...Prove Their Worth...

"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth
by hitting back." - Piet Hein

A kind of running diary and rambling pieces on my struggles with assorted books, classes, and other things, as they happen. You must be pretty bored to be reading this...

Sunday, July 28, 2002

I saw Austin Powers: Goldmember today. My god, what a piece of foul, unfunny, boring tripe. Mind you, I very much enjoyed the first two installments. But all this third one is is poor repeats of the exact same jokes that were in the first two flicks. Oh, and it has appearances by celebrities. Wow. Like I give a flying wank about Travolta or Britney Spears or any of the other flaming retards that grace the screen with their presence for all of five seconds each. I can't see why anyone should, unless, of course, they worship said 'actors' to an improbable degree. I did laugh. Five or six or so times. One, count 'em, one of them was a genuine belly laugh. I kept waiting for it to get funnier, as many reviewers promised, but I'm sad to report it never did. Contrast that to the almost continuous hilarity of the first two flicks. I think someone ran out of inspiration, but was still dreaming of even bigger piles of soft, green, filthy lucre. I'm looking at you, Mike Myers.

In an act of disturbing sadomasochism, I finished a book called Cuba, by one Stephen Coonts. It's ostensibly about biological weapons being developed by Cuba, and, horror of horrors, they're pointed at the US. OH NOSE!!11! DOG SAVE TEH QUEN! It's also got a vaguely homo-erotic obsession with the main character's facial features (the nose in particular - I haven't the faintest idea why). This main character is an admiral in charge of a carrier battle group, who goes into battle personally, Star Trek style. The writing is worse than that found in a fifth-grade classroom. The characters are unintentionally hilarious cutouts. The plot is laughably thin, and even the bloody (not literally, though!) action scenes, which are the saving grace of 'products' in this genre, are fucking lame. Don't touch this festering literary puddle of vomit with a ten-foot rod, unless that's your bag, baby. Shagadelic. Yeah. Ahem. Moving on...

(Can you tell I've had an unpleasant week?)

Not all is gloom: I did see a good movie this weekend, that being The Bourne Identity. This was a second viewing (why is a long story). I liked it a lot the first time, and I've grown to like it even more after the second. Bourne Identity has all the basic ingridients of a good summer action movie: a fun (though fluffy - but not too fluffy) plot, good special effects/visuals, and lots of fun action. All of this was obvious after the first viewing, along with the fact that there was a certain 'je ne sais quois' to the whole thing which made it stand out above most action flicks.

Well, with second viewing, the 'je ne sais quois' went to a 'je sais', if you will. It's all the little touches that make this movie. The way Bourne looks lost sometimes. How he has to look at maps to figure out where stuff is. How his fighting skills come as a surprise to him. The way the Marines chasing him through the embassy are breathing hard from the exertion, and the fear. The way the camera lingers, occasionally, on the fallen, not out of some perverse voyuerism, but to show that people do get hurt badly hurt. That little silent moment between Damon and Potente in the car after the chase, while they come to terms with just how close it all was. The little romance scene between them seems to be initially slightly awkward - but in a natural way. All these things add up, adding little shadings and colorings to the general structure of the action in the movie. In the end, I have to say The Bourne Identity is one of the best 'spy action' movies in years.

Oh, and Franka Potente is quite a sight - and that's aside from the fact that she's a damn good actress. I have got to see The Princess and the Warrior. Oh man. Perhaps I should rewatch Run Lola Run, too...


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