I saw four movies in the theatre last week. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen four movies in the theatre in a week, although I did see X2 3 times opening weekend, which…well, certainly gives me geek cred, anyway. :)
First two were a double feature of Terminator and T2 at the Screen Cinema in Dublin. I’d never seen Terminator on the big screen (being 11 and in Kenai, Alaska when it came out, although apparently I was at the theatre for something else when it came out, because I distinctly remember the Ahnold lifesize cutaway stands for it), and in fact only saw it on video after Beauty and the Beast. I spent the whole movie waiting for Vincent to rescue Catherine. Some 20 years later, that lingering expectation had faded, but gosh, lads, it’s still not a very good movie. We were surprised at how many (slow) car chases there were, and the Requisite 80s Sex Scene got a lot of laughter and some applause. Several times during the movie I wondered if James Cameron ever suffered from George Lucas Syndrome and wanted to go back and re-digitalize scenes that they didn’t have high-quality tech for, but since there haven’t been 356098 versions of Terminator released, I’d guess not.
T2, OTOH, I had seen on the big screen, and enjoyed just as much 20 years later. There was a shocking improvement in literally just film quality between 1984 and 1992–particularly noticeable in the first minute or two, when it’s the same footage of the future (only with a bigger budget & therefore more machines)–that I thought was so startling it was actually funny. I still think Linda Hamilton is better in that film than in anything else I’ve seen her in, and I don’t know if it’s because the quality of her role was that much greater, if her magnificent biceps blind me to any acting flaws, or if it’s just that Sarah Connor is pretty much furious through the whole movie and fury isn’t that difficult to project. Whichever it is, I still love her in the role. :) And I still can’t tell, in the last scene with her and the T-1000 double, which is Linda Hamilton and which is her twin sister. Probably the back shots are her sister and all the face/body shots are Linda, but every time I see the movie I stare hard at their biceps, trying to figure out which one’s the twin. :)
While at The Screen, I saw that Mrs Henderson Presents was playing later in the week. I’d wanted to see it when it came out and missed it, so I got to jet off Thursday night and go to a movie all by myself. Good film, great hairstyles, worth seeing. There were two or three green screen scenes which weren’t very well done with blending the actors and the background, but apparently I am Unusually Fussy about special effects, so perhaps it wouldn’t have bothered most people. (If I ever got to produce a SF tv show or movie, the effects would have to convince *me*, which, from Ted’s assurances, would mean they would pass pretty much everyone else’s barometer with flying colors. I remember people being So Blown Away by the special effects in Clash of the Titans, and even at 10 or whatever I was when it came out, I thought they were utter crap. I am not, evidently, easy to please.) (…there’s a shocker.)
Then Saturday we went to see Columbiana, which I shall make my comments about behind the cut, because it’s new and I wouldn’t want to spoil anything.
It’s from the same guy who did Nikita and Leon, so it’s no surprise that it’s about a little girl who grows up to heartlessly kill people. The problem with it, I thought, was that our heroine, Cataleya, was sort of…boring. I mean, yes, she was a stone cold killer, she was out for revenge, but there was no particular passion to her. She lacked charm, and apparently I want my psychopaths either be genuinely deranged or loyal to a higher ideal or possessed of some kind of self-aware humor or something. To be a bit self-aggrandizing, perhaps I want them to be more like Belinda, who is not a nice person at all, and who I never imagined *was* a nice person, nor that people would like her…but I hoped they would be fascinated by her. Cataleya wasn’t fascinating, and I don’t know if the lack was in the script or in the actress, but since I like the actress I’m inclined to blame the script. Perhaps wrongly, but still. :)
Ted thought the problem with it was that Zoe Saldana needed to eat a sandwich. Or forty.
Either way, we both felt the best thing about the movie was the Johnny Cash cover of Trent Reznor’s “Hurt”, which is unquestionably the best cover in the history of musical recordings.
(x-posted from the essential kit)