Thursday, June 1, 2006

Random Reviews - Mid '06

The following reviews were done while I was laid up in bed post-back surgery during mid 2006. I obviously hadn't committed to a routine or level of quality yet in my writing, but here they are anyway...

The French Connection - As I stated in my review of The Conversation in my last blog, I'm not a big Gene Hackman fan. However, I guess I just wasn't watching the right Gene Hackman movies, because I quite liked him in this. I was a bit surprised to see that the car chase scene everyone flips out about wasn't as much a car chase as it was a train chase. I expected two cars zipping around the streets of London. Instead I got one car tailing an elevated train in New York. It was still a great chase, though. I liked this movie, but it had one of those endings that a lot of movies based on real life events have that kind of leave me feeling jipped. I won't say what happened, but I felt that it was a little anti-climactic. I guess that's real life for ya. By the bye, this one was recommended to me by Rob Tornoe.

Cool Hand Luke - The first Kyle Haase recommended movie I've watched thus far has turned out to be my favorite of the bunch to this point. This movie had a few lines that I've heard over the years that I knew were from some landmark film or another, but I never knew what film it was. For example: "Now what we have here is a failure to communicate", which my father said along with the actor in the movie as he watched it with me. The coolest shot in the movie was by far the one where the camera zoomed in on the guard's glasses to get the reflection of Paul Newman speeding off down the road in the car he stole from the prison. My one question about this movie is how the hell did Newman lose the Academy Award that he was nominated for in this? My life's goal is now to see Kyle Haase himself eat 51 eggs in one hour to beat Luke's record.

X-Men: The Last Stand - As I'm sure several people have yet to see this movie, I won't give anything away. Instead, I'll just sum up the movie very briefly: from beginning to end it was a large steaming pile of shit. Don't waste your money. Just go watch X2 again and pretend 3 never happened.

The Conversation - Rob Tornoe recommended this movie to me saying it was my kind of movie and that I would like it. I won't be that enthusiastic, but I enjoyed it. The conversation was slow-moving and ultimately a bit anti-climactic in my opinion, but overall it spun a good tale. I had a good time trying to figure out the mystery for myself, although as I stated, I was a bit disappointed with the outcome. I've never really liked Gene Hackman all that much, but I think he did well in this role. I never really find him all that believable in roles that require a lot of extreme emotions, but his character in this movie (Harry Caul) is fairly quiet and emotionless. Overall, not a must-see, but worth a watch.

Romancing The Stone - Recommended by Bruno Lobato. I'd heard of this movie before but always thought it was a sappy romance movie. Of course, I was wrong, and even going into watching it had really no idea what it was. This movie falls somewhere between the action of Indiana Jones, the humor of Back To The Future, and the ridiculous adventure of The Goonies, however, I don't think it stands out as much as any of those. It was a fun movie to watch, but unfortunately, up against the other three that I named, I don't think it really has a chance (except against The Gooneis, because I personally despise that movie). For one thing, Michael Douglas didn't really pull off the adventurous lead male role in my eyes. For another, Danny DeVito and his tall, skinny, balding cousin didn't seem to pose too much of a threat as the bad guys. Once again, worth a watch, but not much staying power.

Rounders - My friend Ricky has been telling me to watch this movie for years. It's one of the few Edward Norton movies that I hadn't seen, and I'd been meaning to see it for quite a while, but it wasn't until Joel Lolar reminded me about it that it went on the list of movies I needed to see. I had a good time with Rounders. It kept my interest by constantly digging deeper and deeper holes for the main characters. I didn't like how Norton's character just sort of disappeared for the end of the movie. It made sense for the plot, but I think we should have gotten a little more of him after the climax at least. I think this movie was entertaining, but would have been a lot better had the ending not been the one that I'm sure everyone was expecting the entire time they were watching it.

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