Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Day At The Movies

Had the day off today which of course meant that I got a call to come into the shop and put out a minor fire; as Kevin, who is the shop manager, was out of town for the for the day. Despite the disturbance in my plans I still managed to accomplish my primary goal which was to simply relax and watch a few movies. Something I managed to accomplish for less than the price of popcorn at the theatre thanks to Redbox. On tap today were Sucker Punch, Unknown, and The Adjustment Bureau. All told an entertaining line up and more thought provoking than one might think; were one provoked to think about the thought provoking potential films might possess. Sucker Punch was by far the biggest surprise of the three if only due to the lack of major expectations. While input from friends had indicated that the movie might contain more than simply Zack Snyder's now signature special effects extravaganza and overly stylized everything I was surprised and pleased, it's always nice to know your friends aren't lying to you, at just how much there actually was beneath the surface. While I don't think everyone will be willing to attempt the task of peeling back the layers of special effects and style, a trial to rival those of Hercules, to discover the substance buried beneath; it is a worthy endeavor. This film may be worth revisiting as I suspect still more plot is buried in there somewhere waiting to be uncovered. Unknown was a fairly standard action thriller, a la Bourne, with a better than average twist and after watching this and Taken I've determined that Liam Neeson makes a much better action star than most of his younger colleagues and is well worth watching in these roles. And speaking of Bourne brings us to our final film of the the day The Adjustment Bureau starring none other than Mr. Bourne himself; Matt Damon. Out of the lot this movie was the one I had the highest hopes for as it is based on a short story by one Philip K Dick an influential science fiction author whose works and previous films based on those works I have enjoyed. Other films adapted from Dick's stories include: Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, and Minority Report. All of which are what I consider "thinking" movies, yes even the one starring Arnold, in that they require a level of consideration greater than that of most films which could be understood even if one were in a persistent vegetative state. These are always among my favorite types of films because I rarely feel as though they have wasted the time I invest in them. One of the things I find interesting in the works of Philip K. Dick is his repeated theme of the conflicting nature of free will and fate. The conflict inherent in these ideas being something which was a frequent topic of discussion in my religion classes during college and in conversation with many of my college friends. My history with these ideas leads me to find interesting most works, be they written or film, which intelligently and entertainingly explores this topic. Something I feel The Adjustment Bureau does quite well. The story also has a fairly compelling romance and probes the issues of what love is and what we are willing to sacrifice in it's pursuit. And deeper issues aside I'll admit to being something of a romantic, possibly of the hopeless variety though I really prefer hopefulness where such matters are concerned, and as such I do enjoy seeing an ending where (Spoiler Alert) the characters live happily ever after. So for me this movie delivered on all fronts and will certainly be making it's way into my collection. It's been some time since I sat down and spent a day enjoying films so even with the work related interruptions today gets two thumbs up as do the films.

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