Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Monday, June 19, 2006

Movie hat-trick....

This last weekend I was able to take the time to watch 3 new movies: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, A Scanner Darkly, and Nacho Libre.

First off, Tokyo Drift isn't as good as the previous two films in the series, let's just get that out of the way right now. Lucas Black, I was completely wrong about. He's not the new Paul Walker; he makes Paul Walker look like an elite thespian, someone like William Shatner or Ice Cube. To put it quite simply, he sucks.

There was stuff I did like about the movie. The cars were cool (of course), and I especially liked that the bad guys drove around in a pack of 350zs. The love interest in the film is quite hot, and she had a very-hot Australian accent. I liked the visuals of the film, but the CGI that was in it was pretty poor. There were a couple of scenes which were CGI-crap.

Sonny Chiba. Yes, The Street Fighter is in the film, and he's excellent as always. As for the oft-spoken of cameo, yeah it's in there, and it wasn't as cool as I thought it should be, but it was fun.

Overall, the film was a departure from the series. In the other movies you had very clear cut characters, who didn't need a lot of growth to be enjoyable, in this installment, you have a guy who has to learn and grow, and to be quite frank, it's stupid. There's also a scene with the love interest, who waxes poetic about her past and some other crap, all while drifting a curvy mountain road. I'd say that my money wasn't wasted, but Tokyo Drift isn't a movie I would run down the street screaming about.

As for A Scanner Darkly, I was able to take in the Seattle International Film Festival screening of it, which was very cool. As for the movie... "meh." That's about all I can say about it. I didn't take much away from the film. It's a very visual film, not just in the cell-shading technique they use to make the characters look animated, but the fact that everything is SHOWN to you, no thinking is needed. I was expecting something much more intelligent, and something with a bit more message. That being said, I really enjoyed Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr. in the film, they were both great. Keanu was Keanu, and Winona Ryder was basically Katie Holmes in Batman Begins. You should see the movie, but I'd catch a matinee, and don't expect too much.

Naaachhhhoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! To be quite blunt, Nacho Libre was dumb. And by "dumb" I mean, not intelligent. I actually kind of liked the movie, but I didn't think that it was great. Not having seen Napoleon Dynamite (in fact, I avoid it), I won't make comparisons to that film. I can say that I was very much reminded of Wes Anderson and his style while watching Nacho Libre, and that's not a bad thing. I thought there was some great use of color, and I liked the color palette. There were some very funny scenes, and there were some scenes which were supposed to be funny, and had many people in the theater laughing, but weren't enough for me. Again, I didn't feel ripped off seeing this film (which has become very rare for Hollywood films), but I can't give it a whole-hearted recommendation. The movie wouldn't be a bad way to kill an afternoon.

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