Saturday, July 23, 2005

Movie Review: The Island

Well, Michael Bay's first outing from estranged husband Jerry "BLOW FUCK UP!" Bruckheimer was an extremely ambitious movie about cloning, morality, and car chases. Suspension of disbelief is necessary for anything directed by Michael Bay, but this movie only had one trademark Bruckheimer expologasm, right at the end, where the removal of a fuse results in a cataclysmic explosion that destroys a NUCLEAR SILO, and doesn't kill a single person. As for the car chases... well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Ewan McGregor stars as Lincoln Six Echo, a 'survivor of a post-apocalyptic contamination' in a holding facility, where thousands like him wait to win 'the lottery' to go to 'the Island'. Thats three Hollywood cliches in one SENTENCE, Bay! He is the only one dissatisfied with his lot in life, and questioning the existence of the facility and everything around him. Smart puppy. The seeds of doubt were planted when he CONSTANTLY SNEAKS OUT of a heavily-quarantined building to chat with a friend of his, a mechanical engineer who works in what appears to be an oil refinery attached to the complex. Despite being a super-protected and, again, quarantined facility, he is able to take someones key, biohazard suit, sneak out, take the biohazard mask OFF and drink whiskey with Steve Buscemi. Even in the future, security systems dont work.

In this place, there is no love, sex, horniness, or aggression..... once again, Bay demonstrates an amazing lack of understanding about humans. If you took people, and raised them without sex, they would NOT lack aggression. No-one really remembers the apocalypse, just some child-hood memories. New people are being brought in all the time, lacking intelligence of any sort, basically one year olds, because apparently contamination makes you retarded.

Without going into too much detail, Lincoln Six Echo follows a gypsy moth through the contaminated area, and up into some sort of hospital, where he sees the last lottery winner getting sliced open, and going crazy, getting gunned down, and harvested for organs. he also sees a woman who was impregnated in the facility have her baby taken from her, and then the mother is killed. This doesnt sit well, since his quasi-girlfriend, Scarlett Johansson, just won the lottery! Gasp!

He goes, gets her, and somehow escapes from a high-security installation in, as I mentioned, a nuclear silo, and then escapes on surface in broad daylight, despite it being mentioned several times that there are several helicopters and no shortage of guns or security at the facility which has to be about fifty feet away.

Don't ask.

They track down Steve Buscemi in what seems to be Arizona, and he explains that they're clones. Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta (Johansson) are actually rich and/or famous people's insurance policies. Buscemi, he of the heart of gold, gets blownded away, and what follows is, with the exception of the scenes with two Lincolns, car chases loosely strung together with car chases. And explosions. And flying motorbixes which use both the Pod Racer and TIE Fighter sound effects. They are pursued relentlessly by a large French black ex-Delta military man, who undergoes the classical change of heart and comes to the highly implausible rescue at the end, and then walks off into the sunset.

Lincoln takes over the life of the person he was cloned from, and Jordan goes with him, completely forgetting the fact that, since Jordan won the lottery, the person SHE was cloned from needed organs. As a result, the real Jordan died, leaving behind this adorable little boy, who is never seen again after the middle of the movie. Also, since all the clones escaped into the Nevada desert, it stands to reason they all lived happily ever after, despite the sixty or seventy fatalities that resulted with TWO of them escaping.

Unnghh... my head. Michael bay is a sledgehammer, and the script was glass. You can go to the movie, but you'll probably cut the roof of your mouth. Probably a rental.

5.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Movie Review: Batman Begins

Ok, every single program I had open turned itself off while I was typing this (and mostly done, I might add) so it looks like I have to do this again. Also, I know it's been a long time since I've been here to do a review, but I hope to change that. Wow... April third, eh? Been to long since I saw Sin City, might have to buy the DVD. Anyways, onto the review of Batman Begins.

It's almost unbelievable how far Batman has come from the source material, from campy hero to tortured anti-hero, to his newest incarnation as a self-hating sociopath with little to no control over how he acts. In one of the initial scenes, he refuses to compromise his morals by killing a convicted felon. As a result, he blows up the entire building, killing the convicted felon as well as thirty or fourty ninjas, and who knows how many servants and employees? Way to keep from compromising your morals there, Captain Killwad.

Later, during the movie's only car chase, he kills about twenty cops with no regard for civilian traffic, and despiute the fact that he stays on surface roads the entire time, the police helicopter is unable to follow him accross... a highway. Furthermore, you'd think the GIGANTIC TRACKS leading down a dirt road and vanishing at a waterfall RIGHT BEHIND BRUCE WAYNE'S HOUSE might have tipped off a few semi-intelligent police detectives, but no, they just assume that the mysterious Batman threw them off the track. Cops that dumb deserve to die.

Despite being filled with goofs and plot holes, and horribly cut and choreographed fight scenes after he dons his armor, and the tragic miscasting of Katie Holmes, and the tragic underusage of Gary Oldman, this is still an OK popcorn movie. Christian Bale when he is trying to act suave, can really pull of suave. When he is trying to act sober, he comes off as about as good an actor as your average third-grade stage-play star. It's almost laughably bad how wooden he becomes, apparently drawing on his experience from the laughably bad Equilibrium.

Still, rent this movie if you're a fan. It gives you a bit of faith in the fact that Batman doesn't need a neon car to highlight his armored nipples. 5 out of 10.