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Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

The Day After

After the heavy rains on Saturday, Sunday was a beautiful, but cool, day — the sun was out and shining all through the day. In the morning, I had little energy, but I was better by mid-day, and it allowed me to go out and enjoy myself for a bit. I went to see a movie, Bangkok Dangerous, which was “ok” but with few respectable characters. I had already read several lukewarm reviews of the film, but I was interested in seeing the scenery which they used to film it (to make it more like a travelogue). The film is about a hired assassin making his last big hit before wanting to retire, and falling in love with a deaf-mute woman in Thailand while he is there (she, and her family, are the only redeemable characters in the movie, in my mind). Watching it, I was reminded of a Patrick McGoohan movie I still want to see called, The Hard Way, which was about a retired assassin being forced to do one last hit; Bangkok Dangerous, I was hoping, was going to do some moral reflections based upon the characters, but it really didn’t; The Hard Way I am sure did. 

After the movie, I decided to get some Mexican food for supper. I went to the Baja Fresh next to the theatre, and ordered a nacho with black bean (no meat) dish for take out. When I got home, I found out whoever made it put chicken all over it, making me more than a little annoyed. I checked the ticket and it was clear, no meat; so now I don’t think I will go there again for sometime, since I can’t trust what they will give me.

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Rain and a Movie

For most of the morning and afternoon, we had a constant light rain making it rather miserable outside. Even when the rain stopped, the clouds did not dissipate, and it looked like it could begin to rain again, so that when one went anywhere, one had to make sure they brought an umbrella with them just in case it started to rain again.

I really needed to rest, after all the activity of the week, so I went to see a movie, Babylon A.D. It’s an adventure-based futuristic movie, where Vin Diesel plays a mercenary who has been hired to smuggle a mysterious young woman, who had been raised at a religious orphanage, into America. Along the way, he grows to care for her, and finds out she is an unwilling pawn for a 21st century religious cult (she was artificially created and enhanced by a scientist, who is more or less her father, at the request of that cult, so that when she came of age, she could appear as a miracle to the world to convert people to that faith; her father, however, recanted of what he had done, and was “killed” for it ). I had heard many bad things about it, but I knew it couldn’t be as bad as it was being made out to be. It wasn’t. It wasn’t a great film, but it wasn’t a terrible film (I saw worse during the summer). Certainly there were problems with it, especially the last third of the film and the ending itself, because they left too many things unexplained. Vin Diesel’s character dies, is brought back to life, the girl is found out to be pregnant with twins (that have special powers of their own, capable of preserving her life); after escaping the cult, she dies in giving birth to the twins, and he becomes their father-protector. The end. Why she died, we are not told (I suspect there is some sort of nod to the Buddha legend). Exactly what these twins are, we are not told (but we know that what was done to their mother enhanced them, as well; so I suspect they are a kind of Buddha). How exactly Vin Diesel is capable of raising the children without being found, we are not told. From what I heard, there was much of the film which was cut out by the studio, and I suspect such footage probably would have explain much of this.

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Friday was the first Friday in quite some time that none of the new movies which came out had any interest for me. The new Mummy one almost did, but all of the reviews for it made me reconsider. The others in the series are light entertainment, but it seems the series has gotten a bit stale. The idea for it sounds good, actually; it’s just the execution sounds awful. I will probably catch it on tv one day.

So it seems like the “summer of blockbusters” is over. It really got started with Iron Man and ended with the terrible X-Files. There have been some movies which were real good: Iron Man, Prince Caspian, and Dark Knight; a few which were entertaining but not exceptional: Indiana Jones, Hancock, Hulk, and even Kung-Fu Panda; and finally there was only one I thought which was bad: X-Files. The story for the X-Files almost made it to “average” and “entertaining,” but it was what was going on in it (subtle anti-Catholicism, using media talking points to ridicule the Church) which really turned what would have been a lukewarm outing to bad.

From now to the end of the year, there are a few movies I really want to see: My Name is Bruce  (what looks like will be a comedy classic), Harry Potter, and James Bond. Perhaps something else will come up (Mirrors looks interesting; I will see how it is reviewed) but otherwise, it’s been a good run. I’ve not seen anything like it for quite some time.

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Summer Knights

After all the nice weather we have had, it’s back to the hot and humid weather of summer. Too hot to enjoy. Too hot to stay out for long. Too hot to sit on a bench and read for more than ten minutes. But not too hot for the birds, ever active, ever digging for food. Not too hot for the squirrels to get into everything, whether or not they are chasing each other. And, in reality, it should not be too hot for us, but since we keep ourselves cool inside our buildings, it makes it so we don’t adjust to the changing heat as well as we should.

Today, The Dark Knight comes out. It’s supposed to be the best Batman movie yet. Of course, I am going to go see it. The expectations for it are big — for the theatres, and for the viewers. The theatre I go to is opening even earlier than normal for it — 9 am. Of course that will be the time I will be there.

Ok, I will be there earlier. I like to get there, rest from the walk, and read before a movie starts.

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I went to CUA in the morning, read more Balthasar, returned home, did more reading, and thought it was time for a break. I decided to go see the movie Mongol late in the afternoon. It is a foreign film based upon the early life of Genghis Khan. Currently it is only being shown in two theatres in the area (both of them being art house theatres). The one I chose to go to, right off the Metro Center stop, I found was cheaper for matinee showings than the big theatre I usually walk to near where I live.

The movie was quite enjoyable, and interesting in how it tried paint a sympathetic picture for Genghis Khan in it. I know it is supposed to be the first one in a trilogy, and I wonder how the little films will portray him? Will they be as sympathetic as this or show him slowly evolve, showing the problems of heroes in a way similar to Frank Herbert in the Dune  series? Nonetheless, the movie centers around his love for his first wife, and all the tragedies in his life which kept tearing them apart. Through his trials and tribulations he gained a sense that the Mongol tribes needed a leader to unify them and turn them around from the errors of tribalism. He was capable of much cruelty — if crossed, and the movie did present this side, although it didn’t focus on it. 

Sadly, my experience at the theatre wasn’t entirely impressive: for the first few minutes, the film had no sound, and there seemed to be no one watching or monitoring the situation to take care of the problem. One of the audience members had to leave and get someone to fix it. The screen seemed small, not extremely small but small, and the room itself was smaller, with half of the seats more or less level with the screen itself. Sadly, this theatreis one of the few in the area to get movies like this, and if there is a new anime film I want to see, it would probably be shown here.

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