Saturday, September 25, 2004

Movies: Quick Reviews (Paycheck, Mystic River, Man on Fire)

We've been renting a few more movies over the last month or two, and I've been too lazy to write anything long about them. So here are quick reviews of some of the movies we watched lately:


I actually liked Paycheck, as did Linzy. It gets terrible reviews, but I thought it was decent. Yes, the plot had huge holes in it, and regrettably I can't even talk about them because doing so would give away one of the big mysteries in the movie. But if you just sit back and aren't too critical of the plausability of the film, it is sort of a fun ride.

Mystic River

Linzy and I both liked Mystic River. The acting is top-notch, as you would expect from a movie that had a nominee for best actor (Sean Penn) and best supporting actor (Tim Robbins), and best supporting actress (Marcia Gay Harden). The plot was a bit simplistic, but it was interesting. Overall I thought it was a really good movie.

Man on Fire

I thought Man on Fire was OK, but not spectacular. Linzy liked it a whole lot.

The movie was just as violent as you might expect from a film where the plot involves a man taking vengance on the crimelords who kidnapped the girl he was supposed to be protecting.

The acting was OK, Denzel Washington was good, as you would expect. Marc Anthony was suprisingly good as the father of the girl who was kidnapped. Dakota Fanning was very good as the little girl.

One interesting thing about the movie was the direction by Tony Scott, he did this interesting thing where words lingered on the screen. So like if there was an important point being made, it would get printed in a stylized form on the screen for a bit. The same was done with some of the subtitles of the spanish conversations when they were plot critical. It was interesting (although a bit hard to explain), I don't recall seeing anything quite like it before.

My issue with the movie was its length. They made no secret of the plot of the movie in trailers and the DVD box copy: Denzel is hired to protect a girl, he gets attached to her, she is kidnapped, he gets medieval on the kidnappers and everyone they have ever looked at. So then why is the movie 2 hours and 26 minutes long? The whole bonding section took a long time, before the girl is even kidnapped and we start the vengance part of the movie. So if you were watching for the violence and street justice, then you had to sit through an hour (or more) of 'cute' bonding. If you were watching for the 'girl's caring for bodyguard gets him out of his depression and self-centered behavior', then you got that but had to watch an hour and a half of said bodyguard doing horrible acts to the kidnappers.

I would have been happier if the movie was more like 2 hours long, and some of the background story was trimmed down. That would have picked up the pace a bit.

And it wasn't a bad movie by any means, it just was a little long for the amount of plot (IMHO).

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