November 18, 2012
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“Flight” is a intriguing character study about a man who needed to hit bottom before he could reach the top.
Can we just give Denzel Washington the Oscar already? His performance in Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” is not only brilliant, but nuanced and daring. Washington, unlike many actors (such as Tom Cruise) is not afraid to be unattractive, either as a person, or physically (that hospital robe shot was not something that I would ever ask for).
It’s that daring that will probably guarantee him an Academy Award. And if John Goodman isn’t there for Best Supporting Actor, then something is wrong with the universe because, between “Flight” and “Argo, “ the man definitely deserves an acknowledgement of his interesting and varied work.
“Flight” lasts a bit over two hours, but the time passes relatively briskly. Denzel Washington is virtually on screen about 90% of the time, but his performance is such that you never grow tired of seeing him, despite that he plays a character that is so vain, so confident in his abilities that nothing matters to him–not his family, not the people in his care as a pilot, not his friends–matter as much as his next drink.
May 29, 2012
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Paul Verhoeven‘s “Starship Troopers” may not have been that faithful to Robert Heinlein‘s novel, but then again, I have never been much of a fan of Heinlein’s writing, so it’s all good. For my money Verhoeven is in the same company as David Cronenberg, or (lately), Don Coscarelli, in that just about everything they do may not be a favorite, though it’s going to be interesting.
There have been two sequels, “Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation,” and “Starship Troopers 3: Marauder,” and despite having the involvement of Ed Neumeier–who wrote the screenplay for the first film and the second, while directing and writing the third–neither sequel was that entertaining.
So, imagine my surprise to learn that there will be a forth film, “Starship Troopers: Invasion,” though this time they will be going with CGI, instead of live actors. I have to say that that computer graphics better evokes the look of Paul Verhoeven’s original than either the second or third sequel, which has a lot to do with the fact that it’s relatively less expensive to create such effects in such an environment, as opposed with models, which was done extensively in the first film.
Sure, the faces of the computer-generated characters looks kinda dead (not unusual, though Peter Travers, the film critic from Rolling Stone magazine, can probably explain it better), but the spaceships and tech look just like those in the first film, so that makes it at least worth a look.