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This was one of those films that none of my friends would go see with me. I don't know why. They could've learned a thing or two from it. So, I went to see this by myself yesterday and it turned out to be a damn good movie.
It immediately starts off with a riveting re-creation of Black September terrorists making their way into the compound that houses the Israeli athletes. The terrorists are not merciful in any way, shape or form.
I liked how Spielberg used the actual TV footage from the 1972 broadcasts. The killing of all the athletes is not completely shown right away. Instead, Spielberg shows it in flashback scenes throughout the film all the way up to the end. This helps us remember why Avner (Eric Bana) and his team are doing what they're doing.
Most of the film concerns Avner and his team tracking down every single senior terrorist responsible for the massacre and disposing of them in unique ways. Not the actual men who carried out the massacre...they are all killed along with the hostages. We're talking about the brains of the operation.
The wealthy Arab men who financed it and set it all up.
A bomb in the telephone and the little girl who almost fatally answers it was a pretty intense scene. The bomb under a man's mattress that's filled with a higher grade explosive than Avner's bomb maker realized. Instead of just blowing the man up inside his hotel room, they accidentally end up taking out an entire floor.
The killing of the female Dutch Assassin with zip guns. (that scene was particularly disturbing to me) Hours...no...days after the film ended, this was the scene that I kept seeing over and over in my mind. You will too when you see this.
Avner and his men are asked to carry these assassinations out by the Israeli government but are considered expendable. If they are caught, Israel will deny all knowledge of them. Even though they are all in the Mossad.
Another fascinating part is Avner's "source" for info. This "source" will give the location of every terrorist for an extremely high price. The average Black September member costs over $200,000+ to take out. Little does Avner know is that his "source" also sells info to the bad guys and soon Avner believes he is being hunted and becomes so paranoid that he slices his own mattress open to see if it contains a bomb. Then he goes and sleeps in the closet.
And just who are the bad guys anyway? That's an interesting question Spielberg proposes. Are Avner and his team just as bad as the terrorists?
I highly recommend this film. Just be sure to buy the extra large bucket of popcorn...this movie is almost 3 hours long.
When Will I Be Loved (2004)
An Excellent Choice For the Evening!
I was bored so I went to this recently released film by myself.
I had read Ebert's 4 star review of it and since it was in limited release, I thought I'd go check it out.
I wasn't disappointed!
The local "2nd run" theater here in town specializes in getting those limited release indy films and they finally got it this weekend.
I also got the entire theater to myself. What a rare treat!
This is a very talky film and is definitely one of those where you can't check your brain at the door when you go in to see it. It is not a mindless action flick...there's barely any real serious action it it at all. It does contain violence though and it comes quickly and shockingly at the end. You know something bad will happen but you don't know what it will be.
This movie is sort of a more hardcore version of "Indecent Proposal" and that particular film is actually mentioned in it by Campbell's boyfriend Ford. He uses it to introduce her to the idea of being with the billionaire so he can get the money.
This is without a doubt, the best role I've ever seen Neve Campbell in. She is so graceful & elegant, you can hardly take your eyes off her.
Many times when she smiled in the movie, I found myself smiling with her. For us guys, we get a great first shot in the movie of Neve totally nude in the shower but that is a pretty much a bonus perk. The real treat is just looking at her face, watching her mannerisms and observing how she lays the trap for both of these men to fall in.
Ebert was right in his 4 star review of this film to state that not many actresses could've played her character effectively.
I was quickly drawn in by the excellent character development in the first half of the film which is done so well, you can easily believe the events that unfold at the end. The music for the film starts out with various hip-hop then changes to a equal mix of violin music and then to piano. It fits the film very well.
The running time is a bit short though. The movie started at 9:40 pm and when the end credits rolled, I checked my watch to see that it was 10:58 pm. Official specs state that the film is only 81 minutes long.
I highly recommend this film! It is perfect for an evening viewing with the wife or girlfriend.
So Simple...Yet Very Complex!
A friend watched this for the first time the other day. I had seen it a few years ago. She was dumbfounded by this film and asked me what it really was about. She asked if it had "a greater purpose."
After I told her, she understood a little better. Here's what I said to her...
The left hand didn't know what the right was doing as Worth put it. The Cube was something that never should've been built but it was.
Worth says, "There is no conspiracy. Nobody is in charge. It's a headless blunder operating under the illusion of a master plan."
He also says,"This is an accident, a forgotten, perpetual public works project. You think anybody wants to ask questions? All they want is a clear conscience and a fat paycheck."
I think one of the most important lines in the film is from Rennes (the escape artist) who says, "No more talking. No more guessing. Don't even think about nothing that's not right in front of you. That's the real challenge. You've gotta save yourselves from yourselves."
He couldn't have been more right.
The end of the film and who makes it out was a lesson on social breakdown. The Cube should never have been built but when it was, the people who created it realized what they had done and simply decided to make use of it rather than let it sit unused. They put people in it.
So in a way it doesn't have a greater purpose...but yet it does....in the lessons learned by watching the characters inside of it. The Cube is just a gigantic empty device until you add that human element to it. That's where the real fun begins and that's what makes it interesting.
Quentin (the evil cop) was pretty accurate when he said,
"This place is... remember Scaramanga? The bad guy in "The Man With The Golden Gun?" It's some rich psycho's entertainment."
And in a way he was right. The Cube really doesn't serve any purpose but to provide its creators with a sick form of entertainment.
Cube, above all is a fantastic multi-character study combined with sci-fi elements. One of the reasons I like it is because at it's core, it is very simple...but yet it is also very complex at the same time. Kind of like a Rubik's cube. Sitting on someone's desk collecting dust, a Rubik's cube will simply sit there...it has no purpose. But when a human picks it up and starts turning and twisting it....well you get the idea. I wouldn't be surprised if the Rubik's cube was the inspiration for the writers to write Cube.
Hopefully this helps.
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
What A Fun & Wild Ride!
Yee-Haw! What a fun, wild ride this was!
I thought this was Anderson's best work so far. (no, I'm not an avid Anderson hater like so many here on this board are) It had a pretty good storyline but the special FX totally stole the show. The Predators never looked cooler. The Aliens, along with their queen seem even more vicious than in the previous Alien films. The Alien effects were fantastic . Tons of slime, hissing and acid blood.
The story is very similar to Aliens only instead of Ripley and the Colonial Marines, we get a scientific research team...who happen to have packed automatic weapons.. A team assembled by Mr. Weyland travels to the unknown only to come under attack by both the Predators and Aliens. Much of the cast, no, I take that back...all of them except one are fodder and end up with either an alien in their chest or a Predator's wrist blade slicing them up.
The sets are top notch...a lot of detail was put into them. The pyramid where much of the movie takes place in is enormous. It literally has everyone trapped "Like rats in a maze" as one chemical specialist/team member points out.
The cast is also surprisingly good. All except one. That goddam Italian professor Sebastian who feels the need to read some heiroglyphs every few minutes and tell the story matter of factly. (that's him in the very top picture) It's the way he speaks, as if us, the audience, are total morons and will only understand the events happening in the movie if he tells us. Aaagh! Needless to say, I wanted him dead and when my wish came true, oh man was it good. I thought for sure there was going to be one of those obligatory "Kill me" requests like in the previous Alien films but that never happened. Never in a movie has one character been so annoying. That was the one major drawback to the entire movie....one badly written character.
Another cool idea was the last surviving human and last surviving Predator teaming up together to fight. Many people will no doubt find that utterly ridiculous and the worst part in the whole movie but I found it to be a cool, fun and action packed team up. I thought it was a great idea. The last surviving human, who I shall not reveal, is lucky that it's a teenage Predator they hooked with and not an older one. An older one would've never considered such an alliance and probably would've gutted them on the spot. There is a reason why the Predator allowed that person to tag along and to find out, you'll just have to watch the film. I'm not telling.
Oh and another thing...everything I read about this film says that there are 5 teenage Predators... Nope. There are only 3.
Overall I give this film 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It was a fun popcorn flick.