Sunday, August 22, 2004

50 First Dates, Matrix: Reloaded, Drumline

8/21/04

I've seen a bunch of movies lately. I saw 50 FIRST DATES with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. (I'm liking his recent movies, he's somehow quite appealing as a hero.) Anyway, except for a couple cuss words and off-camera premarital sex, it was a fabulous portrayal of sacrificial unselfishness in love. Such a refreshing theme compared to the sex-is-love that seems to pervade most movies these days. I'd let my high school girls watch it, although maybe not the Junior High school girls.

I saw MATRIX: RELOADED finally. It was actually better than I expected, after reading a bunch of very negative reviews. The ending is a cliffhanger, which I think is part of the reason why people didn't like it as much. There were three things I disliked about it: 1) Apparently Keanu couldn't or wouldn't do his own staff-fighting, so while the choreography of the fight scene with the metal pipe and the multiple Agent Smiths is very good, the scene is all CGI, which looks a lot like a video game. 2) There is a totally useless dance party/gratuitous sex scene early in the movie with hundreds of young, nubile gyrating bodies interspersed with afforementioned gratuitous sex scene. Waste of film minutes, in my opinion. 3) Morpheus' inspirational speech to the crowd (just before dance party scene) has sentiments that are in character, but the writers did a poor job of copying the character's speech style. The language--the words chosen--belong to Shakespeare in the Park, rather than Morpheus' character.

But on a whole, I liked the movie a lot. I'd give it four stars. The car/motorcycle/big-rig chase scene is KICKIN'. Loved that. The albino twins characters are pretty neat, too, although I thought Frenchie is a bit overplayed by the actor. Agent Smith's new "powers" to be able to replicate himself is a nice concept, like a virus with AI. The biggest thing I liked was that, like the first MATRIX, the storyline makes the audience question their reality. Before, it was the concept that reality is all in your head, the computer-generated Matrix. This time, it's that this reality isn't the first reality, but one of many reboots. I thought it was a cool story premise. I would hate to think there are people who actually believe it as true, but for me, it's entertaining fiction.

Tonight I saw DRUMLINE. A totally feel-good movie. It also had characters that displayed all the 'classic' story arcs: The character has a goal, then there's conflict, boxing the character in until he has to make a decision to either 1) attain his goal easily but compromise his morals, or 2) give up his goal but do what's right. When the character does the right thing, it totally makes me, as the audience, want to root for him. It was neat to observe, in this movie, how to develop and retain reader sympathy for a character in a manuscript. I'm so hyped to have noticed it. I'm off to work on my hero!

I also started reading PREMONITION by Randy Ingermanson. I have to say, the entire storyline of the book is fascinating. Since Randy is a real-live physicist (and an incredibly smart guy), he wrote a story premise about a rogue physicist who utilizes quantum mechanics to travel back in time to kill the apostle Paul. The physicist is followed by two other modern-day characters who choose to stay back in first-century Jerusalem to ensure the murder plot isn't carried out. That's the story from his first book, TRANSGRESSION (which is out of print, and there are some booksellers charging an arm and a leg for an $11 book). PREMONITION is the sequel, and the characters are aware that next in the actual historical timeline is the murder of the apostle James and the Jewish revolt. On his website, Randy has a really interesting article about the bone-box found recently by archaeologists that may hold the actual bones of James: (http://www.rsingermanson.com/html/james__bone_box.html) That makes PREMONITION that much more interesting to read, even though Randy wrote it before the bone-box was discovered. Next month, the third book in this series will be released, RETRIBUTION. I can't wait to read that.

Well, those are my thoughts. I think I will try to blog more often from now on. I must like to listen to myself. LOL


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