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Posts Tagged ‘Batman Begins’

Phone Booth

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

A thriller starring Colin Farrell (Minority Report, Miami Vice) as Stu who answers a phone call from a phone booth, apparently the only working phone booth left in New York. The man on the other side who has taken control of Stu’s life is played by the actor I’ve renamed The Actor Formerly Known as Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys, Dark City) after falling in love with his portrayal on the tv show ’24’ as Jack Bauer. Now I just call him Jack Bauer. Stu has two love interests in this movie played by Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, The Gift) & Radha Mitchell (Pitch Black, Man on Fire), the latter being his wife. The cop in charge is played by Forest Whitaker (Vantage Point, Panic Room) who always gives us a good performance, his role in this film is Captain Ed Ramey.

My roommate actually just walked by and said “Would you like to have Jack Bauer hold you hostage in a phone booth?”

The movie plays off the saying “a ringing phone has to be answered”. The movie starts off with a montage of people on their phones and a narrator telling us some facts and the importance of communication in our everyday lives. The movie itself  takes place in one location, a phone booth and its surroundings. Being in a phone booth for basically the entirety of the film gives us that claustrophobic feel and the fear of imprisonment with the tension building from an unseen enemy who has shown you what he is capable of and what he could possibly do to you.

The film is directed well by Joel Schumacher (8MM, A Time to Kill) who has an up & down resume. This movie is done in real-time from beginning to end and it does not last longer than needed. Schumacher does a good job of building the suspense scene after scene and it keeps you focused on how Stu handles each situation “the caller” gives him and what he’s going to do next. The only thing I didn’t care for or could have done without was the split screen showing us different angles of the current situation. Cool idea, but done wrong in this case.

Colin Farrell does a good job in this role which was originally intended for Jim Carrey. This movie made me like him as an actor after first seeing him in American Outlaws portraying Jesse James which was strictly just a fun guilty pleasure western. It’s worth a watch if you’re looking for a quick and short thriller that will keep you entertained in under an hour and a half. To me it didn’t even feel like it was an hour-long. Rating 7/10

Star Wars I – The Phantom Menace

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I had the sudden urge to watch the first 3 Star Wars films, don’t know why but there are some parts of these films I really enjoyed. I always enjoy Liam Neeson (Batman Begins, Taken) in any of his roles and I may have to say that he may be my favorite part of this first film.

The visual effects are astounding but nothing beats the real thing which is what made the original Star Wars trilogy so enjoyable for me. Yes some scenes aren’t going to be brought to the screen correctly without CGI, but there is such thing as going overboard and not being believable. I give much more respect to films when people actually put the time into making these ships, droids, and when people wore the alien costumes. It had that realism to it and didn’t have that glossy look  or where it just looked like the human actors were looking into whatever direction they were told to and a CGI creature was inserted later. Like all the scenes with Jar Jar Binks.

In the opening lines of this film, a kid says “With all due respect.” It just made me laugh because all I thought about was Talladega Nights.

Ewan McGregor (Big Fish, Moulin Rouge) does a find job of playing Obi-Wan in this film, but it annoys me everything he had a smirk on his face after a really bad joke or smiled. Alec Guinness never did that in IV-VI to my recollection. I absolutely hated Jake Lloyd in the role of Anakin Skywalker, it may be unfair for him though because I just straight up didn’t care for seeing Darth Vader as a kid. But since this movie is about him, I don’t like him and he annoys me when he talks. We also get Samuel L Jackson (Shaft, Pulp Fiction) as Mace Windu, a Jedi Knight. His role in the trilogy is small in this film but expands in the next two installments. His light saber got the letters BMF inscribed on it, BAD MOTHER F*^*^*.

I remember when I was younger I was so excited to see this film and was glad to hear when Natalie Portman (V for Vendetta) was casted in the movie since I’ve always had a crush on her since first seeing her on film in Heat & Leon: The Professional. But what I also got was seeing Keira Knightley (Pirate of The Caribbean Trilogy) for the first time. She plays Sabé who is  a decoy for Queen Amidala, played by Natalie Portman that sits in her place to protect her.

The biggest part of this movie could arguably be the Pod Race. Now when watching it, it feels like one big commercial for the Nintendo 64 racing game that came out which I probably played just as much as I watched this movie. The announcers for the race annoy me too. At the beginning of the race we see Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick in The Harry Potter Films) who played Willow. I don’t know how much this is common knowledge to the Star Wars fans out there but he played Wicket in Star Wars VI – The Return of The Jedi, the main ewok.

Another actor got his break with this film as well. Ray Park, who plays Darth Maul. Who played the headless horseman in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Toad in Bryan Singer’s X-Men & Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe: The Rise of  Cobra. So the only time I can remember actually seeing his face in something that I’ve seen is on the tv show ‘Heroes’ where he plays Edgar. Yoda looks horrible. The end is a little ridiculous, Anakin just accidently destroys the main reactor from the inside, that’s convenient. The light saber fight between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn & Darth Maul was pretty to watch except the final death-blow was weak.

Overall, if this movie along with the two following installments were handled a lot better I would include these films in a day where I would watch all the Star Wars films….. I like to pretend that this trilogy is a stand-alone in the Star Wars universe. Rating 5/10