Tuesday, October 31, 2006

movie time

I did a movie review post awhile back and thoroughly enjoyed the process. After catching a few flicks in the past two weeks, I decided it was high time for another one. Besides, a movie post will help take my mind off of the recent tragedy in my life. Without further ado...
  • The Marine Oh. My. Goodness. This movie will probably end up challenging The Guardian in my end of the year debate over "most cliche-filled film". Wrestling star John Cena stars in this action flick, which promised big explosions and non-stop fun with the WWE's latest chosen one. I saw the previews for this flick and thought to myself, "Yes! About time we get a classic shoot 'em up guy movie!". Not sure how accurate this is, but I felt like there just aren't enough pure action movies coming out of Hollywood these days, now that the genre's mega-star is now governing instead of kicking butt. Anyways, there were enough bullets, car chases, explosions and fights to make just about any guy happy. However, if you happen to be one of those guys who needs just a tiny bit of actual acting with your action, you'll be disappointed. Or maybe you're only requirement is a solid plot line - again, you'll leave disappointed. Anyways, in case you haven't figured out yet, The Marine sucks. It's horrible. Stay far, far away. If you do go, despite my warnings, in order to satisfy your urge for action, then that's your call. Just don't say I didn't warn you...
  • The Departed When you're in Iraq you tend to be isolated from the outside world. Sure, we have internet access, but that's about the limit to our connectivity with what's happening. So it goes without saying that I miss things, from time to time. The big popular pop radio song - I've probably never heard it. The sweet new resturaunt on the far side of town - I've never eaten there. The hip new jean style that everyone is rocking - umm, what? However, one of the biggest things soldiers in the desert miss out on (and the major reason we are so out of the loop) is the 21st century advertising machine - TV commercials. We get a few TV channels over here, but the commercials are limited to Army produced & designed spots that are so horrible and boring I won't even waste your time trying to describe them. So, when you don't have commercials, you tend to miss out on the hype train that drives a lot of the movies that hit theaters back home. Although we usually get most of the big movies that you all get back home, they usually arrive with little to no fanfare. However, having said all of that - there are exceptions to every rule. Despite nearly zero commercial or media advertising impact or influence, we all knew what The Departed was, and we knew when it was coming to Balad. Some movies are just destined to greatness- the combination of a fantastic cast, a big name running the show and a monster budget - you usually have the makings of a classic. So when we heard that a movie starring Jack, Damon, DiCaprio and Marky Mark - with Martin directing - was heading our way, well, we about wept with happiness. I think SGT Kane even did a little dance, but let's not re-visit that. After a minor scheduling conflict at the theater moved our premiere night back a couple days, we finally got our shot at seeing The Departed in all of it's movie screen greatness. Wow. I was captivated from the opening scene until the credits rolled. I won't delve into plot specifics or anything like that, because you need to go see this movie immediately if you haven't already and I don't want to ruin one single moment of this cinema masterpiece for you. One thing I can tell you - the actors all deliver clutch performances. One of my personal favorites was Alec Baldwin - he steals every scene he's in. Also, Marky Mark delivers nicely when called upon, as usual. Of course, Nicholson is the man, and is cast in the perfect role. The real gem of the movie for me, however, was DiCaprio. I've never been a huge fan of 'ol Leo. Maybe because the role he's most associated is from a chick flick. Or maybe because I wasted $7 and saw The Beach. I don't know. For whatever reason, I've always viewed him as soft, way too boyish, and I've never been able to wipe away his Basketball Diaries character - I always think of him as some 12 year old boy - not a tough, Russell Crowe-like movie star. (Apparntley, the NY Times agrees with me - read more about Leo's Hollywood maturation here) Well, when I saw DiCaprio in The Departed, I saw MJ dominating the Cavs. Or Tommie Frazier running all over Florida. It was just a beautiful thing to watch, and I mean that in a purely hetro-sexual kind of way. When I think of Leo now, I don't think of this. Instead, I think of a gun-toting, pill-popping Jersey tough guy who will break you in half if that's what it takes. If you don't like Scorcese, or Damon, or mobster flicks in general - you still have to see The Departed. DiCaprio is that good, and he makes this movie what it is - my early leader for movie of the year. I just can't describe how fun it is to go watch a movie as well acted, well directed and well everythinged as this movie is. Go. Now.
  • Flags of our Fathers I just saw this last night, and I'm not quite ready to post my thoughts. Give me a couple days.

2 comments:

Nicki Picky said...

quality post johnny, I didn't read all of the departed one because I haven't seen it yet and you know how angry I get reading/finding out info before I see a movie/watch a show. love ya!

JH said...

Thanks. I tried to leave out any important details just for you, but I can't blame you for being careful. When are you going to go see it?