Now that I am more mobile have been able to do my favorite pas activities, which is going to the movies. I have recently seen, Blood Diamond (on bootleg DVD), Pan’s Labyrinth, Curse of the Golden Flower, Epic Movie & Smokin’ Aces.
Of the 5 movies, I really wanted to blog a review on each but I quite frankly have been too lazy to do so. So for the sake of keeping it simple for myself, I am going to tell you my favorites starting with Pan’s Labyrinth (subtitled) was off the fucking hook! It’s a Mexican film in set in war torn Spain. When I saw the review on Ebert & Roeper (or whoever they are now) I new this was going to be a great movie.
The story was part fantasy, part drama & majorly tragic! I found the film to actually to be beautiful the way that it was told. I was able to really escape my reality & become absorbed by the shifting story as moved along following the child protagonist Ofelia who seemed to be wise beyond her years. I saw the movie before it was nominated for 6 Academy Awards & I think that this film should win for Best Original Screen Play hands down.
If you are a sucker for escaping to another world by way of foreign films like me, then this is a must see!
Sticking with the foreign film theme I also loved Curse of the Golden Flower (subtitled). The way that Asia drama/action/fight movies are now, I feel that I have to see each one. No matter what the movie’s underlying theme is, the fighting is the draw to me. I guess this is the child in me that is awe inspired by the noises that actors make when they strike their opponent or maybe it is they way that they effortlessly glide through the air like some super hero. Ever since I saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (one of my favorites) I am at every Asian action film that is released large or small budget.
The way that Curse of the Golden Flower was going it seemed to be more drama than anything with a slightly twisting plot with a implied Oedipus Complex that was throwing me off a little. The action in this movie came about ¾ths of the way through & when it came, it came.
Once the crescendo fight scene started I found myself holding my breath cause the fighting fucking epic proportions to say the least. From the looks of the army in the movie, I was thinking that they hired like ½ of China to be extras. I mean it was crazy seeing all of them damn people throwing down (I’m sure they were computer generated).
While I loved this movie, I think that the average movie-goer would get bored quickly with this film if they are expecting action though out. Ebert & Roeper disagreed on this movie & agreed with Roeper who gave it a thumbs up & said it was “unbelievable beautiful”, which it was.
Last week while getting my locks tightened, I enjoyed Blood Diamond (on a high quality DVD: ghetto I know, but you know how I roll). This movie was off the chain violent & almost too violent for my ass & I can take a lot. I found myself feeling horrible for the people in African nations where the diamond trade is brutally forced upon them. Djimon Hounsou & Leonardo DiCaprio played the hell out of their roles & I am pulling for my boy Djimon to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor but I am torn cuz I want Eddie to win too for his role in Dream Girls.
If you have a weak stomach I suggest not seeing this movie at all unless they release a PG-13 version.
On a political note; it’s a shame how Africa is not benefiting from the trade of Diamonds & yet the world (big picture) does not give a fuck. Blood Diamond is sure to wake up some people to the fact of reality. I am debating on if I am going to buy the DVD when it comes out because I’m not sure if I can watch the brutality again, which is just as harsh as “Hotel Rwanda” if not worse.
Lastly I am giving major props & praises for Smokin’ Aces which I saw today. This movie is off the chain & I cannot wait until it comes to DVD but before that happens, I think I might have to see it again with Suite Suzy because she mentioned wanting to see it.
One reason I wanted to see it was cuz my girl Alicia Keys who played Georgia Sykes was in it & I had to support my girl. I never read or heard anything descriptive about the movie, I just knew she was in it & boy was her role as a questionable lesbian hit woman surprising.
To me this movie was a cross between, Ocean’s 12, Carlito’s Way, Set it Off, Scar Face & The Sopranos. There was a lot of crossing path in this movie & if you go to see it, this is not the type of movie where you can go get a popcorn refill or use the rest room & comeback & know what is going on at all.
After about half way through the movie I kinda figured out the ending surprise, which was somewhat disappointing but the journey to the end of the movie was filled with some awesome shoot-out scenes not to mention the hooking up with & escape of Georgia Sykes & Sir Ivy (Common).
Taraji Henson’s character Sharice (Alicia Keys’ partner) really got on my nerves bad with her behavior. Every other word out her mouth was either bitch or nigga, that is when she was not asking Georgia for lovin’. For me, Smokin’ Aces was the best alternative entertainment on a Super Bowl Sunday (I don’t like football).
Notice, I did not say anything about Epic Movie; that’s cuz it was plain stupid but I knew that going in. This should only be seen if you have nothing better to do with 2 hours of your life!
Did you see any of these films, if so what did you think? Break me off some comments.
Official Film Descriptions/Trailers:
Pan’s Layrinth: Pan’s Labyrinth is a thrilling, violent fairy tale set in post-Civil War Spain. Ivana Baquero stars as Ofelia, a young girl who moves with her mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), into the home of Captain Vidal (Sergi López), in an abandoned mill in the middle of dark, dangerous woods. Vidal is leading his team of soldiers against resistance fighters–and he will do whatever is necessary to kill every last one of them. As Vidal bosses around the pregnant Carmen, a flying creature leads Ofelia through a garden labyrinth and into an underground cave ruled by Pan (HELLBOY’s Doug Jones), who believes that Ofelia might be the lost princess of this strange yet magical place. To prove she is royalty, Ofelia must complete three tasks, each more difficult and terrifying than the previous one. Meanwhile, Vidal is becoming more and more paranoid, torturing and murdering seemingly at will.
Del Toro (THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, HELLBOY, CRONOS) creates a marvelous battle between good and evil, between heroes and villains, in both the real world aboveground and the mystical land below. Baquero gives a compelling performance as the terrorized Ofelia, who is befriended by Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), a woman who harbors some secrets of her own. Stellar production design, superb special effects, and a stirring score by Javier Navarrete add to the scary fun. Selected as the closing-night entry in the 2006 New York Film Festival, PAN’S LABYRINTH is a captivating story that is not for the squeamish. (view trailer)
Curse of the Golden Flower: In 2004, Zhang Yimou caused a sensation with his astonishing HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, and his CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER is yet another dazzling, visually stunning film. Calling again upon the talents of the striking Gong Li, Yimou tells an epic tale of lust and power set in the opulent world of the Later Tang dynasty. The plot follows the story of the Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) and his Empress (Li) and the tragic disintegration of their royal family–whose problems go far beyond the merely dysfunctional. For starters, the ailing Empress has long been having an affair with her stepson, the Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye). Unbeknownst to her, Wan has been dallying with the Imperial Doctor’s daughter (Li Man), and has plans to escape the palace with her. Meanwhile, the Emperor himself has just returned from a long trip, and while relations with his wife are obviously icy, it becomes clear that his plans for her are far more ominous than she could ever imagine. Everyone involved has a secret plan for either escape or domination, resulting in an explosive ending wherein the darkest family secrets are revealed and horrifically bloody battles are waged both inside and outside the walls of the sparkling, gold-encrusted palace.
(read more) (veiw trailer)
Blood Diamond: Set against the backdrop of the chaos and civil war that enveloped 1990s Sierra Leone, “Blood Diamond” is the story of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), an ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe, and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories and their circumstances are as different as any can be until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond, the kind of stone that can transform a life…or end it.
Solomon, who has been taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields, finds the extraordinary gem and hides it at great risk, knowing if he is discovered, he will be killed instantly. But he also knows the diamond could not only provide the means to save his wife and daughters from a life as refugees but also help rescue his son, Dia, from an even worse fate as a child soldier. (read more) (veiw trailer)
Smokin’ Aces: An incendiary array of stars — including Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Peter Berg, Martin Henderson, Taraji Henson and, in their motion — picture debuts, Alicia Keys and Common — star in Smokin’ Aces, the new dark action comedy from Joe Carnahan, the acclaimed director of Narc.
In these interlocking tales of high stakes and low lifes, Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy “Aces” Israel (Piven)–a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state’s evidence against the Vegas mob. The FBI, sensing a chance to use this small-time con to bring down big-target Sparazza, places Aces into protective custody-under the supervision of two agents (Reynolds and Liotta) dispatched to Aces’ Lake Tahoe hideout. (read more)(view trailer)