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From The Digital Sweatshop
The Music, Art and Travels of Alan D. Oldham a.k.a. DJ T-1000.

Movie Madness.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Spent the weekend catching up on a lot of movies with Giaxia. Here's what I thought of them, in no particular order.

"Sideways" - Finally caught this one. It was a winning little indie movie, I must say. Really cute and intelligent, with some genuine, laugh-out-loud moments, but not worth all the hype surrounding it, in my opinion. Critics were turning somersaults over this movie. Maybe if I was a middle-aged white guy in crisis, like Paul Giamatti's character, I'd see the total brilliance of it. As it was, I was merely entertained; a nice first-date kinda flick. Sandra Oh looked good in it, too, l'il Asian hottie. I've been down with her since "Arli$$." Her character had a half-black daughter to let you know that she was down with the swirl. You know I liked that ;-)

"Birth" - A very provocative, very adult cinema experience from the director of "Sexy Beast." You can tell Nicole Kidman's previous "Eyes Wide Shut" was an influence for this filmmaker. The high-class New York milieu and its tuxedo-clad men and well-kept women, lots of long, silent takes (usually centered on Kidman's face), pregnant pauses, and languid line readings. The story was very high-concept and original. The boy who was supposedly Kidman's reincarnated husband came from the "Sixth Sense" school of blank-faced, weirdo kids.

"Ocean's 12" - The whole gang is back for another caper, but the storyline was a mish-mash, an excuse for the super-cool Clooney and pals to hang out in Europe, and we get to pay to see it. In the last one, there was a clear objective (the Benedict job), and an air-tight narrative. In this one, there are too many extra characters, too many different capers (three by my count), and they're running around all over the place. Where the first one was slick and focused, the camera work in this one is documentary-style shaky. The Rat Pack vibe is still intact, but not much else. Wasn't feeling this one, even though I wanted to.

"The Assassination of Richard Nixon" - The feel-bad movie of the year. Sean Penn stars as a down-on-his-luck, '70s loser who begins to fixate on President Nixon as the source of his troubles, and resolves to do something about it. The title is a misnomer, though, because nobody gets within 500 miles of Nixon in this movie. I can see why this flick didn't do well in the U.S., though; let's just say plane hijacking plays a role in the plotline. The ubiquitous Don Cheadle is in this one, too, playing Penn's unlikely best friend. He's currently ruling the video store shelves in "Ocean's 12," "Hotel Rwanda," and "After The Sunset."

"XXX: State of the Union" - Way better than I thought it would be. Leagues better than the first one. The tossed-off explanation of what happened to Vin Diesel's Xander Cage character was priceless. The audience demographic they're going for is clear: young men who read "King," "FHM," and "Maxim" magazines, watch Spike TV and MTV, and play video games. You can see the corporate synergy in action. Lots of souped-up cars (a la "Pimp My Ride," complete with a guest-turn by host Xzibit), scantily-clad, big-booty women (including a STRAPPING Nona Gaye; that's one big motherfucker), boomin' hip-hop in the third act, and explosions, lots of them. I bought Ice Cube as an action star, though, which is the most important thing. A decent popcorn-muncher.

-AO :: 10:06 AM ::

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