Sunday, December 03, 2006

November Movie Wrap-up

Nothing too new to report on this end (other than that crushing defeat at the hand of the Sooners last night in the Big XII Championship Game, which I would rather forget) so I'm gonna mail it in with a new movie post. Enjoy.
  • Deja Vu This movie stars Denzel Washington. Denzel is usually a pretty reliable bet to act in quality movies. His body of work (Glory, Malcom X, Philadelphia, The Hurricane, Training Day, Man on Fire) supports this theory, from my vantage point. So when a new Denzel flick comes to the local cinema, I usually consider it worthy of my hard earned dollar. Factor in that my current local cinema is free, and that makes any Denzel show a must-see. I went into Deja Vu with zero knowledge of the premise, story or cast (other than the star). I must say that I wasn't overly impressed with this movie, nor was I overly disappointed. I would have to say I'm fairly neutral on it overall. I think Denzel does a fine job, and the set-up is decent, but the movie suffers from a few flaws that pretty much kills everything for me. About half way into Deja Vu the audience is basically asked to suspend reality, accept that what we're being told is true (even though everyone is scratching their heads and muttering about how impossible this is) and then the rest of the way out we must continue to just enjoy the movie for the entertainment, and not for any real substance or meaning. After leave the theater, SGT Kane and I discussed a few alternative endings that could have made the movie more interesting or might have made you think a little more, but the folks in charge instead decided to stick with a fairly Hollywood ending. I can understand what they were thinking - they didn't want to leave the audience upset, and wanted to stick with the safe play. This may bring the movie a few more dollars at the box office, but if they really wanted to please me the audience, I think Deja Vu should have ditched some of the physics lessons and worked harder on a meatier plot with a less contrived ending. I think the risk would have paid off. All in all, Deja Vu is a decent flick and Denzel doesn't disappoint, but nothing here is worth remembering.
  • The Black Dahlia On paper, The Black Dahlia packs quite a punch. The director is a proven winner, as he was at the helm for gems like Scarface, The Untouchables, Carrie - heck he directed the first Mission Impossible, which was alright. The cast (Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank) is loaded with big names. Throw all of this goodness into one melting pot and you should come out with a sure-fire gem, right? In the case of The Black Dahlia - wrong. Poor execution, shoddy acting, a confusing plot and a slow pace kill whatever high hopes this movie may have had. I'm not familiar with the story of The Black Dahilia (if you want to know, go here) and I'm not sure if that may have helped or not, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one who waltzed into the theater with no prior knowledge of the story. The movie is put together well, with 1940s era clothing, cars, and everything else. The problem for me was that the story just didn't flow right, and the ending left much to be desired. A little too long and weird for my tastes, and a good example of a well known director and good cast not always being able to deliver solid results. I can't even recommend this for a rental. If you really want to see De Palma run a quality show, go rent this or this. You will thank me.


Nicki Picky said...

you're cute.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Hanseling,

My name is Paul and I work for the BBC World Service Radio.

I found your site today - great stuff. We would love to speak to you within the next four hours - please phone us.

Are you free to come on air tonight between 6pm - 7pm GMT (London time) and talk about the Iraq Study Group's findings? Questions we're asking: Is this an admission of defeat by the US? Is talking to Iran and Syria really going to help? Is asking more of the Iraqi forces realistic? What do the US forces think of the ISG?

We're particularly looking for MilBlogger reaction. We're interested in a) personal opinions and b) what the military folks around you are saying about James Baker and Lee Hamilton's findings.

We're a live discussion programme with callers dialling in from all over the world.

I sincerely hope you can spare some time for us. If any military personell wish to join you on air then we'd love to hear from them as well.

World Have Your Say
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