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Black Hawk Down (2001)
What I would expect
Despite the fact this movie was made by a British director and it was made before 9/11, this is what I would expect from an era of such jingoism as we are now experiencing in the US.
The somalis are nothing more than faceless savages. Even the main US characters are given no thoughts or dreams. They are simply facades of manliness and destruction. How do they feel going to somalia ? Do they feel that their country has the right to intervene in affairs of other countries ? Are they scared ? Do they enjoy what they are doing ? Is militarism always the best strategy ? Do they want to go home ? Do they feel they are being sacrificed for a nobel cause ? What do they feel toward the people in the towns, cities, countrysides of somalia ? None of these issues are explored in this movie. Isntead it is 100+ minutes none stop death and destruction. After the second persons insides were blown against the camera I felt it was too much and walked out of the theater.
Okay it is an action movie, fine. Then do not base it on real events if exploration of real issues is not important.
If you want to see a movie concentrating on the depravity of war see JOhnny GOt His Gun, All Quiet on the WEstern Front, even the Big Red One, not this junk.
3 out of 10 stars. The three stars were for the technical merit and choreography of the action sequences, which were outstanding.
The Departed (2006)
Not that significant
Being out of the country at the moment I hadn't been inundated with the hype of this movie (which I think is a good thing). It was a Martin Scorsese movie following the irish mob and corrupt police: my probable expectation was a focus on extreme depravity and violence.
Boy was I right. The violence was extremely graphic and I believe distracted from the story which I thought was of a semi first rate b movie quality. It was entertaining, don't get me wrong. The acting was exceptional, including the (usually ridiculously over done) late age Jack Nicholson, the (usually adolescent) Leonardo Dicaprio and the rapper turned "actor" Mark Wahlberg. Even Alec Baldwin showed up to make some wise cracks which I thought lent the movie it's b quality qualities (are b movies worthless ? I don't really think so). The movie crackled with an energy and I have to admit I did not look at my watch until about the second hour of the movie (which usually for me means I have been thoroughly entertained).
The bad part of it is of course the violence, which I feel Scorsese must love to portray, because his movies are sadistically concentrated on graphic acts of violence. Why this is and why he loves violence so much is probably more for his psychiatrist to figure out (if he is seeing one, which I think he should be). The fact that so many people are lavishing praise on this movie and ranking this as the 161st best movie EVER MADE is probably a sign that the apocalypse is upon us. I do not think a society desensitized to violence is really that great of a sign. The head shots to the various unlucky people were out in the open and not disguised at all, nothing was cut away. Was he hoping to make a statement about how disgusting violence is ? Didn't translate to me if he was.
Anyhow, the movie was silly and there were many unintentional laughs, one being the secret dealing with Chinese terrorists. The movie was completely over the top and wholly, insignificant. I know Scorsese has rarely deals with deep issues in his movies (other than alienation in Taxi Driver), but I think he is a great film director and should probably try dealing with more "internal" issues (and I don't mean internal organs of people blowing against the wall).
The Room (2003)
One of the worst movies I have ever seen
I see a lot of people giving this movie good reviews and feel justice has to be done to this crap. This is the first movie I have ever walked out of in my life. I don't know if this movie is meant as a joke or what. Roger Ebert even gave this a good review. I think he is a smart critic but I don't know. Maybe this one was funded by Disney. This is possibly the worst movie I have ever seen in a theater. The acting is like one of those Cinemax soft core porn movies except with less people taking off their clothes (not much less). This movie is actually hilarious I think unintentionally. How anyone could like this is beyond me. 6.9 rating ? This movie has a higher rating than a lot of good movies. Unbelievable! This should be down there with Gigli and Manos Hands of Time like 1.5 !