Sunday, August 12, 2007

Two movies in two days

I hardly ever go to the movie theaters and then I go see two movies in two days.

First, Friday night, Morgan and I had a little Daddy-Daughter date. We were going to go see Transformers, but son of a gun, it is apparently out of theaters around here. We went to the two different theaters that we knew about, and that were playing it last week, but no dice. I was flabbergasted. How long does a hit movie stay in theaters anymore? Transformers was a hit at the box office since its debut around the fourth of July. It's out by August 10? Not even a month and a half? Is that really how short the shelf life is anymore? I can remember seeing movies at the theater after like two months or more. Granted, we did only go to two theaters and I don't know where, or if there is, the cheap-o movie theater that plays older stuff. I'm sure there's gotta be one around here somewhere. I just thought that a big summer blockbuster, something that a geek like me as a kid might've gone to see three or more times (like the first Batman movie I saw three times in theaters) just might still be in regular theaters.

So the two of us looked at our choices. I almost decided to scrap the whole idea and take her to the bookstore, but she wanted to see a movie with me. It's a lot of fun, just the two of us going together. The choices weren't too hot. I took her in to see a movie that intrigued the inner kid in me: Underdog. I'll admit that I could have waited until DVD but it was our only option.

Underdog was cute. The whole idea was simple and effective. The update to the modern screen was good too. I especially like how it incorporated little tidbits from the tv show into the movie, like the dog's name was Shoeshine and in the cartoon, Underdog was a shoeshine boy. When the crowd yelled, "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a frog! ...A frog??" I almost forgot about it being in the cartoon.

Couple of minor things: I know Simon Barsinister is a mad megalomaniac scientist, but did the background character exposition really need to come from him telling a new security guard, "I am a genius, the most important scientist in this company!" And then, even after discussing it with Morgan, I still don't know why the father-son were talking about the sewer system and having access to the entire city. That was just left field. And why did Polly and Molly enter the capital building at the end? These three things were a case of too little movie. Previews started at seven and Morgan and I were in the car at 8:30. If they could have taken like five to ten minutes more, they could have filled some holes. I dunno, it just seems that when a movie is less than 90 minutes, you shouldn't be left scratching your head. I could see if it were over two hours and they had to cut something.

All in all, a cute movie, funny (chuckle funny, not laugh out loud funny) that was worth seeing with my daughter.

Then Saturday night Amy and I had a late date. We went to see the 10 pm showing of The Bourne Ultimatum. She had just bought and watched The Bourne Files, the two disc compilation of the previous movies. We had seen them before and loved them. This is what action movies should be. Absolutely excellent. It was non-stop. I don't think there was a slow section anywhere in the movie. We were both riveted.

You simply have to love an action flick where the bad guys are smart. The other operatives were just downright scary. Every action seemed purposeful and there wasn't anything you would say, "Oh, yeah, right." Flawless movie. Simply one of the best action movies ever. As Amy said about action movies, "The bar has been raised." It makes other action movies that you think are good pale in comparison.

There's just one thing about the movie to discuss. The camera. They used handhelds and chased around after the characters on foot. Lots of juggled cameras, quick panning, and will almost give you a headache or make you nauseous. That was what was perfect about it.

This is weird for me. I totally understand why they chose to make the movie like that. It made it more intense, more frenetic, more frantic. As Entertainment Weekly said, you feel like you are chasing Bourne, feel like you are right there in the movie. And you do. It defintely worked. It put me in a frame of reference for this character--if my brain was having trouble keeping up and coping, imagine what his brain must be like to be in charge of the action. However, that camera jostling--I just wish there was some way to do it with a still camera so I could see more. But there isn't. This is a case where I understand why they did it, even agree to it and wouldn't change it, but I just wish there was another way.

Good movie weekend.

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