Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wanted: More Time to See Movies

I plan to post on my experience directing and producing Still the River Runs real soon. I thought I would do a rehearsal log, but it just wasn't in the cards. Now it's 11 days since we've closed, and I can begin to look back objectively, I think.

One glorious thing that's happened is I now have time to actually go see movies!

I saw Wanted last weekend. Brit and I chose between it, The Reportedly-Not-S0-Incredible Hulk, and Wall-E (reportedly the best film of the year so far). The only reason we did not see Wall-E was to avoid the kiddies, but since it's been out a few weeks now, and everyone will be going to see The Dark Knight this weekend (can we say Box Office Record?), now might be the time to pounce.

I go to the movies for different reasons now. Before living in New York City, going to the cinema was one of the only things to do to stave off boredom. Now that I live in the bustling metropolis, however, there is so much to see and do that I treasure the moments when I can curl up and watch a DVD with my fiancee more and more. Perhaps it is a sign of getting older. Now I save going to the cinema for blockbuster event films (the kind that are served better big and loud) or those Oscar bait entries that I simply gotta see before the ceremonies!

Wanted is one of those films served best big and loud. It is shamelessly derivative of Fight Club and The Matrix. It is based off a British comic series that seems as if it was created solely with the idea that it would be immediately optioned for the screen. The artists even designed two of the main characters around the likenesses of Eminem and Halle Berry! Ultimately, however, they got James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie. Much better. The movie has a few logic problems and unanswered questions, but I have to say I felt like I got the right amount of bang for my buck. DVD just wouldn't cut it. James McAvoy makes an endearing and charismatic would-be action hero, and Angelina Jolie is God's Eye Candy. Actually, I was most intrigued by Angelina's character of The Fox. The character doesn't say much in the film, and Angelina certainly doesn't need to, but she creates a magnetic sense of mystery about her with a single smoldering glance. I love the action she takes near the end of the movie.

A buddy of mine mentioned being slightly bothered by the violence in Wanted, or at least the apparent lack of mourning for the loss of innocent lives caught in the crossfire, particularly in a harrowing train sequence. I now find that statement ironic, particularly with his penchant for videogames such as GTA, which can be a bit nihilistic at best. Ultimately, his argument doesn't hold water once the origins of the story are taken into account. The movie focuses on The Fraternity, an organization of assassins, a group not noted historically for their respect for human life. In the comics, the group is an organization of super villains, also not noted for their mercy. And there is a point where McAvoy's character questions his new-found occupation as killer. However, it turns out that even killers have to have a code, and it is the crumbling of this code that leads to the final blockbuster, shoot-em-up ending. Fans of the film will be able to enjoy another inevitable permutation soon enough: Wanted, the Videogame.

1 comment:

patrick said...

Wall-E totally looks like the robot from "Short Circuit"... minus the cheesy 80's style of course