Sunday, March 18, 2007

Casino Royale (2006) dir Martin Campbell

Anything I say cannot convey how awesome this movie was. I will say that whatever reservations I had about this movie that made me not see this in the theater I was completely and totally wrong and I apologize for anything bad I said about this movie.

Wait, no one thing: I will continue to say that Casino Royale has a pretty crappy opening song. That's not to say that it's awful - it works with the credits. The song just sucks. I would've gone in a more trip-hop kind of way but hey that's me.

So except for the sucky opening song this is an awesome Bond movie. I actually like James Bond again. I think this movie made me renew my love of action movies again.

I'm buying this when I have the $$$. The two-disc "special edition" is not worth it. The second disc are some crappy making of documentaries and a made-for-TV special Bond Girls Are Forever. Not worth the time.

300 (2007) dir. Zach Snyder

300 is one of those movies that seems to have split audiences and me. Audiences love this movie. I did not. Apparently I should have liked this movie: sword & sandal action, monsters, action, Frank Miller, and a whole bunch of woo! I'm more of the opinion that 300 was nothing more than sound and fury signifying nothing.

On the upside:

300 does complete justice to Frank Miller's work. Personally I'm a Sin City kind of guy - both comic and movie. 300 definitely looks like the comic and nice work guys.

This movie will do exceptionally well with women. Hot dudes in leather underwear being heroic and kicking ass with added ogle appeal. It's not off-puttingly gory - for those ladies who would normally not watch anything with gore. The female character is strong and possibly the most interesting character in the movie.

It's a sword and sandal action movie. When's the last time they made one of those?

Thanks to Bart & Sarah we got to see this at the IMAX in San Antonio at the Palladium Theater. The theater experience was surreal that it really gave it a "Blood & Circus" feel.

On the downside:

There have been a good number of reviewers who have panned or been hard on 300 because they call it a video game movie. If they meant they wanted to skip every cut scene in between action sequences then yes I agree. Painful over acting or under acting or sometimes barely acting, vapid plot, cardboard characters - I didn't care at all about any of the characters, a barely rousing narrator - hey Faramir no wonder they like your brother better, silly splatter pixellated gore, and a general grainy pixellated "style", over blown frenetic and at times absurd score. Not so much bad as boring which in an action movie is even worse.

All in all:

Part of the reason that I am so disappointed by this movie is because I expected it to kick ass. I wasn't expecting Babel or whatever preachy drek is considered top shelf. For all intents and purposes I got what I was expecting but it ended up being a poor imitation of a genre I love - guys against all odds. I'm sticking with movies like The 13th Warrior and for what it's worth I'm glad Pathfinder is coming out next month.