Tim,'s Review of Armour of God (Long xiong hu di) (Operation Condor 2)
Well, in the time since I wrote my last entry, Beth has taken a break, and then come back from her break. Which is probably a sign that I'm not writing entries frequently enough.
Part of it is that US elections just depress me to no end these days. I don't want to go into a big rant... but I'll just say that if democracy is supposed to be electing a government that enacts the will of the people, then democracy in the US (and to a lesser extent Australia) is severely broken.
On to more frivolous stuff....
You might remember that I confessed that broke my toe trying to learn the model walk. That's not actually true. It was a coverup. I actually broke my toe helping Audubon practice his kung fu. He threw me halfway across the room, and the toe just snapped.
Here he is in his ready position:
Actually, I figured that the best way to take my mind off my toe was to watch Jackie Chan break multiple bones. So I rented the Armour of God, the movie he made in 1986 where he almost died. He jumped onto a tree, the branch broke, he fell about 20 feet and hit his head on a rock. Yikes! If you live in the US and want to see this for yourself, it's complicated. He made Armour of God, and it did pretty well. So he made a sequel called, oddly, Armour of God 2. Both made tons of money in Asia, contributing to Miramax finally deciding to release a whole bunch of his movies in the US. So they released Armour of God 2 first, and called it Operation Condor. I think they called it that because in both movies Jackie is the 'Asian Hawk' and they're not so good with the ornithology. Anyway, after that did ok, they released the original movie as a [i]sequel [/i](I'm sorry I don't have a diagram to help explain this), and called it Operation Condor 2 - The Armour of the Gods.
In any case, the movie isn't that great. The action sequences are all pretty excellent, but the plot is stupid in the extreme. And the comic bits are only mildly amusing. I love Chan's earlier HK movies, but I wouldn't rank this among his better ones. However, as usual with his movies, watching him breaking bones in the outtakes that run with the credits is astonishing. And it certainly was enough to get my mind off my toe. And me and Audubon learned a few more moves we can practice...
The Devil Wears Prada was very good. It almost made me wish that I [i]could[/i] learn to do the model walk. The plot is nothing new, but the performances are quite good. Meryl Streep in particular is just awesome. She gives a character that could have been very one dimensional an amazing amount of depth. Which must give Lauren Weisberger (the woman that wrote the book) fits, since apparently that was meant to be revenge on Anna Wintour the editor of Vogue, who was Weisberger's boss for a while. Anne Hathaway plays the Weisberger stand-in, and she's actually a bit of a drip. A gorgeous drip, but still.... (note to movie people - giving Anne Hathaway a bad hair cut does not make her ugly - so please stop pretending that it does). And the movie makes at least one very good point - if Streep's character were a man, no one would say much of anything about her habit's as a boss.
I thought the ending was a massive cop out. But up until then the movie is good fun. And Streep is awesome.
The Naked Killer doesn't really have enough nakedness or killing.
Chingmy Yau is absolutely gorgeous as the insufficiently naked killer. And she actually gives the best performance in the movie as well. She makes it worth watching, but it's not a great movie.
Waiting... isn't very good either. It would be much better with a whole lot more Anna Faris and a whole lot less Ryan Reynolds. The bit where she gives him a lecture on his shortcomings as a boyfriend is the funniest part of the movie, by far.
In a lot of ways, it is a missed opportunity. As many western economies are shifting from being based on reasonably well paid manufacturing jobs to a basis in less well paid often temporary service work, there is a huge opportunity to look at the effect that this has on people in their early 20s as they enter the workforce. You could probably even make a pretty comedy out of it.
But waiting focuses a lot more on 'humour' that makes American Pie look like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in terms of sophistication. Some of the dialog is pretty funny, but in the end, the movie is pretty lousy.
Ok, I'm off to practice some more with Audubon. I'll try to be more careful this time...