Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Movie Marathon

I haven't been quite up to leaving the house yet after surgery earlier in the week. This has translated to a crap-ton of TV and movie watching. And I have to say, I'm so thankful for the extended basic cable I was able to upgrade to earlier this year. It doesn't include all the pay channels, or even SyFy and BBC but it does include ion, USA, Comedy Channel and Cartoon Channel. So that's something.

This afternoon's fare has been a double header on ion. First up is the Ben Affleck/Uma Thurman science fiction flick, Paycheck (2003). It's apparently based on a Philip K. Dick short story of the same name, but clearly Hollywood had its way with yet another PKD story. Sigh. The premise was interesting:

Michael Jennings (Affleck) is a reverse engineer; for lucrative sums of money, he analyzes his clients' competitors' products and designs new versions that excel above and beyond the original's features. When he finishes the job, he undergoes a memory wipe with help from his friend. The memory wipe is achieved by computer technology able to scan one's brain and erase whatever must be erased. This ensures that the new product cannot be tracked back to the reverse engineering effort, thereby protecting his client's intellectual property.

But the movie falls short of the ambitious plot line. Shocking, I know. I feel like I'm saying/thinking this sentiment a lot lately, particularly in the science fiction genre. I'll see if I can dig up the thesaurus to put it a new way at some point.

I'm a sucker for sci-fi movies with a futuristic bent that are now 5+ years old. And I didn't hate the movie; granted, I'm still on post-surgical pain killers, so that's something but Paycheck amused me for a couple hours on the couch this sunny Saturday. Maybe a B-/C+?

Actually, this trailer sums up the entire movie pretty well:

Next up this afternoon is The Fifth Element, starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich (1997). I remember this move quite fondly, as it was a house favorite when it came out 10+ years ago now. Luc Besson directed the film, and used not only really great set designs (some of which were designed by legendary artist Moebius), but outrageous costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, and a dash of some good ol' fashioned slap stick humor.

Set during the 23rd century, the film's central plot involves the survival of humanity which becomes the duty of a taxi driver (and former special forces major) named Korben Dallas (Willis) when a young woman (Jovovich) falls into his taxicab. Upon learning of her significance, Korben must join efforts with the girl and a priest to recover four mystical stones which are key to defending Earth from an impending attack of pure evil and destruction. (via Wikipedia)

Gary Oldman is particularly fantastic as the villain Zorg. And this movie was my first introduction to Chris Tucker. Love him as Ruby Rhod. Not sure what happened to him...

The movie runs a little long, but it's so pretty!

Not sure I love this trailer, but you get the idea:

I wish I could find a good clip of the operatic piece that is included about half way through the movie. I don't typically care for such music, but I would love to see that production!

Not sure if it is just nostalgia but I still love this movie, and would give this at least a B+. The costumes get an A+ for sure.

Next up may need to be a re-viewing of Total Recall...

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