July 2005


The Game
Directed by: David Fincher.
Actors: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger.
Released: 1997.
MPAA Rating: R.
Length: 128 min.
Thriller.

Brief outline (no spoilers):
Nicholas Van Orton (Douglas) is a wealthy investment banker in San Francisco. On Nicholas’ 48th. birthday he gets a very strange birthday present from his brother. It is a reality game from a corporation called CRS (Consumer Recreation Services). Being curious Nicholas agrees to play the game, then in a nightmarish turn Nicholas life gets turned upside down when all sorts of strange things starts to happen in his life.

Personal opinions
This movie is in the genera of mystical perception of reality, and plays with the mind. It probably inspired some of the newer movies such as Vanilla Sky. If you are into this category of movies this is mandatory.

Good
This is the sort of movie that you twist your brain to try to figure out what is really going on, and keeps you glued to the end just to get the solution. It is an interesting psychological thriller that plays with your perception of reality. Michael Douglas plays in a lot of great movies and this is one of them.

Bad
So what’s bad?

Bottom Line
It is definitely a good thriller movie.
Rating: 7/10 (where 10 is the best).

Spun
Directed by: Jonas Åkerlund.
Actors: Jason Schwartzman, Mickey Rourke.
Released: 2002.
MPAA Rating: R.
Length: 101 min.
Drug Drama.

Brief outline (no spoilers):
Ross (Schwartzman) becomes the driver for the local macho drug maker Cook (Rourke). Ross has some drug addict friends the half-mad Cookie (Mena Suvari) and Nikki (Brittany Murphy), the dangerously paranoid Spider Mike (John Leguizamo). Spider Mike deals the crack out of his junky house, but some cops are lurking around to try to bust the crack dealers in the neighborhood.

Personal opinions
Drugs are the worst thing, but watching a movie do not mean you approve of drug abuse. Moralists will not like this movie since it flirts with drugs and for young people may think this is a cool movie and idolize what happen in it. For the rest of all of us that can separate movies from reality it is entertaining. It sort of have the same chaotic and unrest full mood as another drug movie, Trainspotting.

Good
This movie gives an inside view to the degenerated drug world. The movie has a very dirty and chaotic feel. A lot of crazy things happens and is sort of the rollercoaster movie where a lot of on the edge things can happen for a drug junky. Mickey Rourke is cool, and I think he has a fair amount of personal experience with drugs, so he fits right in as the main drug cooker.

Bad
I am not sure this movie has a story, it is more a movie about what crazy things that can happen during the days of a drug junky. The things that happen in this movie is meaningless, and the actions made by the characters are not making any sense, but I guess it is the drug that does it.

Other things
Jonas Akerlund is the man behind the Prodigy music video “Smack My Bitch Up”.

Bottom Line
If you can handle a little story about drug addiction without wanting to become a drug junky looser you should definitely watch this movie. It has a lot of crazy stuff in it.
Rating: 7/10 (where 10 is the best).

Swept Away
Directed by: Guy Ritchie.
Written by: Lina Wertmüller (1974 screenplay for “Travolti da un insolito destino nell’azzurro mare d’agosto”), Guy Ritchie (screenplay).
Actors: Madonna, Adriano Giannini.
Released: 2002.
MPAA Rating: R.
Length: 89 min.
Romance.

Brief outline (no spoilers):
Amber (Madonna) is a very rich woman that is taking a cruise from Greece to Italy with her husband and some friends on a boat they have rented. Amber is a very snobby woman and easily bored she takes fun in tormenting the crew on the ship especially Giuseppe (Giannini). But the roles are about to change when Amber and Giuseppe gets ship wrecked on a deserted island.

Personal opinions
The story of this movie is a bit original, but Guy Ritchie can not take any credit for the story of this movie since it is a remake of a movie from 1974.

When looking passed the romance and comedy the undertone of the movie is really about class struggle, and the power wealth has in our society.

Good
The movie is fun to watch, if you like the complications that would arrive from a stranded man and woman on a deserted island.

Bad
The acting is terrible. Madonna should probably stick to her singing career.

Bottom Line
Easy fun romance, with a touch of critique of the capitalistic and materialistic world we live in.
Rating: 5/10 (where 10 is the best).

Terminator 3 - Rise of the machines
Directed by: Jonathan Mostow.
Written by: James Cameron (characters), Gale Anne Hurd (characters), John D. Brancato (story,screenplay) , Michael Ferris (story, screenplay), Tedi Sarafian (story).
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken.
Released: 2003.
MPAA Rating: R.
Length: 109 min.
Action, Sci-Fi.

Brief outline (no spoilers):
It is now 10 years since the previous episode in Terminator 2. John Conor (Stahl) is living off the grid so that it is impossible to track him down. This time a new robot model, the T-X (Loken) is sent back in time to kill all the lieutenants of the resistance. One of the persons the T-X is looking for is Kate Brewster (Danes). A new T-101 (Schwarzenegger) is sent back to protect her. At the same time Conor stumbles across Brewster at the veterinary she is running. The group of Conor, Brewster and T-101 has to try to escape from the T-X and on the same time try to stop Skynet and the coming judgment day.

Personal opinions
Terminator 3 is the an action sci-fi movie, but it is also very funny. It is believed that it is deliberately made funny. Terminator 2 is much more dark and scary, this movie is almost funny. But it is all good and light entertainment wrapped in a fear of the future and technology.

Good
It is more visual stunning than the previous Terminator movies, and that has been the hall mark of these movies to be on the edge of what is possible in computer graphics.

The Terminator movies are what made Schwarzenegger a star, and he is brilliant in this movie too. It is the one type of movie his accent does not sound strange since he is playing a robot. It is also amazing the he managed to get his muscles back in shape. Considering it is a long time since the first Terminator movie came out.

It is also a streak of marketing genius two make a sexy female robot. This is the dream of every technology nerd out there; both deadly and extremely attractive.

Bad
It could be a bad thing that they went with the fun destruction movie, instead of making it truly scary. That said it is difficult to make another Terminator after two successful movies and over such a long period of time.

Logical error:
When the T-101 (Arnold) is trying to start the car outside the stripper club, he uses the trick of getting the keys from the sun screen in the car. This makes no sense since the T-101 in Terminator 2 that was thought this trick by John Conor got melted in the end of Terminator 2. The T-101 in Terminator 3 is a new robot that has not been thought the same things as the robot in Terminator 2. I wonder what all those people that have been credited in writing as have been doing.

Bottom Line
It is very entertaining, and if you have been a fan of the previous ones it is a must see. It also leaves enough open threads, making it possible for a Terminator 4, but since Arnold is into politics now it will probably difficult to get him to play in another movie and God forbid they should make a Terminator movie without Arnold.
Rating: 8/10 (where 10 is the best).

The Great White Hype
Directed by: Reginald Hudlin.
Written by: Tony Hendra (screenplay), Ron Shelton (screenplay).
Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Berg, Cheech Marin, Jamie Foxx, Damon Wayans.
Released: 1996.
MPAA Rating: R.
Length: 90 min.
Comedy, Sports.

Brief outline (no spoilers):
The boxing promoter Rev. Sultan (Jackson) searches for a new opponent for the champ James “the Grim Reaper” Roper (Wayans). He searches and finds the only man, Terry Conklin (Berg), who have beaten the champ, but that was in amateur boxing. Conklin is not a boxer anymore, but plays in a rock band. He convinces him to start training. Sultan sees great market potential in this new fight since it is a black man versus a white man. Then the hyping of this new opponent can begin.

Personal opinions
This movie is categorized as comedy, but it is not a “boing, you got hit in the head, haha” kind of movie. Everything in the movie is comedy in the sense of irony and sarcasm towards how today’s sports is driven by money and people behind the scenes. If you think it is difficult to understand and be entertained by irony and sarcasm it may be difficult to understand this movie.

Good
It is a different movie from what Hollywood usually produces on the movie assembly line, and that is what makes it interesting to watch. Samuel L. Jackson is always funny to watch with his elaborate character.

Bad
Sometimes there is too little progress in the movie and it get a bit boring.

Bottom Line
It’s a different movie that has a lot of funny characters in it. The humor is twisted irony and not always the out bursting haha kind, but the silent grin a bit. For example the terrible overweight champ. It is watchable if you understand irony.
Rating: 6/10 (where 10 is the best).