Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Da Vinci Code review

is giving me a lot of email.. and people want a couple of more hints.. so here they are..

1) one of the words is BUY

2) it's a statement. When I said "computer" I didn't mean a computer phrase like "cyber" or "RAM" or something like that.

3) this is a general statement. if you know me, you know what it is.

Have more fun!

Today, I'm going off topic for once and

talk Hockey. Hockey is Entertainment.
In my opinion, the NHL is about millionaires, watching millionaires doin' something that you can see for free at any arena, but whatever.

I live in Calgary, the home of the Calgary Flames. Y'know... also the home of the Red Mile. 2 years ago, the Flames had their run for the Stanley Cup, and we had large gatherings.. The Red Mile is known for the occasional girl lifting her shirt, and some guy climbing a pole

This year, our neighbours to the north.. Edmonton.. is having their run for the cup. Fair enough. They're having gatherings on their street as well. What's Edmonton's celebration getting known for?

Hockey is Entertainment. Please.. Celebrate Responsibly.

More movie stuff later

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

LONG before a single frame of

film was shot, Ron Howard's THE DA VINCI CODE had it's teaser trailer out to generate buzz around the fact that Dan Brown's book was being made into a movie. Since then, the Sony Pictures HYPE machine has been in full force, generating buzz around the movie. This film is without a doubt the most anticipated movie this summer by a lot of people, just not me.

Before I begin, I'm not going to be one of those people that will spend months trying to decide if THE DA VINCI CODE is a book that is a work of fiction, or if it is a clever book based on fact. I'm sure there are scholars around the world that will debate that fact for the rest of time. I do know that when I walked through the local book store on my way to the movie, the book was in the FICTION section, so I'm sure that there will be MORE scholars debating whether book stores have put the novel in the wrong section as an attempt to save religion as we know it.

Since the movie has made more than 70 million at the box office in North America ALONE on it's opening weekend, and 50 Gazillion People have read the book, recapping the plot here would just take up space and time. I know my time is valuable, I would just hope yours is as well.

I found The Da Vinci Code a frustrating movie. I grew impatient sitting in the theatre. This ISN'T one of Tom Hanks better roles, he seemed pretty stiff in the movie. The chemistry between Hanks and Audrey Tautou stilted and laughable. This isn't an action movie either. This is a talky film, it's HEAVY on the exposition, and after a while I found myself nodding off, much like I did during history class in grades 7 thru 12. To me, it was boring. I fidgeted, and I rarely do that in a movie during the summer.

I'm sure director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman did an admirable job of being faithful to Dan Brown's novel, Much like Christopher Columbus did with the first Harry Potter movie. But again, there is this fine line any filmmaker has to take when taking a novel from the page to screen, ESPECIALLY a Novel like The Da Vinci Code, where there is such a HUGE following: You have to satisfy the established base, and try and keep the interest of someone, like myself, who hasn't read the book. I'm not sure if they succeeded.

So, at the end of the day, The Da Vinci Code: The movie comes off as a long, drawn out snoozefest for me. Will it draw me into conspiracy theories like so many people? Will it make me wonder about religion? I doubt it. Is it a perfect example of the Hollywood Hype Machine gearing into overdrive to generate so much buzz people can't HELP but want to see it? That I'll go along with.

The one piece of controversy that has arisen from me seeing The Da Vinci Code came when I went to get my usual Diet Pepsi. The theatre chain has dropped Pepsi Beverages from their concessions, and have gone with Coke products. You would think it isn't the end of the world, but it is for me. Besides that, nothing to see... time to move on to the next summer movie, which next week is X-men 3.

The Da Vinci Code: D+

ps.. no they aren't a mistake... it's a GAME.. in the spirit of the movie...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Say goodbye to movies for Grown-ups

for the next 3 months as this past friday marked the beginning of the Summer blockbusters for 2006.

Kicking it off is Tom Cruise in the Third movie in the Mission: Impossible franchise, with the aptly original title Mission: Impossible III (for the purposes of this review, I shall now refer to this movie as M:I-III, which will save on typing). M:I-III is better than John Woo's Mission: Impossible 2, but doesn't hold a candle to Brian De Palma's Mission Impossible 1

Unlike the past 2 Mission: Impossible movies, which relied on a Impossible Missions, and lots of action, this time round director JJ Abrams (LOST) decided to try and give this movie more of a "personal and intimate feeling" by having a look a Ethan Hunt's (Tom Cruise) personal life. We get to see Ethan at home, his friends, his Fiancée (played by Michelle Monaghan), a nurse who thinks Ethan studies traffic patterns for a living.

Ethan is trying to start a new life with his Fiancée, Julia, which means his has to face his real Mission Impossible that every man must face: living happile ever after with the woman he loves, he isn't a secret agent trying to save the world, he's a man trying to save his marriage.

Problems begin for the two when Ethan, who now trains agents, is lured back into the field when one of his star pupils is kidnapped by an evil arms dealer named Davian (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman). How does a guy who studies traffic patterns for a living explain late night phone calls, then explain to his fiancée right after he hangs up the phone why he has to suddenly leave for 2 or 3 DAYS because there's an emergency in the traffic department?

The other major difference between this movie and the other two is that those movies actually had missions that were considered, well, impossible. This time round, there are 3 missions.. one in Germany which could be considered Mission: Easy, Penetrating the Vatican (Mission: Not so easy), and the last one that finally takes place in the last 45 minutes or so of the movie that even starts to come close to a Mission: Impossible. In between are the usual uninspired explosions, car chases, and other mindless loud stunt sequences that border on the edge of sensory overload, and are the usual staple of a sumer action movie.

There are quite a few problems I have with this movie..
1) You would think in this day and age, the tired "Secret Agent" genre could be given a fresh shot in the arm with everything thats happening in the world. There could be NEW villians to face now, what with the war on terror. M:I-III doesn't touch on any of this and plays it safe with a what is now a generic villain (Hoffman showed more of an evil nature playing Truman Capote than he does in this movie).

2) The overall problem I find with this entire franchise is Ethan Hunt. He has a private life now, but no personality. He's just one of those summer movie heros that is boring unless he's being chased, or leaping off tall buildings (not in a single bound, mind you.. that's coming June 30th.. but I'm getting ahead of myself). Unlike James Bond where we like the action, but we also admire his lifestyle.. The cars, the women, everything. For all we know Ethan Hunt drives a VW Beetle to work. Sure, it's great to see Ethan run (which he does a LOT of), but do you want to be like him?

So, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to sit through the first 85 minutes of this 130 minute movie to see the actual 45 minutes of a film that this movie should have been the enire running time.

M:I-III - C+