Wednesday, May 22, 2013

1998

✭✭✭ 1/2
American History X
Saving Private Ryan
The Truman Show
Happiness
A Simple Plan
Shakespeare In Love
Life Is Beautiful

✭✭✭ 
The Spanish Prisoner
A Civil Action
Buffalo 66
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
The Big Lebowski
Festen
Rushmore
Pleasantville
Enemy Of The State
There's Something About Mary
Out Of Sight
Rush Hour
He Got Game
The Waterboy
Hard Rain
Bulworth
The Thin Red Line


Half-Baked
The Opposite Of Sex
Dark City
Snake Eyes
Following
PI
Gods And Monsters
The General
A Bug's Life
Blade
Smoke Signals
Living Out Loud
The Parent Trap
The Wedding Singer
Antz
The Butcher Boy


Beloved
What Dreams May Come
Blade
Lethal Weapon
U.S Marshalls
The Man In The Iron Mask
Bride Of Chucky

Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer kicks off with "Iron Man 3"



It's kind of a funny thing when you think about Robert Downey Jr's story. The drugs, the sex, the crazy partying, the meltdowns - it all led to an insanely triumphant comeback and him becoming an action star playing Iron Man in 3 highly successful movies. It's not like he wasn't talented in the first place. He's made a career of memorable roles. Check out his fake African-American blackface in Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder or even his underseen role in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The guy has talent. Taking about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang that film's director, Shane Black, has taken over Jon Favreau's duties as director of the newest Iron Man. If Iron Man 2 was a total and utter disappointment, this newest installment seems a bit more fresh and newly invigorated. Not to say that it hits the peaks of the original 2008 film which was one hell of a movie. That one felt fresh, innovative and just downright satirical about the whole superhero genre. Oh how the times have changed. Downey has sort of become a caricature of himself. He's still entertaining to watch but there isn't much freshness to his persona anymore. It helps that Iron Man 3's screenplay is much better written that the last one, much kudos must be given to Shane Black and Drew Pearce who collaborated on the screenplay.

Listen, with all that being said what I'm trying to imply is that it's going to be damn near impossible to reach the heights of the first Iron Man. As far as I'm concerned this is a franchise that can call it quits after this last film, an idea which will probably not be met very graciously by the studio heads given that the series keeps making the big bucks at the box office. In Iron Man 3 the baddies are played by capably brilliant actors -Ben Kingsley and Guy Pierce- that bring a real nice touch to a film that could have easily steered the wrong way. I'm not going to get into the whole plot which involves terrorism held by deeply rooted grudges against Downey's Tony Stark but there's enough meat here to recommend this popcorn movie. Iron Man 3 is sadly part of a summer movie crowd filled with product placements, action figure toys and a safe PG-13 rating. It isn't my kind of movie, it doesn't provoke and raise genuinely human ideas, but I'll still take it over most of the Hollywood drivel that'll get released between now and August 31st.

It's business as usual. The process of commerce over art is nothing new in Hollywood but taking the time to still tell a genuinely interesting story with character development can still be done in what will be a misbegotten summer movie season. No remakes. No reboots. No sequels. Imagine a Hollywood like that, sounds impossible eh? Just pure cinema. This summer expect commerce over art, it just happens. That's why you have to dig deep and find exceptions in the Hollywood studio system, Neil Blobkamp's Elysium, Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim and -yes even- Zack Snyder's The Man Of Steel look like carefully packaged studio products with lots of care and heart put into them. Everything else will most probably be relegated to the idea of business as usual.

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