Movie Review: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life

Angelina Jolie as Lara CroftHeh, there wasn’t any way Mich3lle was going to miss this on opening night. When it comes to action heroines, Angelina Jolie edges out Jennifer Garner by a small margin… at least until they make Alias into a major motion picture. *chuckle* If my baby says these chicks kick ass, I’m not going to argue.

I saw the first Tomb Raider movie on DVD. I missed it in the theatre for no particular reason, but I did enjoy the first film despite many opinions to the contrary. I have to say the sequel was not a disappointment. The film scaled back Lara Croft’s ample bosom (and the number of featured camera shots) and focused more on being an action picture. I enjoyed the fight sequences, particularly one in which Lara’s character beats a man into submission with a bayonet rifle. While I have no idea of the authenticity of the fighting style used, the scene was well done. I would have liked to have seen an action sequence on par with the suspension ballet from the first film, but a lot of the fight choreography was shot in close quarters except for one city sequence involving a helicopter. Overall I thought the cinematography was very good and the scenery shots were incredible.

There were moments where the pace of the film slowed down a bit, but nothing that proved too distracting. Angelina is said to have done many of her own stunts and I’m curious to know if that includes the jetski jump featured at the beginning of the film. The story is typical Tomb Raider fare. A rare artifact is sought out by the bad guy in hopes of destroying the world.

I think the Tomb Raider franchise will be successful, but I would like to see more done to distinguish this character from other adventure heroes. While Lara Croft is a household name to gaming aficionados, I think stories like the Indiana Jones series, The Mummy or even Charlie’s Angels are more memorable on the merit of the films.

Grade: B+ (Despite some cool fight sequences & cinematography, this film doesn’t quite have blockbuster stamped on it.)

bang your head…

Metal heads never dieI’ve got a three day weekend then just two exams and one presentation next week to finish the semester. So far the grades are holding steady. I got 100 on Tuesday’s math exam (before you Ooh & Ah it was only Algebra) so unless I come down with a case of blind rage and bludgeon someone in class I think I’ll have another 4.0 this term.

Yesterday Acidman pointed out this story about an Australian saxophonist who had his fingers cut off. There’s something under the surface on that one, but I empathize with the guy’s situation. I mean I almost cut my own fingers off once. Actually, I was only stupid enough to severe the tendons so playing Beethoven was no longer an aspiration. Of course, had I been that dedicated to my music to begin with I’m sure I would have found my place in it somewhere.

But enough navel gazing. I was inspired by the Hosemonster’s entry to rattle off about my fascination with guitars. Maybe I’ll pick up a new hobby before I get too old. Metal gods will never die.

Nothing but a stick with six strings
Resting against the wall… and yet,
Look closely to see
A sleek contoured body
Splashed in Iroc blue,
You strap her on and feel the cool wood in your hands.
As you place the amplifier cord in the ignition
There’s a crackling spark and you feel the power.
You here the low hum of the engines
Through the speakers.
You start our slow, strumming simple eighth note rhythms,
You want to keep control.
Your heart beats faster,
Your adrenaline kicks in and you pick up speed,
You finger dance on the fretboard
Spattering like grease in a frying pan
As you obtain speeds up to Mach 5.
A shift of the whammy bar
And notes jump seconds, fifths and octaves.
Complete control, you and the guitar are one,
You begin your last lap
Only to come abruptly to a halt….
You’ve broke a string….
The dust clears and you’re left standing,
Wanting to take one more lap,
Wishing to play one more note,
Listening to the hum of the engines
Through the speakers.

Movie Review – Bad Boys II

This movie is rockin’ & rollin’WOW. Some cool car chase sequences in this film. Maybe there weren’t terminator cyborgs or albino ninjas with cool sunglasses, but the driving was intense, the bodies were rollin’ and the explosions were BOO YA BABY!!!

Bad Boys II makes no reference to its predecessor, we’re dropped head first into the action. As far as a character timeline it’s hard to be certain if the movie takes place eight months or eight years from the last film. Sure the plot is held loosely together and maybe there could have been more witty banter, but lack of action this film does not have. There are plenty of gun battles, car chases and they still had the time to throw in Martin Lawrence tweakin’ his own nipples. In fact, one of the chase scenes reminded me of an old Jackie Chan flick.

As with Pirates of the Caribbean, the special effects didn’t distract from the action at hand. There are some great “bullet time” sequences which captured some pretty gruesome action. Was the movie realistic? Probably not, but like Monday night wrestling this film had you cheering on the good guys as they kicked ass and made the bad guys feel the pain.

Grade: B+ (Why they chose Dan Marino to cameo I have no idea)

Movie Review – Terminator 3

The future is inevitableI think the crowd could go either way on this one. The first Terminator built on your imagination by effectively delivering sci-fi drama through the characters Sarah Connor & Kyle Reece. T2 moved a cult classic into epic status by further developing Sarah’s character, introducing a young John Connor and adding a human element to the Terminator. The dramatic tension involving all the supporting characters (the scenes from the psych ward, Sarah’s assassination attempt on Miles Dyson) only helped to draw the viewer into the storyline.

In this regard Terminator 3 falls flat. Sure it was entertaining as an action picture, but I don’t think it matched the overall intensity of T2. While it was a film that proved “…you don’t need bullet time to make a great action scene.” it also proved that the success of this series can’t be delivered by Arnold alone. The portrayal of John Connor was disappointing. In T2 he’s a street smart hacker type, rough around the edges, but with a hint of the man he supposed to be. In T3 he’s a fallen hero who hasn’t even done anything yet. I won’t say he’s as whiny as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones, but I think the casting was just as weak. The supporting characters are just as forgettable.

The good dramatic moments are mainly tongue in cheek, Arnold learns how to “Talk to the hand.”, but mostly delivers yawning lines like“I’m back”. I was also disappointed by the ending. Perhaps my expectations were set too high by Ryan’s review, but my mind was engaged with the idea of some crazy plot twist at the very end only to arrive there and say “That’s it?!!!?!?!”

Grade: B- (It would have scored lower, but the car chase scene was pretty good)

Happy Tree Friends

They’re Your Happy Tree Friends!Overheard today at the school library:

“So this gal wants to come stateside.”

“What girl?”

“This gal I’ve been chatting through Ultimate Singles.”


“We’ve been talking for about a month now, she lives up in New York. She’s incredibly hot.”

“Really? She sent you her picture?”

“Oh yeah, she’s sent me over a dozen pictures already. Only thing is I just found out her Visa is going to expire. Turns out she’s Russian.”

“NOOO Shit.”

“Yeah, she said she needed $600. I haven’t decided what I’m gonna do yet. She said she wants to come down here to Dallas and move in with me.”

“Dude. Might be a scam dude.”

“Maybe, but isn’t she hot?”

At this point I had to go back to class and for the briefest of moments I thought I’m not so completely screwed up after all.

All right my peeps, time to bust out some linkage:

I didn’t come across any kittens, but Agent Perry will certainly enjoy watching episodes of the Happy Tree Friends. Reminds me a lot of Itchy & Scratchy, but then so do Ren & Stimpy. If you’re looking for gruesome with a purpose check out the little ninja boy series Ninjai that’s be making the rounds over at Atom Films. And if you’re looking to walk your dogma I’m sure the cartoonist over at Sinfest has a few funnies that will make you laugh. (Those that have been hangin’ here for a while know I love me some Sinfest)

Hump Day Hoozas! to Kristen (need the 411 on the blog name girlie), Melissa who turned some new folks on to my blog and Jer who sent me a cool e-mail AFTER tellin’ his peeps about my blog.
I love Sinfest