December 17th, 2012


Eleven O'Clock Movie Monster

I arrived in New Zealand at some ungodly hour this morning, having managed some sleep, and also a few movies:
  • When I saw the trailers for Ted (2012) it looked fun in a purile way, but it was surprisingly smart; very reminiscent of Family Guy but without the random asides.
  • I was definitely right to watch the original of Total Recall before the remake. The first (1990) was a fantastic sci-fi action movie that managed to take a serious look at futurist issues while keeping a slightly campy tone. The 2012 remake had some visually cool moments but the numerous tweaks to the original plot all detracted from the plausibility of the scenario.
  • I liked the 2003 remake of the The Italian Job, so I watched the original (1969) on this occasion. Veeeery simple movie; mostly a chance to see some driving and Michael Caine doing his thing. The final scene was fun, but displayed a poor knowledge of leverage and gravity. I liked that the way they finally ended it though.
  • I had a few East Asian movies on my watch list, and in the end I selected Wu Dang (2012) because it was the right length. Unfortunately, PA interruptions and other such nonsense meant that I missed the end of the denouement (which in turn reminds me that I still need to watch the last 5 minutes of Space Battleship Yamato (2010)), but I was sold on the DVD after well before then anyway. The story shapes as if it's going to be a kung fu Indiana Jones, but most of the movie follows the love stories of two couples... with lots of kung fu. If, like me, The Man with the Iron Fists (2012) left you wanting more of The Gemini, then one of the final scenes will scratch that itch. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.

Sadly Looper (2012) was not yet on the list.

The trailer doesn't do it justice, but here's a taste of Wu Dang.

[My earlier call (that Dredd was my movie of the year) stands, with the caveats that I have yet to see Looper or Skyfall.]

[Edit: Oh yeah, and I saw the first instalment of The Hobbit before I left for the airport "yesterday". I was curious to see how Jackson was going to take a short book and turn it into three movies; An Unexpected Journey gave me a taste of how that's going to go... and I'm ready for some more! As a fan of Middle Earth lore, I loved the integration of various threads of backstory, and as a fan of fantasy action, I loved some of the fight scenes. Gandalf displaying his swordsmanship? Hells yeah!

I'm interested to see how it stands up to a second viewing. I wonder if it might drag a little as does Fellowship.]