December 31, 2003
December 17, 2003
Tuesday Morning, December 16, 2003: The King Is Returning Tonight! The reviews are beginning to come in. By this time tomorrow, I will let you know if the movie met my impossibly high expectations. The fact that I got shivers from the TV spot, and almost cried during the theatrical trailer, means the whole shebang has a lot to live up to.
As I mentioned yesterday, I have a ticket to a 12:10am show at Randolph tonight, so after work, I'm headed home to feed and dress myself. I am considering taking what Em calls a "disco nap" (an afternoon nap in preparation for a long night). My receipt for my ticket says the movie is "The evening of Tuesday December 13th, 12:10am". I guess this is their odd way of clearing up any confusion over the date of the showing: Technically I am going to the movie on Wednesday...10 minutes into Wednesday, anyway. The theaters were also smart to start the shows at 12:05am, 12:10am, et cetera, instead of 12:00 midnight, because no one knows whether midnight is 12am or 12pm.
Return Of The King Now Playing; All Other Cinema Ceases To Matter I guess I'll go join the seminary now", a tearful Martin Scorsese reports
Tuesday Evening, December 16, 2003: Showcase Cinemas Randolph.
I never thought I'd say this, but whoever handled the crowds at the theater did a fantastic job. They seemed to reserve at least one more theater than they technically needed to hold everyone who bought a ticket (I think there were six theaters showing The Return of the King). They herded everyone into TensaBarrier pens (you could almost hear the mooing and bleating). Then, they filled a theater to mostly-full (the front two rows were vacant) and then started directing the next pen to the next vacant theater. It didn't matter which showtime or theater number was printed on your ticket. Long-story-short: I sat exactly where I wanted to, and I had an empty seat next to me.
The best movie of the year by a long trebuchet shot, and the finest battle sequences ever filmed. The movie was as good as a non-mind-reading movie director could make. What I mean is, one key sequence was not shot the way I imagined it, and he made several choices that I would not have, but Peter Jackson is a magician and a hobbit, not a clairvoyant. However, the second-most critical scene was shot exactly the way I imagined: possibly the scariest monster sequence I have ever seen. My right thumb is beyond the nail, down to the bone thanks to Shelob.
Some critics have complained that the dénouement is waayyy to long. I disagree: when you're dealing with an epic story, it takes more than 30 seconds to wrap things up. I am a firm believer in not telling audiences too much, and I love ambiguity, but there is no place for ambiguity in the end of The Lord Of The Rings.
SIDE NOTE: I still haven't figured out one possible gaffe-- How does Shelob stab/poison Frodo through his special Elven mithril vest? We see the orcs examine his possessions, including the vest, while he's comatose. I guess it's possible that the end of the stinger is so sharp, that it would pass between the links of the vest?
My Father Reviews The Return Of The King
I'm sorry to say we were disappointed. The special effects are wonderful, but the acting was wooden, and a lot of the details were strange (e.g. -- in the days of swords and castles, you couldn't make large holes in the wall with a ballista or catapult, or even, in 1812, with big cannon, and, if you could, why bother to break down the gates?
You wouldn't even think about charging the elephant beasts with light cavalry. Cavalry is effective against infantry because of its shock value, as the first charge proved -- you can ride through and over an infantry line that an opposing infantry couldn't touch. You wouldn't, however, charge the elephants -- you'd use the speed and mobility of the light cavalry to harass them from the rear. As Legolas showed, subtlety wins over them, not brute force. This is not just Dad having his usual suspension of disbelief issues -- I'm happy to suspend disbelief and have the dead walking, Mordor drowning in lava, and everything else -- but I don't see a dramatic necessity for being stupid with real technology -- you simply wouldn't build castle walls that could be knocked down by the first shot from an existing weapon.
I also missed the whole scouring of the Shire at the end -- the movie seems to believe that the Shire managed to go through these difficult times with absolutely no changes - the book did it much better. Also disappointing was the Merry/Pippin comedy team. While the book shows them as a little impulsive, they were never the low comedy they become in the movie.
So, I will be surprised if it does much at the Oscars, except for the ancillary awards. Certainly none of the acting awards; while Elijah Wood did a creditable job, I can't see the Academy giving Best Actor to a Hobbit, and none of the other people deserve it.
All I'll say in response to Dad's points on the technology of warfare is: Drama is more important than accuracy. I will agree that the scouring of the Shire would have been good to include, but once you add that, you're increasing the length of the film to four hours, and that's too long. Plus, people who haven't read the books are expecting the movie to end promptly after the ring is destroyed. All the complaints about the multiple endings are proof it's already too long for restless viewers who haven't read the books. Remember, the films have to be entertaining movies first, and faithful adaptations second.
On the Merry/Pippin issue, I thought the scene on the toppled wall of Isengard, with the silly welcomes, and Gimli's ire, was right on target. I remember laughing out loud at that passage in the book- all that running in Two Towers, all for nothing!
December 12, 2003
2015 Update: Watching it again on AMC, I finally noticed that Frank gives Claire Ginsu steak knives for Christmas not only because he's a guy, but also because Ginsu knives are advertised on TV and all Frank does is watch TV.
2016 Update: I finally bought Scrooged (on Amazon) because the TV version cuts out stuff, and it seems silly to rent it once for $4 when I could buy it for $7. This time I noticed:
When the Ghost of Christmas Past takes Frank back to The Frisbee Show on the night Claire breaks up with him, there are several shots of Murray silently realizing where he is and a sinking, sad, regretful look crosses his face. The first-time viewer does not know yet that 1970s Frank is about to let the love of his life slip away, but these moments show off Murray's quiet, subtle performance in a movie where he mostly plays big for laughs.
(November 29, 2003: Loews Church St, Cambridge, and again on December 12, 2003: AMC Fenway)
December 11, 2003
I composed, burned, and packaged these two mixes at the same time.
The Cover: I used a photo of my girlfriend and her two roommates for the cover, because they looked vaguely like a lo-fi indie rock trio. I gave the two mixes titles from random quotes of the week which I have totally forgotten.
Mix 93: Critical Darlings of Your Choice
- Supercollider | Fountains of Wayne
- Planet Telex | Radiohead
- Sweet Emotion | Aerosmith
- School Of Rock | From the School of Rock movie soundtrack.
- Sink The Pink | This AC/DC song is here because the guitar riff on the SoR song sounds so similar.
- In The Street | Big Star
- The Banana Splits Song | From a CD collection of covers of Saturday morning children's cartoons.
- Set You Free | The first Black Keys song I ever heard, from the School Of Rock soundtrack; I loved them from the very beginning. "Who is this band that sounds like Jimi Hendrix?"
- So Whatcha Want | Beastie Boys
- I'm An Adult Now | An old college buddy of mine claims to have been childhood penpals with Moe Berg, the lead singer of The Pursuit of Happiness.
- Gentlemen | When I was interning at WFNX in 1993-94, I met Afghan Whigs lead singer Greg Dulli.
- Love Comes And Goes | My special edition DVD of Almost Famous came with a four-track CD of Sweetwater songs.
- I'll Wait | Van Halen
- God Put a Smile Upon Your Face | Coldplay
- Guns Of Brixton | The Clash
- Burning Down The House | The Talking Heads Live at the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood December 1983
- Thorns | The Thorns
- Photograph | Def Leppard
The same cover photo, just cropped slightly differently.
- Good Vibrations | The Beach Boys
- Running Out Of Time | Joan Osbourne
- Mississippi | Sheryl Crow
- Gotta Serve Somebody | This Bob Dylan song, from his "re-born Christian" phase, had been recently featured on the closing credits of The Sopranos.
- Go West | Liz Phair
- Two of Us | The Beatles
- Red-Eyed and Blue | Wilco
- Maria's Beautiful Mess | Ellis Paul
- Angeles | Elliot Smith
- Please Forgive Me | David Gray
- A Sort of Homecoming | U2
- Clocks | Coldplay
- Still Be Around | Uncle Tupelo
- I Started A Joke | The Wallflowers covering the Bee Gees on the Zoolander soundtrack.
- I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) | Hall & Oates
- Valley Winter Song | Fountains of Wayne
- Sara | Fleetwood Mac
- Tangerine | Led Zeppelin
November 27, 2003
November 25, 2003
November 7, 2003
Stub Hubby Reviews The Depressing Boston Film Festival
November 6, 2003
November 5, 2003
November 1, 2003
|An amazing poster image, even though|
that's not what the eggs look like
in the movie, and there's no
green spark either?
Stub Hubby Reviews Ridley Scott
October 24, 2003
Let's tackle these in reverse order: The CCC is a great place for drinks and food. It's an authentic sports bar, not one of these soulless franchises that feel as if they come from an assembly line: "GO _insert_local_team_name_here_!"
CCC is very small, with TVs everywhere, so you can see the game wherever you are sitting or standing. I was glad to be there on a travel day for The World Series. Like the rest of New England, I have been avoiding the Series. I am trying not to get too excited- How do New York fans get excited about a team which has been in 40% of all World Series since 1921, and won 72% of those? It's just depressing.
The Blue Moon Belgian was good- I just don't understand why bartenders try to put lemon in it. I only take citrus products in Corona beer, and that's strictly between Independence Day and Labor Day.
Lost In Translation was exactly what I expected, and all I'd hoped for. It's a small, inconsequential movie, and I don't mean either of those adjectives in a bad way. Writer/director Sofia Coppola has captured a small, specific niche of human existence and made a thoughtful, heartfelt feature film about it.
Past-peak movie star Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and just-graduated, and just-married Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) are stuck in Tokyo, and lost in their own lives. Bob knows what he wants to do with his life but doesn't know how, and Charlotte doesn't know what she wants and doesn't know what to do about it. Coppola very effectively uses this completely foreign city as a perfect metaphor for isolation and confusion. Bob and Charlotte both need a sympathetic presence in their lives for a few days, and Coppola describes and shows us this unique three-day relationship perfectly. There's no defining what they are for each other, and neither the characters nor Coppola try to. There is only the slightest hint of sexuality in their relationship (Johansson was born around the time Murray was getting slimed in Ghostbusters), and that hint is very tastefully done. A good ending is always important to me, and I appreciated the non-Hollywood resolution. (Loews Church St)
October 19, 2003
- "A Hard Day's Night" John Bayliss (in the style of Bach)
- "I Call Your Name" The Mamas & Papas
- "Two of Us" Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
- "I Will" Tony Furtado & Alison Krauss
- "The Ballad of John & Yoko" The Persuasions
- "The Miser/Taxman" The Deighton Family
- "Here Comes The Sun" Nina Simone
- "I'll Be On My Way" Johnny Society
- "Don't Let Me Down" Paul Weller
- "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me & My Monkey" Kristen Hersh
- "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" Lydia Lunch
- "Tomorrow Never Knows" Five O'Clock Shadow
- "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" World Party
- "Girl" Tiny Tim with Brave Combo
- "All I've Got To Do" Toxic Audio
- "We Can Work It Out" Stevie Wonder
- "Day Tripper" [live] Otis Redding with the Mar-Keys and Booker T. & The MGs
- "I've Got A Feeling" [live] Pearl Jam
- "With a Little Help From My Friends" [live] Joe Cocker
- "Being for The Benefit of Mr. Kite" Les Miserables Brass Band
October 18, 2003
- You love every movie you've ever seen
- No one but you "gets" all the references you're making anyways.
October 10, 2003
October 6, 2003
October 2, 2003
I named the CD "Missing Summer" because it was recorded in the fall of 2003, near the end of a six-month period where my future wife and I were on a break.
1/You Wreck Me TOM PETTY
2/Couldn't I Just Tell You TODD RUNDGREN
3/Any Major Dude Will Tell You - A fun cover of the Steely Dan song by WILCO.
4/Barrytown STEELY DAN
5/The Night Is Still Young - One of those new songs added to a greatest hits collection because a>the label can push it as a single to radio to promote the album, and b> it's an incentive for true fans to re-buy music they already own. In this case, it's one of two songs added to one of the best-selling greatest hits collections ever, from BILLY JOEL.
6/It's Different For Girls(Live in London 9/02) JOE JACKSON BAND
7/Into Your Arms THE LEMONHEADS
8/Red Dragon Tattoo FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE
9/Heart & Soul HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS
10/Workin' On The Highway BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (Live at Giants Stadium 8/19/85)
11/Maybellene CHUCK BERRY
12/Run Through The Jungle CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
13/I Feel You DEPECHE MODE
14/Going To California LED ZEPPELIN
15/Can't Find My Way Home BLIND FAITH
16/Try Not To Breathe R.E.M.
18/Losing Lisa BEN FOLDS
19/Where Do They Make Balloons? THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS (sung by DANNY WEINKAUF)
20/H.W.C. LIZ PHAIR
September 27, 2003
September 21, 2003
Trailer Notes: I saw the trailer for In The Cut - apparently Meg Ryan has a dangerous sexual tryst with a cop played by Mark Ruffalo?! Who keeps casting this shambling, gnomish doofus opposite tall gazelle types? First Gwyneth Paltrow in View from the Top, and now Meg Ryan? Somebody pair him up with Janeane Garofalo, quick! (Digital Projection, Loews Boston Common)
September 18, 2003
Casting: Geoffrey Rush as a pelican was perfect. The voice of Bruce the Shark was Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna Everage; Who was so brilliant to think of asking Willem Dafoe to be a voice in a fish movie? Ellen Degeneres was delightful all the way through. Allison Janney (as the starfish bought on eBay): "That was the shortest red light I've ever seen!" I think they're overusing John Ratzenberger (Hamm in Toy Story, P.T. Flea in A Bug's Life, the Yeti in Monsters, Inc, and now the Fish School). Jacques reminds me of Muppet Pepe the Prawn, okay?
Favorite animation choice: Giving the sharks eyes with whites, UNTIL Bruce smells blood, then the pupil fills the whole eyeball. Very creepy!
Favorite Bit Part: Lobsters with a Boston accent! (Somerville Theater)
August 19, 2003
August 3, 2003
July 26, 2003
July 25, 2003
July 20, 2003
- YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND | QUEEN
- STEP INSIDE LOVE | KATE PIERSON & JOHNNY SOCIETY From a fascinating collection of Lennon/McCartney covers, but NOT Beatle songs, but songs John and Paul gave away to other artists.
- A MAGAZINE CALLED SUNSET | From the Australia EP available for free download at the offical WILCO Web site.
- JUST ANOTHER | PETE YORN
- HUMPTY DUMPTY | AIMEE MANN
- IT LOOKS LIKE YOU | EVAN DANDO
- PEG | STEELY DAN
- STARFISH AND COFFEE | PRINCE
- BOMBS AWAY | THE POLICE
- LIFE DURING WARTIME | TALKING HEADS Live at the Pantages Theater, Hollywood; December 1983
- KING OF BIRDS | R.E.M.
- DRAGONFLY | THE THORNS
- I'M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME | THE JAYHAWKS
- THE COMMON KISS | JOHN WESLEY HARDING
- OUR LOVE | RHETT MILLER
- "ROCK ME" | I saw Liz Phair perform this song live on tour the following month at Avalon.
- BYE BYE LOVE | THE CARS
- AWKWARD AGE | JOE JACKSON BAND
- MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL | XTC
- JANE SAYS | JANE'S ADDICTION (LIVE)
- FIGHT THE POWER | Yes, it's a cover of the Public Enemy song by BARENAKED LADIES
July 8, 2003
July 5, 2003
July 3, 2003
June 21, 2003
Theater Notes: My brother and I saw this, appropriately, on the Green Monster screen at AMC Fenway. A woman had brought her infant with her, and she sat three-quarters of the way back, in the middle of her row. How do I know this? Because when the baby started crying, she had to stand up, excuse herself down her entire row, walk all the way down to the front of the theater, and then U-turn and walk out the exit tunnel to the lobby. This crying-baby adventure took maybe 30 seconds. When the baby was calmed down, she returned, but then later on, she repeated the whole trip again when the baby cried again. We have a social covenant 21st century society: if you have infant children, you cannot take them to the movies. Period. Either rent a DVD or pay for a sitter. Period. The rest of us in the theater paid $10 to watch a 2 hour movie with adults in complete silence. I occasionally will see an animated movie or a Harry Potter film where parents bring their young children, children who haven't quite got the "no talking" rule down yet. This drives me nuts too, but at least the children are there for the movie, not crying in the arms of a parent who thinks parenting rules don't apply to them.
June 19, 2003
ALSO by Gary Oldman on STUB HUBBY:
- "Rebecca" Pat McGee Band; a complete throwback to the days of Mellow Gold and Yacht Rock.
- "Grey Street" Dave Matthews Band, from the oft-bootlegged Lillywhite Sessions that preceded the release of the album Everyday
- "Spooky Girlfriend" Elvis Costello
- "Huffer" In 2002 I was so happy that The Breeders released a new album I didn't notice it wasn't very good right away.
- "Hate to Say I Told You So" The Hives
- "Ride" Liz Phair
- "Two Of Us" Aimee Mann & Michael Penn; it's great hearing a real-life couple sing this duet. The original Paul and John duet always felt like it was written for Paul to sing with his wife Linda?
- "La Cienega Just Smiled" Ryan Adams
- "She Cries Your Name" Beth Orton
- "Not The Same" Ben Folds
- "Baby Seat" Barenaked Ladies
- "Stage Fright" The Band
- "My Old Friend" John Hiatt and Bruce Springsteen are contemporaries, and Hiatt has recorded in many rock styles, but this song sounds especially Springsteen-ian.
- "Sodajerk" Buffalo Tom
- "Heavy Metal Drummer" Wilco
- "1979" Smashing Pumpkins
- "The Bends" Radiohead: There are Beatles fans and Elvis fans, Wilma fans and Betty fans, and Bends fans and OK Computer fans. You can like both, but everyone likes one more than the other. I am a Bends fan.
- "Out There" Blake Babies
- "Rolling Down The Hill" The Rembrandts; Rolling down, indeed! This mix totally sputters to a halt; I never should have forced this song in here.
- "You Don't Know Me" Tracy Bonham
June 13, 2003
|Pretty sure this voids your manufacturer's warranty.|
Check your owner's manual for details.
Theater Note: This was my last-time-ever visit to Showcase Cinemas Revere. My friend Paris and I had to leave the screening 5 minutes into the film, because a group of young women would not stop talking. When I loudly shushed them, the alpha dog replied "Don't you be shushin' me!" Of course, in a world where justice prevails, they'd be the ones who'd be forced to leave. Instead, Paris and I walked out, complained at the service desk, and got tickets for the next show. Unfortunately, the next screening was at 12:55 a.m., so we were at the theater into the wee hours of the dawn. Never again!
Nine Years Later: 2012 DVD Re-Review: I've seen bits and pieces of this movie on cable (it's the new Shawshank Redemption of basic cable), and enjoyed the empty calories, so I bought it at a yard sale for a dollar. Still a fun, slick, and inconsequential ride. Tight script, with a nice twist at the end of the second act, and the threat of the third party (Ukranian mobsters) was well crafted- similar to the presence of the FBI in The Sting.
I was surprised how mild the movie was. It's a PG-13 movie, so the language is required to be soft, but there's also very little violence. Two men get shot, but there's no blood. Also, happy to see no sex scene with Charlize Theron. She's in her underwear twice, both totally gratuitously, but no sex. I appreciated that Jason Statham's "Handsome Rob" does not sexualize her- instead, he doesn't trust her on the team from the very beginning, which was a nice reversal.Two Thursday-night comedy actors in bit parts: Scott Adsit (30 Rock) as a broke actor prepping for an audition while waiting for a red light; and Oscar Nunez (The Office) in a non-comedic role as a security guard.
The other impossibility? Surviving the truck crash into freezing water. There is zero chance of our gang staying submerged for a minute or two in that water, crawling out onto the shore, hitching a ride, and NOT dying of hypothermia. Didn't we all just see Titanic?
The music score is very turn-of-the-millennium. I was also amused at the title sequence- weren't title sequences passe even in 2003?
The Italian Job official website is still live, and worth a peek for the 2003 nostalgia value. Also available as a No-Flash Version.
June 8, 2003
May 27, 2003
May 25, 2003
May 17, 2003
The EKW Review: I liked Reloaded very much, even though (d'oh!) I ran out to the ladies' room during Cornel West's cameo, dang. I loved the way they make references in simultaneously subtle and obvious ways, and how they change elements of the material they allude to so it fits the story better...like the Persephone character, for one. That "death by chocolate/chocolate orgasm" joke was brilliant...as was the "Freud is God" Architect character...everyone else thought the Zion-rave scene was too long and boring, but I loved it. I would've cut out the conversation between Neo and that folksy-leprechaun-counselor guy, with the George Lucas-ian wardrobe. I loved the whole long sequence on top of the truck, such a great play on the stock "battle atop a speeding train". I just liked looking at the hem of Neo's duster, frozen in time.
N: I thought the French character (Persephone's partner, whose name I missed) was amusing, but his monologue made little sense to me.
Yeah, it was hard to pay attention with that Inspector Clouseau accent...he's The Merovingian, a reference that's both historical (post-Roman, pre-Charlemagne kings of France) and mythological (there's this whole story about how the bloodline is descended from god/jesus/atlantis, that sort of thing)...more importantly, I thought, his wife is Persephone, which would make him Hades, god of the underworld, who kidnapped Persephone and tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds, etc., in greek mythology. In the movie, he's the liar and she's the truthteller (helpfully denoted by the respective all-black and all-white outfits, right?), which really throws off the whole question of what is "truth" in the Matrix, when everything may be preordained as part of the program, etc. The Merovingian is the one who yammers on about cause and effect, but of course in a preordained universe there is no choice and the chain of cause and effect can't be altered...anyway I think he is just an obstacle, a red herring, to throw Neo off the track, and then Persephone changes things by helping them...or maybe that was part of the plan also, who knows?
N: I didn't get the orgasm-via-cake joke at all.
I am really fascinated with the sexual imagery in this second movie...when I look back, the first film was filled with images of birth, or rebirth. this one is all about sex, and the double meaning of orgasm as "the little death." I predict the third movie will be, therefore, all death all the time. ;P the film opens with Neo foreshadowing Trinity's death while they are in bed, and then that same image returns as she "dies" in his arms...then of course at the end he saves her from death by literally reaching inside her, and then of course he "dies" (goes into this coma state) himself. the Merovingian scene with the dessert is a play on that same idea of the relationship between sex and death, and of course cause and effect -- didn't you think at first that the cake he gave that woman was poisoned? that he was describing how she was going to die from its effects -- pulse racing, etc? He seemed to be saying he could poison and kill her anonymously through the matrix code, an untraceable cause and effect. but no, in fact he manipulates her by giving her an orgasm from across the room -- that animated sequence of matrix code racing up her thighs (to the "door of light" -- give me a break!) totally blew my mind! I kept thinking, nobody else must get this or else this would be rated NC-17! well, that and the lipstick joke, anyway... >>:P
N: Ditto with the Architect-- I think I understand that the history of the resistance has been repeated six times - which makes it 600 years old instead of 100- and the machines allow Zion and The One to evolve each time as a pressure release for the minds which resist the Matrix? Does that agree with what you heard?
I have to see it again to understand what the hell's going on there...I was trying to look at the little TV screens in the background, plus I was chuckling over the fact that the architect looks just like Sigmund Freud, so I wasn't at my sharpest. What I took away from that scene was that everything about Neo is just part of the Matrix after all, I.e. the myth that he is the savior of humanity is a flaw that is getting worked out of the system, albeit a little less successfully with each iteration of the program. George brought up an interesting point, though -- is The One always Thomas Anderson/Neo, or a different person? If it's not always him, or maybe even if it is, it may be that his radical choice (the righthand door) will change things up after all...who knows, it's all about reincarnation and how hard it is to change your fate...
N: Everything you just said is relevant and interesting and true, but most people who see this movie have no clue about any of that.
Oh i disagree -- sure, not everyone cares about the subtextual references, but that's all they are, subtextual. on the surface, the scene is about manipulating others, and it underscores how Neo and everyone else are being manipulated. if that is too subtle, then you can just watch Monica Bellucci and next time go see Bad Boys II instead. >:P
N: When Persephone deliberately puts on lipstick before kissing Neo, I assumed the lipstick was "written" as some kind of poison as well.Yeah i thought that too...BUT i didn't mean that lipstick joke, i meant when P. tells hubby "It was the lipstick," not the lipstick on his mouth, though...heh. maybe they're supposed to be like the Clintons or something!! :D
N: When the Architect gives Neo the "choice" of the 2 doors out of the TV room, I forgot which door was which-- secondly, was it Neo's right or the Architect's right? thirdly, it didn't help that the room was round and identical all the way around?
Yeah, like i said, that scene remains a little impenetrable to me...
N: Speaking of Neo's dreams of Trinity which begin the film-- They felt out of place to me. I bet the Wachowskis placed those action-packed scenes at the beginning, because if they were not included, the first action sequence would not start until 10-20 minutes into the film, and everyone would be itchy for something to happen!!
I think it's helpful to think of the movie as an animated (as in brought-to-life) comic book...it would be cool to see a flash-forward like that on a comic page, and nobody would flip ahead in the book to see what the hell it meant...movies make us impatient because they keep spelling out the story, whereas print allows you to come up with your own ideas and then slowly reveals the story. that said, while i liked the Trinity sequence in the beginning, they did NOT need to revisit it identically later on, for the idiots in the audience, "Oh I see, that's how she drops the motorcycle on the guard station! Woah!" sheeeesh...m. (May 17th, 2003; Framingham Premium Cinema (with Kevin) and June 21st, 2003; IMAX Presentation at the New England Aquarium)
May 16, 2003
May 12, 2003
Bond 25 (2019) • 51*
Bond 26 (2021) • 53*
|These space jumpsuits would be unflattering in any color,|
But mustard was a very popular color in the 1970s.
Jaws' allegiance is swayed by his Frankenstein-like love for a busty, blond-braided geek with glasses (and enormous boobs) that he meets in Rio, and somehow is allowed to bring with him to Drax's space ark. It's a truly odd subplot. Google "Moonraker Dolly" to see for yourself.
Despite all its flaws, the exotic location shooting is breathtaking, especially the mountaintop views of Rio de Janeiro. The Venice scenes are impressive too. I wonder how many bribes were paid to allow a big movie production to race motorboats down the canals?
From Russia With Love, May 19 • From worst to first: one of my favorite Bond films, including my favorite villain, Robert Shaw as "Red" Grant, and a tremendous fight scene in a sleeper cabin on a train.
2012 Update: I now own this movie on DVD. Here are some Facebook comments I made while rewatching:
- Why does Bond always check his hotel room so carefully for the bugs? He never does any business in his room... Well, not that kind of business.
- Belly dancing does nothing for me, but two Gypsy women in a "blood feud" over a man, rolling around and strangling each other? Hubba Hubba!
- During the melee at the Gypsy camp, Bond's Turkish ally Kerim gets shot in the arm. The actor grabs his arm and smears bright red fake blood on his jacket sleeve. This is not how gunshot wounds work-- the bullet makes a hole in the jacket, then the shirt, then the arm, then the blood comes out of the arm, etc, etc. This is almost as fake as those Westerns where a cowboy gets shot and flies backwards through the saloon window like he's been launched from a trampoline.
|Kerim's suit won't survive the night, but Bond will check|
"threesome" off his bucket list before dawn.
- I'm pretty sure Bond resolved the Gypsy blood feud with a threesome.
- Back in Bond's hotel room, he hears a noise from the bedroom while drawing a bath. Bond leaves the water running, and discovers his Russian contact naked in his bed! He better hurry if he's going to avoid flooding the whole suite..
- If the Soviet Lektor decoder is so valuable, why is it so portable? It's got a nifty carrying case. Couldn't they bolt it to the desk, or is it like those laptop docking stations that lock: why use a laptop if you can't take it with you?
|"We'll have to make this quick.|
I left the bathwater running."
- Great fight scene with Bond and Red Grant in the train. Followed by mildly silly helicopter chase, then a improbable speedboat chase.
- Despite some clumsy and antiquated special effects, the staging and camerawork in this movie is mostly clever and sharp. One scene where Bond meets his spy contact on the train station platform, while Red Grant trails behind him from inside the train, is simply inspired.
- Dr. No (1962)
- Moonraker & From Russia With Love double feature
- Thunderball, Re-Evaluated (1965
- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
- The Roger Moore Era: I think I saw A View To A Kill (1985) in the theater.
- For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- Goldeneye (1995) is the only Brosnan Bond film I saw in the theater.
- Some notes on Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
- The Bourne Identity (2002)
- Casino Royale (2006)
- The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
- Quantum of Solace (2008)
- Skyfall (2012)
- The Bourne Legacy (2013)
- SPECTRE (2015)
- Jason Bourne (2016)
- Just How Old Is James Bond, Anyway?