Russell Crowe gave a standout performance and dominates the movie. Everyone roots for him for the most, I suspect. He is really is proving that he understands acting as reaching a psychological archetype of that character. The best actors are coming out of Australia, and I find that interesting, as it indicates a shift of some sorts in film-making. Film-making is getting more and more self-referential. You can't get any more self-referential than this film, because of the Paul Guilfoyle connection. It's right there to read into to, and I think it's a daring thing for a major motion picture to do. This film will continue to have a long afterlife.
Films are essentially about other films, but life can be about films. For example, it is well known that thugs don't feel like a thug unless they affect some kind of film cliché. DePalma's "Scarface" didn't really become popular until it was released on VHS and every gangster wanna be was buying a copy of it, and quoting the films dialogue to no end.
I do get the sense here that Kubrick is trying to make the audience connect to the idea that while films do not cause people to be violent, they can influence people to become violent. The entire movie works on several layers: The gangs wear costumes, Alex's gang fights another gang on a stage, Alex picks up a couple of groupies with a "performance" and the sex scene is shown in an exaggerated fashion (like most movie sex scenes are), the writer who gets beaten is the author of the story (the guy who wrote the book was in Ceylon, I think, when several American GI's broke into his home, beat him, and raped/murdered his wife).
How do they attempt to "cure" Alex? They show him a movie! Albeit, they force him to watch it, but they have also drugged him to associate a visceral reaction with Beethoven and the images. And this is what filmmakers do to us as well. It took my own maturity to finally comprehend some of these ideas, but in college, and looking back much to my chagrin, I watched this movie repeatedly because I thought it was a wicked black comedy. There is nothing funny about this movie, aside from a couple of winks from Kubrick. I think he is trying to put across the idea that movies can condition an audience to think/feel a certain way, and the results are not always for the best.
Violence is never "cool" despite Hollywood throwing mind-numbing amounts of violence at us every year. "We" are Alex, in a nut-shell. We, well maybe not you and I, but vast numbers of children are being conditioned to behave a certain way, think a certain way, talk a certain way. Maybe not in the fashion of Alex, who is forced to watch with his eyelids stapled open, but how many times have you seen a child sit 3 feet from a TeeVee set, tuned out like a zombie?
Here is the plot in a nutshell: Riddick, reprising his Pitch Black role (an often-talked about movie, yet nobody I know has seen it) as a criminal-type who can see in the dark. And there are these other characters, these invading types who want to "convert" people and are looking for the underverse (I like how the chief bad guy kept saying "the uuuuuuuuuunderverse" in his clipped, classically trained voice). What do they want to convert people to? The gay lifestyle! Check out the guy who played the purifier character. He's a hoot and an absolute sissy.
Anyway, some judeo-Christian and a good dose of vampires thrown together equals a prophecy about a last of his kind who has to do... something. What, I don't know because this film got terminally boring in the second act. If camp is your thing, than this is the ticket.
Liam Neeson simply owns this movie, even Patrick Swayze has a hard time matching Neeson's intensity. Neeson's portrayal of your average ass-kicking coal miner from Kentucky is all the more awesome when you figure in the fact that the dude is Irish. Reader, do you think it's entirely impossible that they have rednecks in Ireland too? In the end, the mobsters (including a young Ben Stiller, who comes across remarkably like an arrogant little prick) can't defeat the dirty-fighting Hillbillies because the mobsters are sissies who like to look pretty and the Hillbillies, hell they don't care how dirty they get. They're hillbillies from Kentucky, what did you expect?
The Admiral assigns Dodge to assume command of a moth-balled WWII diesel sub and mount an exercise against the surface fleet and the USS ORLANDO, a top of the line fast attack sub. Dodge takes command and in no time whips up the bad news bears.. err I mean his lovable group of oddball submariners into warriors. Despite having "welcome aboard" tattooed on his penis, he is a competent and fair commander, he does not choose favorites and he delegates authority in a responsible manner. The US NAVY could not have come up with a finer piece of recruitment propaganda than this handsomely made under-appreciated gem from the creator of "Police Academy".
To cut to the chase, this film examines the Cuban Revolution through the eyes of a would-be CIA agent. Wait till you see who plays Batista, and of course, he could only play him in one way, sort of his calling-card. But it works, because it's not what you expected. Most of us would think Batista is the French word for "prison", anyway. The jazz quartet was one of the most inspired gags in recent memory.
I, ROBOT expertly modulates between ideas, action, and one really sexy shirtless scene between Smith and Moynahan.
LXG is good enough for an afternoon matinée but nothing of substantial substance. I want to see more from Norrington, he obviously has the chops.
With Emmerich, you pretty much know what to expect. Something along the lines of a low-rent Bruckheimer production, but with more cheese. Emmerich is going to put Leon Rippy in all of his movies. I thought it was funny how most of the British officers are either wig-wearing fags or stiff as cardboard martinets, with the exception of Isaacs. Those eyes burn with intensity! The man could easily become an international superstar.
In war, the terms "good/evil" do not have any application. In war, especially fighting a war where you live, you kill or get killed. But a lot of the action scenes here are awfully contrived. The plot has to go from A, to B, to C, so if you want reality, watch PBS. This movie is fairly entertaining, but it's a work of fiction. Any Englishman who professes to be offended by this movie, is giving the movie far too much credit. I give the movie points for Isaacs, and for the scene when Gibson weeps with unbearable sadness when Ledger dies before his eyes.
This is one of the best summer movies since the first "Mummy", also from Summers. Just like in that film, he's taken the standard mythology of an established series and introduced it to high-tech modern day film production. The integration between live-action photography and computer generated graphics is as seamless as I've ever seen, and puts "The Hulk" to shame. Remember that they are moving the camera and establishing a path for a character that will be digitally inserted later and then you begin to appreciate the expert technical efficiency in which the film was produced. The actors chosen are all professionals and know how to do their job, Roxburgh is given special notice for his ballsy performance as a Dracula that expertly modulates between euro-trash sexy and full-blown campy. Beckinsale does her usual impersonation of a wooden plank, the role did not require much effort in my opinion. Her accent is amusing for all the wrong reasons, same as in "From Hell" with Heather Graham. And just as Graham has no idea how bad her accent is in "From Hell", Beckinsale is also clueless, but it adds to the charm and enjoyment of the film. Silvestri's score is among the best he has ever done and Summers should not take the mediocre and lukewarm reception that "Van Helsing" got from audiences to heart. The film made some money in its secondary life anyway, which is where 80% of all the returns come from these days.
Summers is nearly at the point of mastering his craft and I am looking forward to "Flash Gordon".
Army institutions are called "Posts"
Air Force, ah, who really cares. They do have some nice golf courses.
So you see, when you call an Army Post a "base", you are insulting the Department of the Navy.
It seems I need to write at least a minimum to get this posted. This film is pretty sorry, but its a Peter Hyams film. I am curious why Connery worked with Hyams a few times. The chase scene in the second act is pretty funny as you can see extras throwing everything but the kitchen sink in Harmon's way, as he probably demanded the chance to show off his agility and re-live his Quarterbacking days from UCLA.
My father was a career Navy man, 35 years enlisted and he reached the pinnacle as a Master Chief Petty Officer. His "salad bar", the small rows of colorful medal attached to his left chest is bigger than most of the Officers he came across. It's different for officers in the Navy than it is for enlisted. For officers, it is sort of an unofficial nobility. For an officer not to have any major medals pinned to his chest speaks of his lack of aptitude as a warrior (John Kerry and his bogus Vietnam war medals, anyone?). My father will tell you differently. He got his medals for killing people and being shot at. He does not see any glory or honor in his medals. His favorite quote, from his favorite movie PATTON "All glory is fleeting".
I would like to make a point. For most enlisted Navy men, they serve not out of patriotic zeal, but because it's a job with excellent benefits. While only 1 out of every 100 men who attend the Great Lakes Naval Training Center will reach the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer, you pretty much have to be a dumb f*ck to get drummed out of the service, not unlike Randy Quaid's character in this film.
The enlisted Man is the backbone of the Navy. If you are in dire need of a chuckle, you should see a wet behind the ears Ensign try to give a Master Chief Petty Officer an order. The other side of the coin is, in terms of social status, it seems a lot of people in this country hold enlisted men, not only of the Navy but in all the armed forces, in low regard.
Enlisted life in the Navy is chiefly governed by inertia. Only a special kind of man can stand Navy life: the constant routine, overzealous officers, incompetent swabbies, and the incredibly long deployment cruises where they are separated from their families (often 6 months at a time, or longer).
This film is admired in certain circles as a 21 gun salute to the enlisted Navy man. While not a true to life picture, as movies rarely are, however, you will be hard pressed to find a film that does not paint the Navy in such rosy terms, as the sugary sweet OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN does, or the incredibly stupid and unrealistic TOP GUN.
The vast amounts of enlisted men serving in our military are not war junkies out to get a fix. Its just a job, and our country could stand to go a long way to giving enlisted men a little more due respect.
Then as the years went by, the show kind of denigrated into a melodramatic, tawdry soap opera, and it was always the same show. So-and-so plots against so-and-so. Someone gets raped, hooked on drugs, killed, beaten. Basically, it became mind-numbingly repetitive. They should have called it quits after the first riot. The acting went from naturalistic to macho preening. Instead of feeling like they were really in a maximum security prison, it felt more and more like they were just actors on a set, reading lines for the camera.
In the end, it became a guilty pleasure of mine because of its unintentional hilarity.
Why, oh why couldn't this movie be as good as the final swordfights at the end? The camera dances, the action flows, the tension and excitement are palpable. Then I found out that those scenes were filmed on the same stage as "Moulin Rouge", using the same crew. Rumours abound that the bearded one refused to return to the land of Oz for the pickup shots of EPIII, instead preferring to return to England. Perhaps the laughter of derision behind his back had finally gotten to him?
I really don't care about EPIII anymore. If it's good, or if it's bad. Lucas once again wrote the screenplay without any outside help, so it's almost certain to be bad. I leave it up to you to determine if the Anakin vs. Obi-Wan swordfight is worth a 10-12 dollar admission ticket.
Here is what I have to say to you all: vote with your wallet. Do not go to see EPIII. Lucas treats his audience with contempt, why not give him some payback where it would really hurt?