Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood is an old, cynical man. Don't expect this to be a happy movie. And if you walk in wanting this to be about the fighter, you'll likely be disappointed. Swank does a great job, but this is definately about the old guys and their issues.
The first 3/4 are pretty good, and it wins for the best line I've heard delivered by a priest this year: "There are no demigods, you fucking pagan!"
Swank wasn't bad, but she's no Michelle Rodreguiz. Maybe it was all that smiling she does. I don't know. She just wasn't scary in the ring. And even though they play her white trash, which is cool (I have a fondness for white trash characters, being not so far removed from white trash myself), I just didn't get that she wanted it bad enough. But then, in the end, the movie wasn't so much a happy underdog story, so...
And you know, any movie that ends up turning a strong fighting woman into a vegetable through marriage malaise/abusive relationship/or accident just isn't going to be something I want to pick up on DVD. Granted, I don't think I'd enjoy watching a male protagonist get turned into a vegetable either.
Leave at the beginning of the third round with the female prostitute. Trust me.
To be fair, it's a movie more about choosing how you live and how you die, and it had a bit to say about it, stuff I agree with. But that wasn't the movie I wanted to watch.
It shoved in some fun fights, though, before it all went to hell.
House of Flying Daggers
Beautiful people. Beautiful scenery. Beautiful clothes. Sweet-ass fantasy fight scenes, with lots of projectiles.
Zhang Ziyi of Crounching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, who's a dancer by training, gets to do some dancing in this one, which is cool. They're Tiger-like fight scenes, lots of flying shit, a brothel, enough turncoats & backstabbing for three movies, a number of scenes where people are rolling around in the grass half naked, and some really cooly dressed female guerilla fighters with neat hats.
Oh, and there's this great love triangle scene at the end, with lots of blood and snow.
In proper Chinese-romance-movie fashion, everyone dies at the end.
Tiger is still better, though.
Saturday, December 18, 2004