Monday, June 28, 2004

"America is Closed"

I saw a few movies this weekend (well two). Yesterday I saw The Terminal with Tom Hanks. I hope he wins an award for this one, it was great. But I don't think it's doing as well as it should at the Box Office because so many Americans don't really understand what it's like to be in a foreign airport where not only do you not speak the language, but you can't even read the signs (the alphabet is totally different) and everyone is in a tremendous hurry. Stanley Tucci doesn't even look like himself without hair but he was as fabulous as the rest of the cast. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the woman most geek men have met who likes real people, men who aren't phony good looking liars, but who is hopelessly addicted to them and even when presented with a nice guy she knows she could fall in love with, can't extract herself from her habits to give it a go. And Tom Hanks is great, even if the role could have been given to a slavik or Russian actor. His speech manerisms are as close to slavik as I've heard (and I've met a few Russians, including two Ukranians who work with me), his other mannerisms are great and it's a wonderful story. Go see it.

On Saturday I went (not bothering to call people and ask who wanted to go since the last two times it didn't work out and I ended up not going myself) to see The Chronicles of Riddick. I enjoyed it, as I knew I would, and I could see all kinds of nods and homages to assorted films. Conan the Barbarian, the first one (Pitch Black which is understandable) and others that I can't bring to mind. It was very sci-fi/gothic looking and reminded me of Warhammer 40k. The look of the armor, the buildings, some of the weapons. It had a good deal more gritty flavor but I can see how it might be hard sometimes to convey that in a minatures game. I could identify conflicts and I started thinking about some of my lit classes way back when. Man against Nature, Man against Man (of course in this kind of film). Not so much Man against Himself but there was a lot of that in the first film where we see the character the first time and we know he's tortured (and we've heard Vin Diesel talk about Riddick being the Anti-Hero enough!). But I thought there was another kind of conflict and couldn't remember what it was. Ah well, have to talk to Jack or Mary, they should know.


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