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A day at the movies (March 21, 2007)

I have this agree­ment with Rosar­i­o: we will go to the movies to­geth­er. But not, un­der any cir­cun­stances, to see some­thing like Crank.

So, on wednes­days (cheap tick­et­s, yipee!) if I am down­town, I will go see that kind of things.

Two weeks ago, it was Rocky Bal­boa. Yes­ter­day it was Crank.

Crank

This is a spe­cial movie. It may seem on the sur­face to be an or­di­nary brain­less ac­tion/vi­o­lence/­sex spec­ta­cle, the kind many take for grant­ed nowa­days. How­ev­er, there are some things noone thinks about when watch­ing it.

When I was a kid, this movie's cin­e­matog­ra­phy would have been im­pos­si­ble. It shows how ac­tion films made 20 (maybe 10) years ago look cheap to­day, be­cause tech­ni­cal ad­vance has been mas­sive.

The script may be dum­b, and med­i­cal­ly in­com­pre­hen­si­ble (like the al­ter­na­tive us­es of ephedrine and ep­i­neph­rine for the same thing. They are not.), but you know what? It's an ex­cuse to have a guy that can't stop. The movie is about a bad guy that can't stop, not about "Haitian hard­core shit. Made of plant shit, man!". Come on, is ra­dioac­tive spi­der bite any bet­ter? Or brain cloud in Joe ver­sus the Vol­cano any bet­ter? (Ok, bad ex­am­ple there).

No one com­plains that Spidey makes no sense. Or that Kong is too large. And that's OK. Then why is the idea of a guy that needs con­stant adren­a­line stupid?

I think that this movie is seen as stupid speaks more about how many things we have al­ready seen. This is not even the first movie about a poi­soned char­ac­ter guar­an­teed to die look­ing for re­venge I saw (That would be D.O.A. which is ac­tu­al­ly a pret­ty de­cent movie).

Look at ac­tion movies like Die Hard. Is it any less stupid? Maybe (and maybe not). But it was there first.

And at least Crank does­n't take it­self too se­ri­ous­ly.

As a bonus, it con­tains the best spo­ken-­por­trait-that-look­s-just-­like-the-guy-scene ev­er.

BTW: it's re­al­ly not a good movie.

Rocky Bal­boa

Warn­ing: this be­low is a lit­tle per­son­al, ram­bling, and prob­a­bly not a movie re­view.

You can make a case for this ac­tu­al­ly be­ing a good movie. It may not get all the way there, but it's a de­cent job, done by com­pe­tent crafts­men. You have to con­sid­er the movie as part of a larg­er thing, the sports movie genre. In par­tic­u­lar, the box­ing movie.

Ev­ery­one has seen them ... Un­der­dog ... Long Odds ... Train­ing Mon­tage ... Fi­nal Fight .. Last Round ... it's al­most like the con­ven­tions lie be­sides con­ven­tion­al nar­ra­tive, just a se­ries of clich­es wait­ing for you, com­ing at you like a riv­er. You can hear the up­per case ini­tials like waves ham­mer­ing at your tem­ples.

But I have many soft spot­s. And one of them is for box­ing, and it's for pure­ly per­son­al, sub­jec­tive, un­de­fen­si­ble rea­son­s.

My dad had a stroke many years ago. He was al­ways a dry man. Af­fec­tion with him was not ex­act­ly a sim­ple mat­ter. We had very lit­tle in com­mon.

But on late fri­day nights we would watch the fight­s. We would talk about them, he with the dif­fi­cul­ty of not be­ing used to talk to me, lat­er that of the hemi­plegic, me with the dif­fi­cul­ty of talk­ing to him.

Af­ter a while, I start­ed liv­ing alone, but kept watch­ing the fight­s, and when I vis­it­ed him, we would do it to­geth­er. Un­til Ben­n-M­c­Clel­lan, which cured me from any en­joy­ment of box­ing I ev­er had.

But I can still ap­pre­ci­ate ex­act­ly how hard box­ing is. Any sport at a high lev­el re­quires skills I don't have, and is hard. Now think about prac­tic­ing a sport (Any sport. Fig­ure skat­ing, if you will!) while an­oth­er guy, just as strong and quick as you is try­ing to beat the crap out of you. That's box­ing. You are not go­ing to con­vince me there is any­thing hard­er in sports (ex­cept maybe some oth­er com­bat sport).

And Rocky Bal­boa is a tale about a guy whose heart is so bro­ken he can on­ly think about that skill he used to have, and he gets a mirac­u­lous chance at do­ing that again, and it's a god­damn fairy tale, and noth­ing else, but I know how the eyes of a guy who would die, who would kill for a chance at do­ing some­thing he can't pos­si­bly do look like.

And that kills me. And this movie killed me. And I got shiv­ers at the end. And I am a goof­bal­l.

Chris Parker / 2007-03-23 00:01:

I enjoyed what you wrote about boxing. What you said is very true of boxing - two people who have trained all of their lives stepping into a ring to challenge each other goes beyond the violence. Something about a good fight is very beautiful in its own way.

phone number lookup / 2011-12-03 22:40:

this is really interesting viewpoint on the subject i might add

employment background check / 2011-12-27 23:33:


Well, the write-up is truly the freshest on this laudable topic. 


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