to humanize the previously ghost-like GHOST DOG.

…Loved how he and French speaking only Ray assumed absolutely correctly what each was saying every time.

…Just because there aren’t many of them left. Exactly the reason why you shouldn’t.

GHOST DOG is a powerful poem/meditation/haiku/imprint of a movie. … As RZA’s last piece of music played over the credits, I stood out upon my balcony surveying the vastness of Tokyo before me, and could feel the fading spirit Ghost Dog talked about.

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS [2003] review

May 22, 2008

This movie was not 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS

EARTH [2007] review

May 17, 2008


THE BRAVE ONE [2007] review

May 2, 2008

Jodie Foster got ugly in THE BRAVE ONE

INSIDE MAN [2006] review

May 1, 2008

I think I can’t really stand Denzel Washington INSIDE MAN