Saturday, January 19, 2008


No, I'm not ranting about the war in Iraq. Although I could, have, and will again.

No, this is the movie War starring Jason Statham (Snatch, The Transporter) and Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4, The One) as gun-toting, fist-fighting, martial arts madmen.

War starts out fairly typical for an action movie. Statham's partner in the FBI is killed by Li's character, and Statham becomes obsessed by hunting down Li to take revenge. Li goes about starting a gang war (hence the title) between the Triad and Yakuza while Statham kicks everyones' asses to get to Li.

Taken as a standard, brainless martial arts action movie, War is actually very cool right up until the last few minutes when it tries to pull off a plot twist of JJ Abrams proportions, and fails miserably. I guess it's the "in" thing now to do a good movie and then ruin it at the last minute with a shitty ending. (Thank you, Martin Scorsese, for setting this precedent with your award winning, stupid as shit ending in The Departed.)

If you like watching two guy kick ass, blow things up, and shoot the hell out of a town, War is a good way to waste and hour and a half of your life. Just ignore the ending.

Speaking of Sunshine

I was reading a review from a supposedly intelligent sci-fi fan on Netflix. They thought the view of Mars was spectacular.

Really? Mars? Going from Earth to the Sun takes you past Mars?

Mercury, people. Mercury is on the way to the Sun. I know it starts with the same letter, but come on. They teach you this shit in what, 2nd grade?


I bought this movie for two reasons: I love science-fiction, and I liked 28 Days Later a lot. Sunshine was directed by Danny Boyle (Not Mr. Doyle, as the New York Times would erroneously have us believe.), who directed 28 Days Later.

I was very disappointed by Sunshine. Sci-fi and Danny Boyle didn't quite make up for the film's shortcomings.

  • For the first half of the film, we are treated to science-fiction. Inexplicably, the film tries to be sci-fi horror in the second half, and fails miserably. It's not scary, it just becomes stupid.
  • We're led to believe that the crew started out expecting to complete the mission and return home. It quickly becomes apparent that the ship was ill-designed to survive after completing its mission. You'd think that a crew full of the supposed "best and brightest" would have seen the design flaws.
  • Speaking of the ship and design flaws, not only was it not designed to survive after completing the mission, but it seemed designed to fail to complete the mission in the first place. No redundant systems, fragile equipment, only one airlock, etc. The last, best hope for humanity? You guys might as well phone home and tell them they are fucked. "Sorry people, humanity gave its best, and it was pretty bad. Might as well just kill yourselves now."

The cinamatography was brilliant, the visual effects were cool (except the goofy attempt at horror with a shaky, blurry camera), and the acting was good, but it just couldn't save the film from the poorly thought out plot and the stupid ending.