Category Archives: Old Nic At The Movies Posts

Last Days

Finished the death Trilogy last night with Last Days. It was defiantly a different film, although you can see the similarities with the other two films.

This is another beautifully shot film and again is very minimalist. Most of the shots are stationary, even when characters are walking around. It works with the movie though, and is defiantly what makes it look so good.

The content is a bit wishy-washy. It is a fictionalized account based on the possible last days of Kurt Cobain’s life. Knowing very little about that, it defiantly seems plausible and defiantly works if you ignore the connection to Cobain.

The biggest thing that bugged me was the dialogue. Blake (Cobain), mumbles all the time and is extremely hard to hear, as are a few others. I was watching this at 2am and was tired at that point so I feel like I missed a lot, but it is a film that makes it easy to do so.

It is an extremely funny film, to me at least. It’s small things that may go unnoticed, but really shouldn’t. At the front end of the film Blake starts pouring a bowl of cereal. He than takes the box of cereal and puts it in the refrigerator while leaving the milk out, and opened, on the counter. Shortly after that he ends up putting on a woman’s dress/nightie, some boots, a lady’s hat, and proceeds to wander around the house with a shotgun. Describing it does not do it justice, because it’s the way it is done. Those little things though helped make the movie good.

A lovely trailer. It pretty much sums up the first half of the film, which was the part I loved. Then again, I also started to fade later on because I was tired.


“Eeney… Meeney… Meiny… Moe… Catch a… Tiger… By its… Toe..”

I just finished Elephant, the second film is Van Sant‘s Death Trilogy and I’m blown away. I loved this movie. I’ve been aware of it and have wanted to watch it, but never bothered to. Now I regret never having watched it.

I’ll start off by saying that it is very simple in movie in a sense. The camera shots are basically all smooth tracking shots. The film is shot so that you follow various students over the course of a day. The idea I suppose is to make it look like a documentary in that way, and it works.

The acting is rather well done considering everyone in it was either not an actual actor or relatively new to acting. It defiantly helped make things seem more believable. Which is really what makes this film so stunning. The dialogue is rather spot on and the way most of the students act to me felt real. The only “unreal” thing to me was the high school, but that is a personal thing. I come from a small town. That being said people think my high school is big and it really isn’t. This high school is a prime example. It’s huge in comparison and seems very lax, something I did not experience during my days in high school. Still, I’m aware that those schools due actually exist, so it’s not a big deal, just a weird thing to me.

Again the simplicity is amazing. It’s what makes the film work. A number of the shots are without any really dialogue. While you follow a character you may here snippets from others, but not the person your focused on. There are instances where a scene takes five minutes just following a kid, but its intriguing.

I can easily see where people could get bored. It’s not action packed. For me though it looked wonderful and that keeps me in. I also knew what it was about so I kept waiting. Even if I hadn’t, there is something in the film that really gets your attention. Even after the movie ended I wanted more.

The movie is ultimately about a school shooting, inspired by Columbine. That being the case, Van Sant did a wonderful thing when he didn’t provide motives for any of the characters. The two “killers” are shown doing moderately normal things, but you never get a reasoning. It’s left open. The other characters that are brought in are giving small snippets of background information. You get just enough for them to be human, for a small attachment, but nothing more.

I still have Last Days to watch, but right now I really want to re-watch this. Maybe tomorrow. It’s defiantly a film I intend to buy and re-watch, despite it not being the most uplifting film. The fact that it’s only 1 hour and 15 minutes long make it easy to re-watch as well.

“Fuck the thing!”

So I’ve finished the first of the “Death Trilogy” by Gus Van Sant by watching Gerry. I’ve seen the film once before. I watched it when I was in middle school I believe. It was one of those movies my mom picked out from the library to watch. To clue you in; my mom has a tendency to pick horrible movies. They are generally the most obscure things ever. And she never watches them, because she always falls asleep. I watched it with my parents and we were most amused. Watching it then, we were so amazed at how dull it was and it has been a joke to us ever since. For us it has been defined as the worst movie and is the butt of jokes for us.

I’ve read some thing on IMBD and other places. A lot of people seemed to have similar feelings to my parents and myself. There were also a number of people who loved it. So I went into watching this again with very low expectations, though I was hopping it would prove to be better than my first viewing. It was. Sort of.

The movie is simply about two guys, Matt Damon and Casey Afleck, who get lost in the desert. Really that should clue you in to what the movie is like. There’s a lot of walking around and not much that really happens. For a movie that is 1 hour and 40 minutes long, it seems much much longer. There’s probably one or two pages maybe of dialogue for the entire film. The majority of it consists of shots of the scenery or them walking.

Now the cinematography is beautiful. The landscape is beautiful to me and i actually enjoyed watching them walking around for a bit. By the time you’ve watched an hour of this though, it just gets dull. It’s also at this point where the dialogue (what littler there is) stops. I feel like the last forty minutes had maybe two lines and that occurred at the end of the film. There is also one sequence that was roughly ten minutes that was a simple close up of Matt and Casey in profile walking. That was it. Just that steady shot of them walking and nothing else, but the few facial expressions they made and the sound of their walking.

That is pretty much what kills the movie. For most it is to artsy. And in a time where people have extremely short attention spans, it is hard to sit through and not get bored.

Personally I want to like it more than I do. Both the actors and director are amazing, but not here really. They don’t really show off their talent. It’s also a really interesting concept. I saw a drawing in a museum in Boston once that was simple a square rectangle drawn and filled in with a black charcoal pencil. I, like many people, said “I could do that. I’ve actually done that.” That is what this film brings to mind for most people. Anyone can take a camera and follow two guys walking around.

I suppose I’ll get to the positives, besides it looking pretty. Really it is realistic. If two guys got lost in the desert this would probably be pretty accurate. I’m sure if I was on some drugs or drunk I may get a trip out of watching the film, but at this point no.

Basically it is a very beautiful looking film, but defiantly not for most people, myself included. I will watch this again, but who knows when. I feel like its one of those movies that will slowly grow on me and will work in times when I need some soul searching.

The trailer pretty much sums up the entire movie.

“What a piece of fecal matter.”

So I watched Bicentennial Man the other night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went into watching recalling all the negative comments made about the film and didn’t have high hopes. I believe I was in fourth grade when this movie came out and I do remember seeing it at the theaters. I’ve always enjoyed Robin William’s work since I was young (including some of his not so great works), but I don’t really think I’ve seen this since the time it came out. Maybe on VHS (possibly DVD) as a rental back in the day, but not any time frequently.

Again I loved it, though part of that might be in part due to my lowered expectations. The acting is great all around, and actually I found myself wondering who Little Miss was. I kept thinking “She looks like Jesse Eisenberg.” Due to the wonders of the internet, it turns out that the similarity was right on. Almost. It turns out Mr. Eisenberg has a younger sister, Hallie Kate. Sam Neil, Embeth Davidtz, and Oliver Platt support Mr. Willaims and are all actors I adore. Even Bradley Whitford makes a small appearance, which I wish was more. There are a number of other faces you’ll recognize as well.

I understand complaints about the length of the film, but honestly, I was so caught up in it that I didn’t notice the 132 minute length. As a kid that is probably one of the things that turned me off. And I do admit that it is extremely deep. A lot of topics get covered in this film and I feel like people expected it to be a straight Family Comedy and it really isn’t. I mean it is based on Isaac Asimov’s work. The biggest downfall to me is that the film defiantly trails off towards the very end. I feel like things got a bit rushed and the humor disappeared by the last thirty minutes. It fit what was on-screen, but it was quite a turn and for those who may be tuckered out at that point, I can see it as a huge turn off.

The special effects and makeup were quite nice and visually the film is pleasant. I found myself intrigued by the score the entire time and couldn’t quite place who it belonged to. I have a fondness for film scores and tend to be able to place a couple of the composers. I was rather close when James Horner’s name flew through my head at one point as it is his score. I always love his work and it fits with the movie and made it even more enjoyable.

I feel like I’m skimming over a number of things, but maybe it’s just because it has been a while. The movie really is good and I plan on watching it again, although not right away. It’s defiantly not a film you pop on when your bored. The fact that it is so well-rounded does make it more enjoyable to watch.

I actually interrupted a viewing of a movie to post this. I’m planning on watching Gus Van Sant’s “Death Trilogy,” which consists of Gerry, Elephant, and Last Days. I’ve only ever seen Gerry and that was when I was in middle school. Needless to say I was nonplussed with the film. I’ll make an individual post on each of them and probably do a third to tie it all up. I may not publish them till tomorrow or later, but keep a look out for them in the next day or so.

Deceiving Trailer. Film is much more of a Drama than this lets on. Mainly shows the first half of the film.

“I have no one. At least you two have each other.”

So I was trying to find a movie to watch this afternoon and for some reason I was in the mood for something depressing. I’ve seen Reign Over Me before. I rented it shortly after it was released on the DVD. I didn’t remember much about the movie other than I really liked it and the word ‘haunting’. Having seen it again I still defiantly like it.

The movie has gotten a lot of crap which I suppose it deserves to a degree. There are some goofs in the movie, but they weren’t large enough to ruin the film for me. I also agree that using 9/11 as a plot device wasn’t necessary, especially since it really doesn’t play that big of a role.

The music was amazing, partly because I’m a fan of the musicians used (Springsteen, Who, Vedder). While I’ve never played Shadows of Colossus I recall watching friends play it and I’ve looked it up. Even not knowing anything about the game it still draws some nifty parallels.

I’ll always remember Sandler first and foremost for Billy Madison. His comedy is different and for the most part I’ve liked a good deal of his work and I thought he was pretty fucking good in this movie as well. Obviously it’s a departure from his childish comedic roles. In regards to roles he’s grown up. It’s easy to ignore the earlier view of Sandler I had when watching this movie because he does that good of a job. He’s completely different in a numerous ways, most obviously physically. There are however a few instances where you can see the Sandler we all love an know (maybe) through a few quick lines and looks.

Ignoring how the plot may falter, the over all story works rather well. A number of good shots that add to the mood. Some of my favorites are the ones with Sandler and/or Cheadle riding around on the scooter at night. There’s also another shot of Cheadle standing at the end of an empty hallway looking at Sandler play his game. There’s just something about that shot that hits me.

For the most part the film is rather darker, which makes sense due to the content. It does however have some humor in the film that is done rather tastefully in my opinion. Donald Sutherland who I fucking adore has a small part at the end of this film and he is epic. Despite the great performance by Sandler in the primary scene, Sutherland steals it, especially in his followup scene.

Don’t watch this on a rainy day unless you wish to further the depressing atmosphere and while the humor is there, don’t watch the film for it. It’s one of those films that I’ll come back to again, though not right away. As good as it is it’s a bit heavy to watch back to back.

“I have successfully privatized world peace.”

Sadly I haven’t posted as recently as I would have liked, but I am now done with finals so I should be getting back to posting more often. That being said I have a number of posts lined up that I will be releasing.

To celebrate the end of finals and the beginning of summer, I went and saw Iron Man 2.

I’ll start of by saying that I did in fact like the film. It wasn’t perfect, it fell short in comparison with the first, but it was still pretty damn good.

So the actors. Robert Downey Jr. is still amazing. I honestly can not think of anyone better to play Tony Stark at this point. I’m a fan of Mr. Downey and have been for some time and I still think that this is one of his best roles. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but there is some magic between the character and Downey that I can’t quite put my finger on. Whatever it is though, it works. Don Cheadle steps in as Rhodey/War machine, replacing Terrence Howard. I like both actors and I think both have done a fine job with the role of Rhodey. I suppose I’m disappointed that Cheadle didn’t get as much screen time as I would have liked, though that’s one of my larger issues with the movie that I’ll get to later. Sam Rockwell plays Hammer and he does do a really good job. However, every time he was on the screen I couldn’t help but think of having Jeremy Piven playing the role instead. Not entirely sure why, but for some reason he kept popping into my mind to take that role and having thought about it since then, I think Piven probably would have done a good job in the role. I also thought of Gary Oldman, though his being there would have taken the role and film down a different road. Our other bad guy and the true bad ass of the film (who didn’t get the screen time he deserved) was Mickey Rourke. He was fucking epic and got robbed out of a number of good scenes. While the characters rightfully treated him as shit, he never really got the chance to show off all that much, which is a travesty.

Scarlet Johansson basically serves as a piece of hot ass to look at. The little acting she actually gets a chance to do, she does well, but again her role in the film is basically to be the attractive woman to insert into a scene now and then. Gwyneth Paltrow still works wonderfully as Pepper Pots. She also gets some room to play with the character more as Miss. Pots gets a larger role. Samuel L. Jackson pops in has Nick Furry (which we will be seeing a lot of apparently). It’s Jackson so he is a badass with an eyepatch. Some of his lines are a bit cheezy, but Jackson pulls them off. Kind of a shitty role/side plot to the film anyways. And now I have to mention Paul Bettany as Jarvis because Bettany rocks and I feel like people who do voices for films never really seem to get the credit they deserve for the work. Shit, Star Wars would blow if James Earl Jones was not the voice of Darth Vader.

The special and visual effects mostly seemed to be more of the same and worked well. Unfortunately the action in this film is a bit lacking and the action you did get is all rushed in together. As much as I love that there is an interesting story going on and not an entire film of big booms, a little bit more would have been really nice.

So to some of the problems with the film. Lack of screen time for characters. A lot of characters were added which was nice since the characters were basically all sweet, but no one really got a chance to do a whole because of that. Since the film is split into parts that focuses briefly on a character Robert Downey Jr. gets screwed. I mean the film is called Iron Man and as he has said (in character) “I am Iron Man”. That being said we should see him. Downey is amazing as Stark/Iron Man so he should be used liberally. As nice as the other actors are, if the entire film had Robert Downey Jr. in every scene I honestly think it would work simply because he works so well in this film.

Now that I’ve gotten this far I can’t really remember what other problems I had. Mainly that it was a bit to scattered. I suppose part of it goes with the expectations coming from the first film. While I don feel it’s as good as Iron Man, Iron Man 2 is still good and while I probably wont go see it again in theaters (unless the right person asks me to go with them) I’ll still get the DVD because both Iron Man films both movies that I know I can toss in at anytime when I can’t think of anything else and I’ll enjoy watching it.

The Surface of the Sun

This afternoon, between class and making a film for a class, I sat down and watched Sunshine. I never head of this film before (at least not that I can remember) and the only reason I actually sought this out was from watching Kick-Ass. I loved the sound track from that film and looked it up. I found out that two John Murphy songs were not included. One was from 28 Days Later and than one from Sunshine. Naturally I looked up both songs and loved both of them, especially the one from Sunshine.

So to the movie. The film is directed by Peter Boyle and I have to say I’ve enjoyed the few movies of his that I’ve seen. The story in reality is rather simple. In the future the sun is dying and we humans send nuclear bombs to try and restart the sun. The first ship they sent failed and this is the account of the second. That the overall gist of the story, but of course a lot of shit goes down rather quickly and as far as the story goes, it works. As others have already pointed out there are scientific errors. I’m unaware of them, but I’m not a scientist so it really doesn’t bother me all that much. The only problem with the story is the end. Everything moves rather well up until the last twenty minutes or so. It’s a nice twist, but it doesn’t fit because the last twenty minutes turn into a slasher film. This would work if it was introduced earlier on and had more time to run, but it doesn’t. I’m personally tired of slasher films in space as I’ve seen enough of them and nothing new ever seems to come out of them. The story is good enough and would probably end better if the slasher part was removed.

I’ll save the best bits in my mind for last, so here we have acting. A number of notable actors. Sadly they are not all ones that I know their names right off the bat. The acting is good. Nothing so bad that it caused me stress, though some bits were meh. I blame the story on those aspects, since those characters were given small parts and very little to do in those parts. I wouldn’t say any of the acting was outstanding, though Cillian Murphy and Cliff Curtis seemed to be the best.

Mark Strong makes an appearance, though I don’t feel right commenting on his acting. I’m sure he does a phenomenal job, however I must now say that I have a spoiler alert right here. Mark Strong is our slasher dude and is a crazy man who has apparently adjusted to the extreme sunlight, because his skin is nasty and burned all over. Every shot of him running around is out of focus and jerky, so you never really get to see him. I can’t say he did a bad job acting, because honestly there wasn’t much to see. Great voice over work though.

~End Spoiler~

So the visual & special effects were orgasmastic. The picture up top is one of those scenes that’s just fucking brilliant. The special effects really are amazing and lovely. They aren’t over done either. The camera work (say for the bit I mentioned about Strong) is rather good as well. I love the shots of the actors on the scooter going through out the ship. There’s a line that the camera steadily follows. Simple, but really nice. Sticks with you. There’s also a scene on the other ship (dun dun dun) that captures the crew perfectly. Lovely shot. Also a lovely use of having other images flash up on the screen in a moment of suspense.

And the score! John Murphy is now one of my favorite composers for film. The score works so well, especially with the visuals. I love listening to this soundtrack while walking around. It makes me feel empowered or that everything around me is just amazing. Really powerful shit.

And here is a clip from the movie that really hits on the score and visuals. The clip does give a bit of the film away. I saw this before watching the film though and it really didn’t put me off.

“We’ve all become God’s madmen, all of us.”

For one of my college classes we are reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In comparison with reading the book we also watched Francis Ford Coppola’s take on adapting the book to the big screen.

First let me state that I am not a fan of horror films, so I wasn’t exactly eager to watch this. On the other hand I love Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman as well as fan of Coppola. That being said that’s pretty much the only thing that made me like this movie.

I get that this was made in the early 90’s and that using some of the technology back than was a big deal. Sadly I think Coppola went a bit overboard. Bits and pieces were neat at first, but it got a little out of hand. I felt like Coppola wanted to make a romance film out of Dracula, which I understand. But the novel was considered a ‘horror’ novel and to live up to the myth that Stoker created Coppola seemed to randomly throw some cliché horror scenes to appease that audience. I didn’t really feel like he was all that interested in the ‘horror’ aspect of the story and it really shows in the film.

So to the romance plot now. It works. As far as Stoker’s story, it’s not really there, but Coppola makes it work, though again he throws in some clichés which are annoying. One thing Coppola did get right on this end though is the sex. Dracula and vampires in general are supposed to be these insane sex symbols and Coppola really runs with that. If there is a chance to add more sex to the film, than he does it. In some instances it’s a bit creepy and not all that erotic (the wolfman anyone?). Than of course you have that beautiful scene with Dracula and Mina finally making that “marriage/connection” which is shot beautifully.

For me though two things made this movie worth the watch. Hopkins and Oldman. Keanu Reeves is a joke in this film to be honest and I’m not saying that because I’m one of those people who loves bashing him all the time. I actually like Keanu at times, but this defiantly wasn’t one of them. Winona Ryder wasn’t all that great either. I guess I’m biased by the books portrayal of Mina being a much stronger character. She didn’t give a bad performance like Keanu, but it wasn’t all that great and gain Hopkins and Oldman really own the movie. Tom Waits should get a mention here as well. He actually has a rather important role and does an amazing job with it. I think he was just shy of really hitting the character on the mark though, since Renfield is a very interesting character.

So to the two main actors in my opinion. Anthony Hopkins is Van Helsing. I can’t imagine anyone else playing that role now that I’ve seen him and he really does a phenomenal job. I mean honestly, Sir Hopkins is amazing in pretty much everything that I’ve seen him in and thinking about it now, the fact that Van Helsing is a bit ‘eccentric’ really plays into Hopkins strength. To move on Oldman does a phenomenal job as Dracula in all shapes and sizes. Personally I think some of his best bits are at the beginning when he is the ‘old man’ Dracula. He does an amazing job at being that creepy guy.

Another great aspect of this film was the costuming/makeup. The work done for the many forms of Dracula seems to be the most notable and it is all done amazingly well. My only complaint with this is the “young” Dracula. To me he looked like Slash and knowing Oldman played Sid vicious I couldn’t get that thought out of my head. On the other hand though, that actually plays amazingly well to the role of Dracula and his being a sex object. I personally found it odd that Lucy would dress so in that particular nightie, but it works to show off her tits and again the emphasizes the sex in the film. Same with Mina actually.

While flawed in ways that seem unfitting for someone of Coppola’s caliber, the film is still a good film for any Dracula/vampire fans, especially in this day in age. With the sudden popularity of shit like Twilight and True Blood than the highly sexual overtly romantic vampire film Coppola created would probably do well with a modern audience.

Okay you cunts, let’s see what you can do now!

It's McLovin!
Many of you may know the actor above as McLovin and yes he does make an appearance in the film. That’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse, not the character McLovin. That however is beside the point.

Note: There are potentially minor spoilers. Personally they aren’t , but some people are picky.

I saw Kick-Ass today and all I can say is that it kicked ass. I mean it was amazing. It’s one of those movies where everyone in the theater was laughing together and talking about it as soon as they left. I don’t think it’s possible not to talk about this film.

So with that endorsement let’s move on and get the negative out of the way. There apparently has been some negative views of the film. Violence, language, the role of Chloe Moretz. Personally none of those ‘concerns’ makes the film less enjoyable to me. The violence is nowhere near as bad as a good number of the torture porn flicks that have been coming out. Yes there is language, however to me it was done artfully. Basically every scene I can think of that used foul language was funny, partly because the way the language was used. Now to Miss. Moretz. She was eleven at the time of the filming and her character is around that age. I’ve never read the comic book that is the source material, but from what I’ve learned the roles transferred accurately enough. So Moretz plays Mindy aka Hit-Girl, an elevenish year old girl who kills people, sometimes in a rather gruesome manner, and uses foul language. Essentially she is a much older woman in a little girls body. I can see why people have problems with this character, but honestly they worked and consisted of some of the best bits of the film. Personally I didn’t have a big enough problem with it that it made me hate the movie.

So in that vein the acting. Moretz does an amazing job and at this point seem like she may grow up, if she stick with acting, to be a great actress. She carries her scenes like a pro, which is good, because if she didn’t they probably would make the movie bad. The fact that she does an excellent job keeps the controversial material away in my eyes. Nicholas Cage does a rather good job in this flick as well. When I first saw him as ‘Big-Daddy’ aka Batman rip-off, I kept thinking he sounded like Shatner. After I thought about it I figured out that he was copying Adam West’s portrayal of the Dark Knight, which actually works wonderfully, especially since the characters in the film are baffled. Mark Strong is brilliant as usual and I love his accent for some reason in this film. I guess knowing that he’s British and purposefully waiting to see how it would be played made me noticed how nice a job he did. To me those were the most notable performances, not that the others weren’t good, because they were all mostly great or at least good.

So to what captivated me and made me squirm in my seat with excitement. THe action sequences. The word that comes to mind is orgasm. They were just fucking brilliant (or Kick Ass)! There is an action sequence shot in the dark that uses a strobe light (it has a reason for being there) and it is fucking amazing! I mean the choreography was excellent and the camera work captured these scenes in such a way that I can’t describe. Maybe I have low standards, but they just really stick out and hit the spot for me.

As for other bits and pieces of the film. Pacing is excellent. If anything it starts off a bit slow, but for the most part it runs smoothly. For a 117 min. movie it seemed really short and left me wanting more, which is great! The movie is packed with funny bits. This movie is easily a comedy/action flick and is equally balanced with both. The soundtrack is also amazing.

I can not think of anything really negative to say about this film. It’s really one of those movies that I was very weary of going to see, but it just proves that looks can be deceiving. I highly advice going to see it.

International Man of Mystery

No I did not just watch one of the Austin Powers films. I have two weeks of classes left in the semester plus finals week. In the two weeks of classes I have six papers due. Naturally I decided to watch some movies than write papers.

I’ve actually seen all three of the Bourne films before, however I watched all three again this morning/afternoon and will talk about them as a whole.

FIrst let me say that I’m one of those people who has probably read the book before the film, mainly because I also love books. In middle school I went through a phase where I read all of Robert Ludlum’s novels and I’ve loved every novel. They are amazing. On that note let me say that if you want to compare the films to the novels than you will be sorely disappointed. I was actually extremely upset when these films came out because the butchered the amazing story Ludlum had created. Simply comparing the stories, the novels are better simply because they are much more thrilling. The novels are about the character, not the action that you get from the film. It’s also a very emotional series.

That aside I still like the movies, I just have to ignore everything from the novels. Out of all three films one of the running things I continually love is the score. John Powell does an amazing job for the most part at creating a score that really plays alongside the action on-screen. I was actually listening to the soundtrack the other day, which is the reason I decided to watch the films again, and found myself being very childish. I felt the adrenaline pumping and did the whole running about, looking for baddies. Fortunately my friends went a long so I wasn’t the only person on campus looking like an idiot. To me though that really describes the score, because it really give off that vibe. Brings out the kid in me in wanting to go play ‘pretend’ which I did a lot when I was little (and obviously still find myself doing to a degree).

Now moving along to looking at all three films. Doug Liman direct The Bourne Identity, which is the first of the three movies. That being said there is an obvious difference between the first film and the two that follow, which are directed by Paul Greengrasss. I personally have always liked the first film. It dealt with the character of Bourne, which is really supposed to be the driving force of all three films. “Who is Jason Bourne?” I don’t really have much to say other than the first film is a really enjoyable thriller however it is completely different from the two films that follow it.

The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum truly are action flicks. A lot more going on as far as action in these two than the first, which goes both ways for me. The action sequences are good in all three films and it was nice to have a bit more of them, however they were also longer and took the film away from the mystery of the story. Supremacy is easily my least favorite. The story is nowhere near as good and really is all about following Bourne about as he doe more of the same in the first film, with more emphasis on him just kicking ass. Ultimatum at least follows a more similar story line to the first film in regards to Bourne actually trying to discover who he is and develop as a character.

One thing that a number of people apparently dislike about Greengrass is his use of hand-held cameras. I have to admit that there were times in Supremacy where they were a bit to jerky and disorienting. For the most part though I actually enjoy that kind of work. Gives the action a bit of flair so long as you can actually tell what is going on. There are a couple of films out there that do what Greengrass does. They try to make it feel like your there and make the scene more realistic by making it jerky, but really all it odes for me is give me a headache and leave me disappointed. To many times this technique goes to far and I end up seeing absolutely nothing. If I want to watch a ‘realistic’ video of some people fighting I’ll go to YouTube. I like actually being able to see what is going on when I watch a film. Don’t get me wrong I still liked it at times, more so in Ultimatum. It’s just a matter of how carried away you get with the camera work.

I suppose I should mention the acting in here, but really I can’t see why. The performances were good in all three films I suppose, but they weren’t outstanding. In Supremacy it felt like Matt Damon only had a handful of lines. For the most part his scenes were more about the action or finding something out in silence, rather then having him speaking. The plus side of that is that he does become more of an enigma. The problem with that to me is that Bourne is supposed to be developing as a character and while Damon does a good job showing emotions without dialogue, it would have been nice to have given him a few more lines. One other thing that’s nice about all of these films is the use of reoccurring characters, whether they’re in larger supporting roles or just random lackeys that have stayed on for two or three of the films.

So in ultimately they’re good movies. Personally you won’t be missing much if you skip watching Supremacy, but it’s not like it’s such a horrid movie that you’ll regret watching it. Don’t expect a whole lot out of the story and don’t expect the action the action to be a lot of firefights and explosions. It’s not Die Hard.

Nanu Nanu!

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