Tuesday, November 16, 2004

whom do you think God really favors in the web? The spider, or the fly?

blade: [November 15, 2004]:
I haven't seen the first part in the Blade series (part III -- called Trinity -- is about to hit theatres), but part II is sufficiently cross-genre and coolly exciting, with lots of action, gore, a raspy grungy soundtrack, cool lines (Blade: you're human Kounen: barely, I'm a lawyer), a rare use of the phrase "s**tting bricks", and the presence of Ron Perlman (understandable since Guillermo del Toro made this!). Lots of rich reds and browns and some industrial blue on the palette. And wait for the end credits to know that no real reapers were hurt during the making of this film.

the naked runner [November 15, 2004]:
The Naked Runner immediately echoes that other movie about killing vectors guided by forces outside their control, The Manchurian Candidate. And both feature Frank Sinatra, albeit in different roles (there he was trying hard to avert the tragedy; here he is the sharp shooter who must turn assassin in return for his son's life). The film isn't as tightly or inventively made as Frankenheimer's trippy opus, but it manages to hold its own as a decent low-burn entry until the climax, which feels hurried and slap-dash. Noted the initial stagey elements in developing the situation: the interrogation by Hartmann features (a) a mix of XCUs and low-angle XCUs and a shot of "Karen" with the camera angle so that she appears slightly farther away and in the position of a guilty person (b) Laker's face descends as he throws up (when he gets a reprieve on his execution in the woods); cut to a room, Laker's face bobs back up, after a wash (c) the occasional tilted low-angle shot (d) and some almost-depth-of-field shots ... except that the camera retains the regular focus. And the musical score had a nice theme during the scene when Laker receives the telegram about his son. All in all, a decent thriller acted out with sincerity that is best served as an opening act to Frankenheimer's masterpiece of paranoia.

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