Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Movie Night ---

I'm slightly concerned about reviewing any movie. You might read my review and decide that the movie is worth seeing, see it and decide that I'm nuts. I've done that with a review - once. I went to see "Minority Report". To say I didn't like it would be an understatement.

What would cause my reservation in talking about a movie would be one of the movies I've talked about in the past. The movie, by name, would be "Jumper". I remember walking out of the theater, thinking that it would make a tremendous TV show. A TV Show along the same line as "Highlander".

And then I read the book.

The book of "Jumper" had nothing to do with bad guys on a religious vendetta against "jumpers". It was a book about a kid who was abused in every way by his dad, who was nearly raped by a gang of truckers who preyed on runaways and who, in the midst of the terror of the moment - Jumps to another location.

I had to force myself to finish the book - it really had no redeeming plot line. I guess if the author had taken the character to a sequel, we might see him over come his abuse. But as the book ends, he's still perpetually the victim. I wanted to strangle the book! The book was an overwhelming case study on people trying to "overcome" on their own. It was depressing. RARELY, is a book worse than the movie. I can count on one hand those instances where the movie was better. Jumper would be one of them.

So it is with some trepidation that I tell you about tonight's movie night.
Uncle Kicks-butt and I took mom out - she needed a night out. She'd been taking care of my kids while I was having the odd knee therapy and taking care of my grandparents, who are just odd.

The movie I saw tonight was "The International". IMDB actually had someone submit the entire plot line here. Here is the cast and crew information.

The movie starts off great!!

We are instantly dropped off in the middle of a clandestine meeting in a car between two men. One who is "more comfortable being tense" and another who dies in 5 minutes. We are then introduced to Clive Owen's character, Salinger, who is an agent with Interpol.

And he gets bonked in the head by the mirror of an oncoming bus.

Great! We're right in the middle of it!!

Uncle Kicks-butt said, as we were leaving, "It didn't have a lot of action - but it had a lot of intense talking." and that's pretty much the crux of it.

It's really a drama. And not an action movie.

It's a bout a big bank - IBBC - that is creating it's business in the selling and distributing of small weaponry. We find out that it's really not about controlling the war, it's about controlling the debt.

(I'm totally sure that Dave Ramsey could make a lesson out of this theory. It would make a good study on indebtedness, I'm sure. )

This IBBC is run by, presumably 4 or 5 people, with one main boss - Skarssen - running the whole show. Everyone that has ever spoken against IBBC had died or disappeared. So Agent Salinger is feeling pressed to get to the answers. He's working with a Eleanor Whitman, who is also feeling the press to find answers after her partner was killed in the first 5 minutes of the movie.

The cast is pretty solid in the movie. A lot of character actors fill in the movie nicely. The only serious action (GUN FIGHT!!) takes place in the Guggenheim, of all places. The movie is quite complex and we're never sure if Salinger is going to get to the bottom (or top) of the banking issue.

They have finally "caught" a lead. The IBBC hierarchy had a consultant by Name of Wexler. Wexler had hired a "Consultant" -- who was never named - but was a competent assassin. When the assassin is gunned down at the museum, Wexler is held for questioning. It was really just a lucky set of circumstances.

This is the telling moment in the movie, actually.
One thing Wexler said really jumped out at me -- "Character is more easily kept, than reclaimed". He wasn't sure he could redeem himself after he had "Sold out" his ideals. Salinger convinces him to try. But to do this, Wexler explains, they have to go outside of the "Justice system" to take down this dragon of an organization. Because everyone is involved.

That all didn't bother me - I was still trying to get into the movie as a spy flick.
I was holding out and hoping for some James Bond kind of retribution. Sadly, it never came.

I was disappointed with what did come.
The ending killed the movie for me.
We're cheering on Salinger - who is trying to get justice!!
He's face to face with the bad guy, Skarssen and demands Justice!
Skarssen scoffs at him - If you kill me, another banker will take my place!!

Salinger holds the gun at him and ....

**** SPOILER ****
Someone else shoots Skarssen.

The credits roll with Salinger just standing there looking at the dead body.
There were five of us in the theater last night, and we chuckled at the way Skarssen died. (You don't mess with the Italians.) But Salinger is just standing there with a "now what?" look on his face. Newspaper clips roll across the screen showing us that Skarssen was right, someone else got his job.

I really don't like movies that fail to give me a good solid end.
Salinger should have gotten resolution. He'd pushed himself through the entire movie just for ... nothing.

The movie sort of reminds me of "Shooter", which was a total knock off of the Bourne Series.
The comparison comes in the form of the big "organization" that runs everything
...and the one guy that sees the problem but is helpless to do anything about it.

I really wished James Bond would come along and blow something up.

The International was well acted.
I believed Clive Owen to be the driven character he was portraying.
It had bright moments... mainly with the stellar supporting cast.

It had no nudity, no torture, some blood oozing or gushing out of bullet wounds - mostly in the Guggenheim (odd place, certainly) and only a few "f" words.

If the Professor wants to see it, I'll rent it for him when it becomes available.
If you want to see it, I suggest you do the same.
Or go watch Bourne or Bond.
They always get the bad guy.


Mother Mayhem said...

I'll stick with Bond. James Bond.

Classic MaMa said...

I LOVE the way you review movies. I'm laughing at your James Bond bit. :)

The only movie I can review right now is Toy Story because Bubba's been watching that ALL WEEK. The funny thing is, Bubba has his own script. Everytime Buzz tries to fly Bubba says, "Oh no, Buzz. Don't fly" and every time Sid is seen, Bubba says, "Oh man. Sid. Not nice." It's definately better thant he movie. ;)

Peculiar Blogs said...

I LOVED Minority Report! HEHEHEHE

jugglingpaynes said...

I agree with Classic MaMa. I love the way you review movies too. :o)

It takes a lot to get me into a theater these days. It just costs too much. A lot of times I don't even want to waste time with the video unless I'm sure I'll like it. Too much to do, I guess...

Oh, and I'm so impressed that you get to see "grown up" movies. I can't remember the last time I saw a grown up movie! Maybe I'll set aside some time for Jumper.

Peace and Laughter!

Jessica said...

I am friend of th gangs all here. Love your blog.

Growin' with it! said...

what a great film critic you are! i saw this one and agree!!!