This weekend I had the immense pleasure of watching all three extant John Wick movies. Part of the pleasure was watching them over the course of only two evenings. While the first film, in multiple ways, stands alone, the latter two (and presumably chapter four coming out next year) tell a single story.
If you like gun fu action thrillers and somehow haven’t seen these, you’ve missed something rather special. The attention to detail, the tactical reality of the fight scenes, and a whole lot more, place these movies, especially the first, among the best of their kind.
They’re a wonderful contrast to what movies seem to have turned into.
12 Comments | tags: assassin movies, John Wick, Keanu Reeves, Quentin Tarantino, The Matrix, Tom Cruise | posted in Movies
For this Mystery Monday I want to tell you about a great American writer whose name you might not know: Elmore Leonard (1925–2013). As with Philip K. Dick, another great American writer, it’s quite possible you’ve seen a movie based on his work without realizing it. In fact, Elmore Leonard gives Stephen King a run for the money when it comes to works adapted to film.
Two of my very favorite films, Get Shorty (1995) and Jackie Brown (1997), are adaptations of Leonard’s novels. The former is the second film that restarted John Travolta’s career, and many believe the success of the film greatly depends on the source material (I quite agree).
If you like crime fiction, you definitely want to get into Elmore Leonard.
1 Comment | tags: Be Cool, Elmore Leonard, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Philip K. Dick, Quentin Tarantino, Rum Punch, The Big Bounce, Uma Thurman | posted in Books, Movies, Mystery Monday
The thing about climbing up sand dunes is that you keep sliding downwards. If you slide downward one step for every step you take upwards, you stay in place and get nowhere. Worse, if you slide two steps down for every step up, you go backwards!
To climb a sand dune successfully, you have to take more steps upwards than you slide downwards. I’ve climbed sand dunes; it’s hard; it takes effort (or a dune buggy).
The thing about social progress is that, without real effort towards moving upwards, society tends to slide backwards. Or just stay in place.
7 Comments | tags: dialectic, gun control, gun debate, gun laws, gun ownership, guns, movie violence, President Obama, Quentin Tarantino, rhetoric, The Dark Knight Returns, TV violence, violence, violence in movies, violent society | posted in Politics, Rant
If “we are what we eat,” then what about what we consume with our minds? If the food we eat becomes the substance of our muscles and bones, doesn’t the information we absorb become the substance of our thoughts and emotions? We understand that it’s not healthy to live on junk food alone; do we have a similar sense regarding our mental health?
I think a lot about the media content we absorb so casually day in and day out. In the last three or four decades, we seem to have come to an ugly, unfortunate place for entertainment dining. Our diet now is rich in violence and sexuality, and it’s served in a visceral emotional stew of force and conflict.
I think it’s disturbing, especially considering how few seem disturbed by it!
14 Comments | tags: Ali Larter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brian Dennehy, CSI, F/X (movie), F/X2 (movie), Final Destination, movie violence, Quentin Tarantino, Sherlock Holmes, Total Recall, TV violence, violence, violence in movies | posted in Life, Movies, TV
I’ve written several times about the many places we see the idea of a Yin and Yang duality played out in the real world. Even the application of the Yin and Yang concept has a Yin (of true opposites) and a Yang (of thing and not-thing). For example, the opposite of light is not-light, but the opposite of positive is negative.
One of the true opposites is the idea of analog versus digital or, more generally, of continuous versus uneven. Recently I was thinking about the differences between various sports, and I realized there’s a connection to the “smooth or bumpy” distinction I wrote about a while back. Looked at in terms of play, some sports are essentially continuous while others are not.
It turns out that some sports are “analog” while others are “digital.”
6 Comments | tags: Alfred Hitchcock, analog, basketball, continuous, digital, discrete, football, hockey, MacGuffin, Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino, sports, team sports, tennis, Yin and Yang | posted in Baseball
Milla Jovovitch, I’m sorry, I loved you long time, and it’s not over (I’ll keep buying Resident Evil movies as long as you make them), but Michelle Rodriguez just stole your crown in my heart for most beautiful kickass woman in the world. I’m afraid you’re now number two.
Michelle Rogriguez! We’re talking baying-at-the-moon beautiful! We’re talking bullet in the eye beautiful! I’ve liked her since her appearance as Rain Ocampo in (coincidence alert) the first Resident Evil movie in 2002. This was only two years after her first film, Girlfight in 2000. Since that time, she’s proven to be a major star (and apparently quite a handful). She’s been in several of the Fast & Furious movies, and many know her from Lost (a series I avoided like the plague—I’m allergic to trendy)
What can I say, I like a woman with some attitude.
9 Comments | tags: El Mariachi (film), Machete (film), Michelle Rodriguez, Milla Jovovich, Quentin Tarantino, Resident Evil (film), Robert Rodriguez | posted in Movies