...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

August 09, 2004

Movies i Seen This Weekend

This weekend, i finally saw two movies i've been anxious to see for a while. One was awesome, and the other was interesting, but flawed.

The Bourne Identity was the awesome one. i had to pick up the DVD at Best Buy, so that i will be ready to see The Bourne Supremacy next. i'm detemined not to make the same mistake i made with the Lethal Weapon series, when i failed to see number 2 before seeing number three. Seriously, you can't see those movies out of sequence because the existence of Joe Pesci and Chris Rock are not explained and do not make sense in the third one. i was totally confused throughout.

Anyways, i liked The Bourne Supremacy very much. Lots of action, well edited and shot, and Matt Damon is such a cutie. He's so much better than Ben Afflack as an actor. i don't know how they're going to sustain the first movie's interest in the sequel, because a lot of what made Identity good is that the audience knew more than the hero. We knew Bourne's identity, and it was fun to watch him trying to figure it out. Now that he knows it too, i wonder whether Supremacy will be as interesting.

i've heard that the sequel will be about Bourne's getting even. Another revenge movie, like that hasn't been done to death. Now the second movie i saw this weekend, in an actual theater no less, was The Village, by M. Night Shyamalan (or as i like to say: M. Knight Shamalamadingdong). i'd been avoiding all conversation about this movie for some time because i didn't want anyone to spoil it for me. If you haven't seen it, don't read any further because i intend to talk about the secret.

As i watched the Village, i kept wondering what the allegory was. i was totally taken in by the fairy tale quality of the story. Then they had to go and ruin it by injecting reality at the end. They turned a quite charming story into a one punch-line joke. To no good effect, i thought.

In Shyamalan's earlier movie, which i liked a lot better, the one about the kid that sees dead people, he also strung the audience along for the whole movie only to spring the joke on them at the very end. However, in that case, the joke was totally unexpected and caused me to re-think the whole plot for hours after it was over. After seeing The Village, all i did was criticize how it didn't make sense. Plus, i kind of guessed that the village was some sort of "Colonial House," so i wasn't really surprised by the twist.

Posted by annika, Aug. 9, 2004 |
Rubric: Let's Go To Hollywood


I won't go into details since you ahven't seen it yet, but I didn't think Supremacy was nearly as good. It just doesn't hold together as well.

Posted by: Dave J on Aug. 9, 2004

I agree w/ Dave. I really wanted to like this movie. Lots of reviewers give it a thumbs-up, and it could have been, but the director killed this movie. Hope you like Cinema Verite. Fight scenes filmed three feet away from the actors with a handheld camera. It's nauseating. Picture the scene being filmed inside an airplane bathroom and you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about. Damon was good, though a bit stiff. This may well have been intentional.

The best (and by that I mean the most accurate and honest) review was found here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7648-2004Jul22.html

Unfortunately I didn't see the review until after the movie. Wait for the DVD.

Posted by: Andy on Aug. 10, 2004

Saw it a couple of weeks ago with my wife. We were well-entertained. The above-referenced "cinema verite" was not overdone, IMNSHO. Whatever you do, be sure to read the original books by Ludlum. The movies stand well by themselves, despite some really significant departures from their sources, but the novels are engrossing reads. Just what you need as a 1L ;-)

Posted by: John Lanius on Aug. 10, 2004

I liked Supremacy a lot, and I didn't see the first one. But I also liked the Village, mostly because I didn't have much in the way of nightmares, like I usually do. the dead people movie had me crying to sleep in fear for something like three days. not so great.

Posted by: candace on Aug. 10, 2004

You are too funny.

My boyfriend also says "Shamylamadingdong." :)

Posted by: Amy on Aug. 10, 2004

It's tangential but I find it amusing, so speaking of Ludlum, I couldn't help but remember the following quote from
this piece in the Weekly Standard
by Christopher Hitchens:

I used to play two subliterary games with Salman Rushdie. The first, not that you asked, was to re-title Shakespeare plays as if they had been written by Robert Ludlum. (Rushdie, who invented the game, came up with The Elsinore Vacillation, The Dunsinane Reforestation, The Kerchief Implication, and The Rialto Sanction.)
Posted by: Dave J on Aug. 10, 2004

Hey, I call him Shamylammadingdong, too! (And I'm not Amy's boyfriend.)
I didn't mind the reality intruding on the end. But I minded that he's made the "trick ending" such a device of his that you end up focusing on it. I had it figured out before the movie, then I thought, "nahhhh, it can't be that easy," then I was really getting into the movie itself, but every once in a while, I'd be like 'naaaaaahhhh, it can't be that easy." Then it was. Then I threw down my popcorn and said, "Damn you, Shamydong. Damn you to hell!"

Posted by: ken on Aug. 10, 2004