Sonic Rob: also, I had a dream last night that we were in a Saw movie and I got you killed Sonic Rob: in a giant bread maker Sig Fem Seks: Not again Sonic Rob: whoa Sonic Rob: that’s what you said in the dream Sonic Rob: the great bit was, after I watched you die horribly in a giant kneading machine Sonic Rob: and then found your body, torn apart, sealed in lucite, and strangely beardless Sonic Rob: we all left the theater and you were like “man, that was the worst acting role I’ve ever had. they got me to be in that film under FALSE PRETENSES.” Sig Fem Seks: ??? Sonic Rob: well, you didn’t explain any further Sig Fem Seks: … Sig Fem Seks: ?????
Note: This Chat occurred on March 2, 2012, two months before we saw The Avengers.
FyreHaar: Avengers FyreHaar: is it gonna be good? SonicRob: it will be ok SonicRob: it looks weirdly small SonicRob: Avengers fight in a forest SonicRob: Avengers fight in one city block of NY SonicRob: it doesn’t look cosmic enough FyreHaar: so it’s told from Capt America’s POV SonicRob: and it is Joss Whedon FyreHaar: yeah FyreHaar: Joss has a lot of credit with me SonicRob: he doesn’t really do cosmic too often FyreHaar: he focuses on personal stories SonicRob: yeah FyreHaar: so he’s doing what he is good at SonicRob: maybe he wrote a movie where 6 superheroes hang out at a diner
Sonic Rob: I was listening to a podcast Sonic Rob: Ash Bursh was saying there is feminist film crit about how Uma Thurman has to use a sword/phallus and dress like a man in Kill Bill Sonic Rob: and I was thinking Sonic Rob: at the end she is dressed like a woman and she beats him by catching his sword in her sheath Sonic Rob: which is pretty goddamned vaginal FyreHaar: you know I never saw Part II, right? Sonic Rob: fuck you, spoiler statute of limitations is up FyreHaar: or you do now Sonic Rob: it’s been like 8 years FyreHaar: oh, I’m not complaining about the spoiler FyreHaar: and yes it’s extremely vaginal FyreHaar: as if to truly overthrow the masculine enemy she must stop using that enemies tools and tactics FyreHaar: and embrace her essential femininity Sonic Rob: well, then she punches him to death
Fyrehaar: dude Fyrehaar: reviews of Dragon tattoo Fyrehaar: that it is shallow Fyrehaar: no connection to the characters Fyrehaar: like, it looks good Fyrehaar: but that is it Sonic Rob: SF Gate review has massive, massive fucking spoilers Sonic Rob: I get why, cause otherwise it’s so shocking you’ll fucking die Sonic Rob: but goddammit, you can’t do that shit Fyrehaar: they just assume everyone has read it Fyrehaar: I feel like a lot of people who read the book didn’t get it at all Continue reading Chat Box: Now With SPOILERS
FyreHaar: oh god, did you see the three musketeers trailer? Sonic Rob: a while ago I saw one FyreHaar: see the new one FyreHaar: don’t be drinking anything FyreHaar: I am all for putting a fresh spin on classic tales FyreHaar: but this is just whack Sonic Rob: orly? FyreHaar: two words, straight from the pit of hell FyreHaar: steam FyreHaar: punk Sonic Rob: oh dear =( Continue reading Trailer Trash: Three Musketeers
FyreHaar: have you seen? Sonic Rob: I have seen True Grit Sonic Rob: ‘twas truly gritty FyreHaar: I know that some reviews have found it stilted because of the oddly formal language FyreHaar: but having seen “The Civil War” I know people talked like that Sonic Rob: It’s a Coen Bros movie. Ergo, everyone talks funny FyreHaar: I thought it set a tone FyreHaar: it wasn’t distracting Sonic Rob: Jeff Bridges’ toothless mumble, however… Sonic Rob: so distracting FyreHaar: really? FyreHaar: I thought he was jus hella actressin FyreHaar: His lack of clarity made me want to watch the movie at home FyreHaar: so I could listen more carefully Sonic Rob: uh Sonic Rob: I don’t know if that is a plus Sonic Rob: but I spose it will move DVDs Sonic Rob: “Now with Cogtitles for the mumbley impaired” FyreHaar: Did you enjoy it? Sonic Rob: I did. It was a good western. Sonic Rob: I liked that the bad guys were not black-and-white evil Sonic Rob: you felt for them a bit Sonic Rob: but not enough to make you feel bad about the good guys shooting them Sonic Rob: just enough to enjoy the time spent with them Sonic Rob: btw, Christoph Waltz is the best part of Green Hornet Sonic Rob: for the same reason Sonic Rob: he just exceeds expectations FyreHaar: it took me quite a while to realize that Lucky Ned was Barry Pepper FyreHaar: he was really good Sonic Rob: I don’t know him from anywhere, so it was no big deal for me Sonic Rob: The Baker was excited FyreHaar: saving private ryan FyreHaar: he was the sniper Sonic Rob: /shrug FyreHaar: 66* FyreHaar: he was mickey mantle Sonic Rob: I remember what he did, but nothing really about the actor FyreHaar: anyways… FyreHaar: I also enjoyed it FyreHaar: it was very pleasing and satisfying FyreHaar: I cried FyreHaar: I laughed FyreHaar: I felt gritty Sonic Rob: The Baker’s brother was the one who pushed for us to go Sonic Rob: he fell asleep 15 minutes in Sonic Rob: I think he was expecting Tombstone FyreHaar: what? Sonic Rob: he was bored FyreHaar: that is weak FyreHaar: it was awesome from the get go! Sonic Rob: the film is not for everyone FyreHaar: grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr FyreHaar: he did not abide Sonic Rob: I think if you go expecting O Brother Who Shot Thou rather than Die Hard 5: It’s Very Dusty you will be ok
The Warrior’s Way is best thought of as a live-action anime; the characters, action, and plot would all be completely at home in something like Samurai Champloo or Gungrave. In that respect it joins other live-action cowboys ‘n’ samurai adventure films such as Sukiyaki Western Django and The Good, the Bad, the Weird, both of which featured cartoonish characters and plots. The Warrior’s Way to takes the animated aesthetic to a higher level than those other two thanks to a near-constant reliance on computer-generated effects, green-screen scenery, and anime-esque action choreography; it’s also strongly reminiscent of the Star Wars prequels, at least as far as the “feel” of the picture goes. There are times, as in a fight lit only by staccato machine gun fire, where the computer-drawn vibe works out beautifully, but for the most part it has the lightweight plastic feel we’ve come to expect from movies with too much CG and not enough of anything else.
The performances are all over the board. Dong-gun Jang as good guy ninja Yang (and I had to imdb that, because I’m pretty sure nobody calls him that in the course of the movie) is impassive to the point of being inert. Geoffrey Rush makes a glorified cameo that’s completely oversold by the trailers, but spends the time he has well. Perennial “oh yeah it’s that guy” actor Danny Huston has a nicely reptilian turn as an impossibly evil army Colonel gone bandit, and Tony Cox continues to prove that you don’t need to be able to act as long as you’re a midget. Special awful credit goes to Kate Bosworth for channeling Toy Story’s Cowgirl Jessie in her portrayal of a knife-flinging rape survivor. It’s as inappropriate and ludicrous as it sounds.
All of this is tangential to the action, really, and it’s not bad. The film starts off strong with a healthy dose of Lone Wolf & Cub-style ninja/baby insanity, but goes largely talky for its second act. Once the training montages begin in earnest and the bandits start getting ready to ride into town, things pick up quite a bit. The last 20 minutes or so are a pretty constant parade of ninja/cowboy throwdowns. The Warrior’s Way is on the cusp of having not quite enough ninja goodness going on – it doesn’t top last year’s ninja champ, Ninja Assassin – but what it has is pretty high quality, especially if you dig the more cartoony vision of, say, Ninja Scroll.