Sweeping panoramic vistas and haunting imagery cannot save this altogether pedantic historical drama that never manages to incite much emotion except for bone crushing monotony. Based on Genghis Khan, one of history’s grandest conquerors, the film by Russian director Sergei Bodrov never manages to move out of first gear and relies on some incredible leaps in time and suspect scene construction that never presents more than a wafer thin insight into the early years of the man who would go on to cut a path of conquest through much of Asia.
With Angels and Demons the followup to the blockbuster The DaVinci Code, director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks attempt to resuscitate the franchise by plainly addressing some of the previous film’s stumbling points but their surgical procedure leaves this new film feeling downright pedestrian with an overwrought plot that stretches believability to the utmost limits. For all it’s issues The DaVinci Code at least had a humdinger of a narrative featuring age old conspiracies and the powerful forces behind them. Even when saddled with a career low performance from Tom Hanks and dreary long-winded exposition the previous film at least had a pulse and an intriguing premise. It also certainly helped that it had Ian McKellan and Audrey Tautou to pick up the slack left by Hank’s wishy-washy portrayal of the famed symbologist Robert Langdon.
In my previous blog about food I touched upon the one accidental restaurant that my wife and I always seem to end up going to. This time around I’m going to focus on my wife’s favourite fast food restaurant which, we found completely be chance. These are always the best finds and though they often turn out being unpalatable there is a chance that you will find something refreshing.
Much like a certain suave secret agent, Quantum of Solace’s technical merits are impeccable with enormous attention focused on sumptuous location shooting, exquisite costumes and jaw dropping action sequences. Unfortunately, this recipe is missing one key ingredient – namely a coherent and riveting plot. After the enormously successful reboot of the James Bond franchise in Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale both expectations and hype were sky-high for its sequel Quantum of Solace.
Fun though thoroughly unoriginal inspirational comedy that is a pleasant enough time waster but doesn’t truly make good use of either its leading lady Horikita Maki or its modest plot twist. Chance! is one of those tanpatsu, one-shot TV movies (or in this case 2 episodes) that you occasionally see each Japanese drama season. This time around we have a slice of life tale revolving around a struggling young woman Tamaki Kawamura (Horikita Maki) who after much disappointment manages to finally land a meagre job in a travel company. Shuffled to the lowest rungs of customer service she manages to make it through the days even though she’s saddled with a seemingly nasty boss and a less than bright career path.
For those who are impatiently waiting my review of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie I present the following mini review in two simple lines.
Is it good? Yes.
Is it better than the all time franchise standard bearer, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? No.
“Weddings are important for women.” “Weddings are important for women.” One more time for posterity. “Weddings are important for women.” If there’s one message that you can certainly come away with watching Bride Wars it’s this. Do you need me to say it one more time? Now, I’m a guy and let me plainly say that even though weddings are indeed important for men the prevailing winds tell us that women place much more emphasis on it than the male gender. I’m not going to get into a long dissertation about this or the socio-political implications or even bother delving more into this apparent gender dichotomy other than to state the obvious. Bride Wars takes this simple fact and then explodes it into approximately 90 minutes of fervent cat fighting, back stabbing and heart-wrenching drama. Okay, I’m lying about the heart-wrenching drama. I meant to say, asinine sketch comedy that is embarrassing to watch.
I remember back in the summer of 1989 that I was sitting alone in the theatre getting ready to watch the latest James Bond movie License to Kill and wondering “Where is everybody?” It was opening day and I could have sworn that the wind was whistling as tumbleweeds gently skirted the ground behind me. It was, to put it bluntly, an altogether disconcerting feeling and the first thing that came to mind was “Oh oh, this is gonna bomb.” Boy was I right. Even back then I was interested in box office predictions and analyzing how a particular movie was going to perform although without the Internet about the only thing I had was Variety magazine and no easy access to past figures. Regardless, this was James Bond, the longest running franchise ever and nobody was here to see it.