Saturday, February 02, 2008

2 movies. I watched The Last Samurai in sort of mode last week, abed and sick. I efeffed (fast forwarded) thru the boring parts, and was somewhat brain-wonky thru out. which is perfect, it's a Tom Cruise movie. I don't get the TC appeal. the young TC looked like 2nd rate high school jock/jerk, a flinch of recognition that stays with him even now. the scientological silliness that surrounds him now doesn't help. as an actor, he's overly conscious. this was evident in the 1st scene. he's supposed to be drunk, and a renegade, and what all. the great Viggo plays just about the same scene in Hidalgo, which comes across with more resonance than TC manages. whatever. the reason I, a person of consummate taste, would watch this flick is the samurai milieu. I saw the last part of the movie last year when Erin was hospitalized. so okay, plotwise, Tom's a vet of Gettysburg and was a member of the 7th Cavalry, except he did not seem to have been at Little Big Horn, lucky him. now's he's hired to train Japanese troops, to fight the reactionary samurai rebels. at this point the movie steals wholesale from the movie Glory. the green troops are not up to snuff, as TC trains them. in their 1st action, they look into a foggy woods to see wild-looking samurai on horseback, yipes. slaughter slaughter slaughter, all die except for killing machine Tom. the samurai rebels take Tom and, in a way that I didn't comprehend, Tom joins them. the usual scenes ensue. cue Cool Hand Luke, Tom's a rebel himself, and he won't quit. lots of fun looking sword play, with the emotional content of a video game. Tom = implausible, for those keeping score. the big battle scene comes straight from Braveheart. the plucky samurai face off against imperial forces. historically, the imperial forces had something like 6000 troops, and the samurai rebels 300. the samurai rig the battlefield for a devastating surprise for the imperial troops. I wonder if that really happened, just as I wonder if the Scots set up the battlefield like in Braveheart. the samurai really did rout the imperial troops for a while, but then they chose a charge of the light brigade assault, swords versus cannon, that done nothing good for the rebels. only TC survived. oh, don't forget the sensual intercourse scene. TC, prior to this battle, becomes best friends with a female that was, you know, there. the camera scans his iconic Hollywood skin and disinterest as the female person basks in that. I guess you can call that sex. it is, at least, if you are worrying about Xenu and the Galactic Confederacy. the movie looked quite grand, sweeping vistas of Japan, etc, but Tom Cruise is a vortex of dull.

movie 2. Harry Potter and whatever, the 5th movie. I haven't read the Pothead books, only seen the 1st movie. the 5th looked good enough, they keep the scale fantastic. it feels like the story line is straining to stay on topic. you go the larger story, with Harry inexorably moving towards a showdown with the evil Mallomar. the private school hijinx is tired. I wonder how the books go. I'm not agin reading them, just am not in a novel mode currently.
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