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Posted on 4/02/07 08:45 PM
I'll admit it: I used to know John Woo only from his crappy American movies Mission Impossible II, Paycheck, and Windtalkers. Lots of slow motion, some motorcycles, lame stories, etc. Then tonight I watch Hard Boiled for the second time (the first one was on a crappy small TV), and it really opened my eyes to how gifted Woo really is. Yes, slow motion and motorcycles come into play, but the action is so relentless and creative you can forgive the slightly kooky plot.
To tell you the truth, the kooky plot serves the movie well. A secret high tech arms fortress under a hospital? It's such a delicious idea born out of James Bond movies. And the babies? Cornball and absolutely perfect. In a movie where hospital patients are gunned down by the dozens, saving a whole ward of babies is a nice counterpoint.
Wonderful movie. Now I must seek Woo's other Hong Kong heroic bloodshed movies.
Posted on 3/18/07 03:22 PM
Gerard Butler is one of those guys who I've always like, but who's movies aren't very good. Sure, Timeline and Phantom of the Opera are tiny guilty pleasures, but I've never walked away from a Gerard Butler movie and said "that was great." He deserves better material.
His latest, 300, is a pro-facist bluster-fest that hides under the guise of 'freedom fighter' flick. I might've admired it more if it stuck to its guns and showed the Spartans for what they really were, rather than the romanticized American Gladiators we got. The battle scenes are stale and antiseptic. Many limbs are hacked off and blood flies, but that blood disappears instead of splattering on the ground.
Sorry, Gerard. You'll always have your shot in The Trailer for the Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula.