Friday, October 10, 2003

What I Did On My Day Off of Work, by Umgawa...

Saw Kill Bill today. That pretty much goes without saying, since the only Tarantino movie that I didn't see on opening day in the theater was Reservoir Dogs, and that's mainly because it's never played within thirty or forty miles of my house.

Anyway, I'm going to talk about Kill Bill next time, and hopefully I'll remember to talk about important things like keychains and sunglasses and black & white suits and (most importantly) the arterial splatter effect of Japanese cinema, whether it's in a martial arts film or in anime. I'd prefer to see the movie again before commenting on it in any sort of real depth, but I'll probably be too wrecked after work tomorrow to be able to sit through any movie and not pass out from exhaustion.

That said, on to the DVD's I bought last night. Not surprisingly, given thirty-six hours off of work, I managed to spend about eight hours watching all three of the movies. This isn't terribly unusual, in that when the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was released on DVD, I watched the entire 22-hour season in a single sitting, barring restroom breaks and going to the garage to get another case of Mountain Dew. So. In the order that I watched them:

Final Destination 2: I haven't laughed this much during a movie in a long, long time. It's like every other bad horror film of all time, where you're never really shocked, and you know that all you want to do is watch people within ten years of your own age die grisly and painful deaths. You sick bastards, all of you. But, the point is, we like it, we love it, we want some more of it, and that's why God created the Sequel (although He named it the New Testament).

I didn't see the original Final Destination, so I can't say if "Randy's Rules of Horror-Movie Sequels" (kudos to Kevin Williamson for them) hold true.

"First, the body count is always bigger."

Now, in the first one, apparently they blew up an airplane full of people, but that doesn't count for horror movies. You're not allowed to rack up a body count on simple genocide (a term that I'm currently finding very funny). You can kill them off in pairs or small groups, but anything more than five at a time just doesn't score a killer any bonus points.

"Two, the death scenes are always much more elaborate."

Okay, even without seeing the first one, I think that they managed to out-do just about every horror movie I've ever seen in terms of sheer creativity. Had they been able to keep up the pace, though and kill another seven or ten people, then it easily would've beaten out Jason X (also known as "Jason in Space!") as my current favorite throwaway horror film (which is any horror film that doesn't break new ground for the genre, examples of which I might get to as Halloween draws nearer).

Now, I knew virtually nothing about this movie, other than basic plot (to which I said, "How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?"), but I was reading an interview with Quentin Tarantino last week, and he said he absolutely loved the opening highway sequence, so I went, "Hm, I guess I'll buy that for eleven bucks." And -sho nuff- that highway sequence was a trip. And I thought to myself, "Yeah, okay, that was fun," and then in rolls that plot and yada, yada, and midway through the movie I considered making a Final Destination 2 drinking-game, in which one of the things will be, "Every time someone says the phrase "Death's Design" you have to drink." So, suffice to say the plot didn't have me hooked. All I was in for were seven or eight death sequences, which were just absolutely fantastic. The way the plate-glass pancakes one guy or the subtlety of an airbag deployment propelling one's head into a terribly sharp object... priceless.

Next up, Spy Kids 2. It is what it is. To me, it's Goonies all over again, which is a good thing because I loved Goonies when it came out and I still love it today. Sure the Spy Kids aren't the foul-mouthed brats of Goonies, but it's still a pretty fun adventure-movie that I pretty much purchased because Robert Rodriguez included a new 10-Minute Film School on the DVD, plus feature commentary. I don't know if there are any aspiring filmmakers who actually read this site (if you find my email address and start submitting scripts, I will send a hitman to your house), but Rodriguez is the guy to listen to if you want to make movies on the cheap. Granted, he was borrowing equipment and shooting in Mexico, but he managed to swing the bulk of El Mariachi for $7,000, and then Columbia bought it for significantly more money. Today, he's the next best thing to George Lucas, in that he's producing his own movies in his own studio, and just uses the film distributor as ... well, a distributor. Everyone in Hollywood should be so lucky.

Which brings us to Gangs of New York Gorgeous movie. Absolutely gorgeous. The acting in the movie is really great... as long as anyone's doing the acting except for Leonardo DiCaprio or Cameron Diaz. Daniel Day-Lewis may not have deserved the Oscar as much as Chris Cooper did for Adaptation (who deserves another one for Seabiscuit this year), but he's the only really likeable member of the cast. He plays Bill the Butcher in a manner that -if you skipped the first ten minutes of the movie- he's the protagonist, and DiCaprio's just some little punk kid who's out to get him because his father died in a big fight. It's an oversimplification, I know, but I'm doing the stream of consciousness thing, here.

So here I've got a film by Martin Scorsese that was up for ten Oscars last year, and I think it pulled a Color Purple, which is a shame, because Martin Scorsese really needs to get an Oscar for directing before the Academy just gives up on him and gives him the Thalberg Award for Lifetime Achievement like they did with Peter O'Toole. Actually, Scorsese may already have a Thalberg, so I'm not sure what would be the proper thing to do. Anyway. Gorgeous movie, plot's nice, Daniel Day-Lewis was really great, and I'm going to reserve any further judgment on the movie until I have three hours to sit down and watch it again when my body's not telling my brain to go the fuck to sleep.

Which is exactly what I'm going to do now.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.

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