Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

We love thieves. Not some dude who breaks into your car or pulls a gun on you in a dark alley. Those guys suck. No, we love heist-pulling, safe cracking, masterminding, acrobatically flipping, car chasing thieves. You know, the kind that only exist in movies. They act a whole lot like Bond, all classy, sneaky, and above the law. But instead of saving the world they're sticking it to the man whilst serving themselves.

Ocean's Eleven was a great heist film. A big fancy pants cast with a nice elaborate heist and just the right amount of twists, all set to great music... what's there not to like?

Ocean's Twelve I didn't care for as much. It was fine, but it got a little too elaborate and twisty for my tastes. Plus it lost the unifying goal of nailing the casinos - a villain that we can all easily unite against.

Ocean's Thirteen is a return to the first movie. We're back in Vegas, although this time we're sticking it to Al Pacino instead of Andy Garcia. There are still twists, but not to the extent of "everything you saw in the last 30 minutes was a lie." The scale is much more reasonable… well except that whole business with the Chunnel drill. The result is that the film doesn't have a mega climax with everything is being turned on its head left and right. But I really don't have a problem with that, I love it when a plan comes together. Instead of being on the edge of your seat, Ocean's Thirteen is more like a laid back music video. Pleasant sights and sounds, not too much thinking, but satisfying.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Hot Fuzz

Created by the same people (and sharing some of the same cast) as Shaun of the Dead, I was totally excited for Hot Fuzz, even though I didn't know anything else about it. Which is dangerous, because coming into a movie with expectations of any kind is basically asking for trouble. But Hot Fuzz totally delivered, and is definitely the best movie I've caught in the theater in a long time.

Although Hot Fuzz covers different subject matter than Shaun of the Dead, they are very similar in that they succeed at both honoring and satirizing their respective genres. Just as Shaun of the Dead made a good zombie film, Hot Fuzz is a good action film. It makes good use of the same sort of rhythmic tension building transitions that Shaun had, and the action scenes are simultaneously awesome and hilarious. The characters also get a good amount of development, and are very different characters from Shaun, even though the actors are the same. It's a movie that manages to be many things, but the one thing that it never compromises on is being flat out fun. Seriously, it was awesome - go see it.

The movie was preceded by a trailer for another Simon Pegg movie. And although the trailer pretty much told me nothing, I'm already excited to see more.