Atomic Blonde

Jason Bourne can just sit the fuck down. I’m not gonna say Atomic Blonde is a great movie. We could argue all day about that. I am gonna say it’s one of the better movies I’ve seen in a long time. Boy, oh boy… where to begin?

I’ve heard critics say there was no story. Well, if you need a story, take my library card and go check out Great Expectations. If you want an entertaining movie, look no further.

Now let’s talk about action. I thought the fight sequences in Atomic Blonde were as good (better?) as anything since the first Bourne movie. Remember the fight scene in Kill Bill: Vol.1 between Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah (in Michael Madsen’s mobile home)? And the scene where James Gandolfini kicks the living shit out of Patricia Arquette in True Romance? Every fight scene in Atomic Blonde was at the level or a smidgen above.

You might not have noticed but after a long, protracted fight scene, male stars might have a cut lip and be breathing hard. Charlize Theron LOOKED and ACTED like she’d been in a brawl. And during the brawl? Grunting and screaming and gasping. I mean, you were _there_! Oh yeah. I’ll bet there was a half gallon of fake blood splashed on the camera lens during these scenes. And watch for the quick POV (point of view) camera shots.

What else? The sound track! Best I’ve heard in awhile. Every cut worked.

And last but not least… girl-on-girl sex. That’s become standard far in these liberated times. Every action movies needs some hot lesbians. Was Charlize Theron’s character a lesbian? Don’t know. But there was a 20 second scene that was so hot they should have handed out welder’s goggles as you entered the theater.

I was expecting a cartoon but got way more with this movie.

Tired: Ethan Hunt, James Bond, Jason Bourne
Wired: Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde

No more car chase movies?

Everything I’ve read to date about autonomous vehicles has led me to believe this technology is inevitable. Not if, just when. But something (finally?) occurred to me a couple of days ago that has me reconsidering. This would mean the end of car chases in movies, wouldn’t it? The horror! Think of all the great car chases in the last fifty years.

“The consensus among historians and film critics is that the first modern car chase movie was 1968’s Bullitt. The revolutionary 10-minute-long chase scene in Bullitt was far longer and far faster than what had gone before, and placed cameras so that the audience felt as though they were inside the cars.” (Wikipedia)

Terminator, French Connection, The Blues Brothers, To Live and Die in L.A., The Bourne Identity, The Italian Job, Mad Max: Road Warrior (okay, we’d probably still have that), Vanishing Point, The Matrix Reloaded (will we have autonomous motorcycles?). And the list goes on and on.

You’re gonna tell me it will drone chases or something like those vertical “highways” in Minority report or The Fifth Element but, man, it won’t be the same. Is it too late to stop this train?

Arrival


“Arrival” is a science-fiction parable in a distinctly more idealistic hopeful key than most movies in this genre, one in which the best solutions don’t necessarily materialize in a gun sight. It has a little action, a bit of violence and clenched-jawed jittery men. Mostly, it has ideas and hope, as well as eerie extraterrestrials who face off with a soulful linguist-heroine, Louise Banks (Amy Adams), the story’s voice of reason and its translator. She’s thoughtful, serious, at ease with her own silence and fears.New York Times; The Atlantic review; Time review

Good movie. Don’t think it will do well at the box office because there was no car chase and you have to entertain the idea that time is nonlinear. But my kind of alien flick.

The Cell

A little horror/sci-fi/thriller from 2000, staring Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn. For my money this was one of only two J.Lo I liked. She was really good in Out of Site but that had great characters/story thanks to the late Elmore Leonard. But, as is so often the case, the star of The Cell was the serial killer played by a young Vincent D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio gave us the bonkers Pvt. Pyle from Full Metal Jacket but I’ll always remember him as Edgar, the alien bug many from Men In Black. For a simple little movie, The Cell had some spectacular visual effects.