Daniel Perry (danperry17)Toronto, ON
Daniel's Recent Reviews
I admit, I don't watch a ton of martial arts movies. I wouldn't have the first clue if this were a film full of cliches or a complete reinvention of the genre. What I did love was the simplicity of the story - true to Kurt Vonnegut's rule: every character wants something! - and the riveting chase and fight scenes. An adrenaline fest, for sure! I wanted to see it because of all the marketing - No CGI! No wires! - and choreography-wise, it didn't disappoint. It was also neat to see the little notes to Spielberg and Besson (maybe others, I only noticed the two) scrawled on the sets in certain scenes. Wicked guerrilla film-making, an absolute blast! Exclamation marks!!
When the movie started, I thought it might have been unjustly panned - there were some flashes that suggested the movie was a spoof - but as it went on, it closed in on and eventually captured boring, Romantic Spy Comedy territory, retaining the cartoony bits but expecting us to take them at face value. I got the sense that somewhere along the way, the vision was compromised, and that maybe it was during test screenings, once the movie was already shot, meaning that the more marketable plot had to be pieced together from footage that didn't necessarily belong in that order, or in the film at all. It's wild speculation on my part, but I'm not sure how else to explain the way this one went off the rails - it was entertaining for a short while, maybe a half an hour, but then it suddenly seemed to not know what kind of film it wanted to be, and the result was something to which I was indifferent, in the end.
Daniel's Favorite Movies
It might be my favourite movie ever, and every time I watch it I see something new. Based on an amazing novel, this is one of the rawest films I've ever seen and it's at once exhilirating and terrifying. A seminal film of the 90s with a soundtrack among the best ever assembled, the movie is humor laced with horror - sort of like the drug addiction it uses as its subject, I would think. For everyone getting in on the No Country for Old Men hype, here's where Kelly MacDonald made her start... yeah, she's not Texan, just Scottish and ridiculously talented. Probably Ewan MacGregor's best movie, and when I read the book a couple of years after first seeing it, while I could imagine most of the characters a little differently, I couldn't shake Begbie's image from my head, which I think stands as a tribute to Robert Carlyle's performance. I could go on for days about this one, but it's a truly outstanding piece of art.
The music and Jack Black's character almost single-handedly take it to a four star film... then, on top of it all, it delivers one of the best character narrations in film history. Pulling off narrative tricks usually reserved for literature, you love, hate then love... or hate (?) the protagonist when the movie ends in such a run-of-the-mill fashion. I begged for the redemption, I begged for the Hollywood ending - but life goes on. Outstanding film - where have I been these last seven years??