Doctor Strangeblog (DrStrangeblog)Middle America
Doctor's Recent Reviews
"There's not a single f***ing part of you that isn't ugly!" You said it, elf. Billy Bob plays a character so detestably mean-spirited that I found it difficult to find much of what he said or did funny. This guy wouldn't be able to hold a job for an hour with his behavior, let alone a month as a shopping mall Santa Claus. The kid was tiresome too, he's supposed to be annoying but wasn't in any funny way. Over reliance on a drunk belligerent Santa stringing together vulgarities isn't my kind of comedy I guess.
Hanna is decidedly not the spy thriller I was expecting, instead it is one very extended chase with story inspiration lifted directly from TV's early 2000's futuristic cult favorite Dark Angel. Mind you, it is a pulse-pounding chase - 16-year-old Hanna, a girl with enhanced abilities, must travel on her own from the arctic circle to Berlin to reunite with her father once government agents determined to apprehend them are alerted to their location. Why are they alerted? For absolutely no good reason, you simply won't believe your ears! Logic is not the strongest suit here as glaring contradictions surface about what Hanna can do and what she can't, what she understands and what she doesn't. For example, she marvels at the images and sounds emanating from a television set, but she has no trouble operating a computer. Never mind, the thrill is in the chase and in that respect Hanna delivers with style to spare. It reminds me of the slick action from seminal European thrillers La Femme Nikita and Run Lola Run complete with creative camera angles and throbbing electronic score by the Chemical Brothers. Some terrific, carefully planned, memorable sequences: check out the lengthy single shot as Eric Bana exits a bus terminal through his encounter with agents in the underground, or Hanna eluding pursuers among cargo containers at the docks, or the break-in at Cate Blanchett's apartment. I was very impressed with Saoirse Ronan who plays Hanna, hope to see more of her in future. Can't say the same for the Great Cate's wandering southern accent, but it's fun to see her cast and convince as a villain every now & then. Bottom line, I heartily recommend Hanna for sheer excitement. I would even be interested in a sequel since many historical points are left murky. If you feel the same and would enjoy a lengthier story with similar themes, then give the first season of Dark Angel a try on DVD, an intriguing, action-packed series which offers more fleshed-out characters and a deeper mythology. Review addendum: Bumping my rating up from 3.5 to 4 because I found myself tuning in whenever I saw it was on IFC to relive my favorite scenes. Eventually I just bought the DVD so I can jump directly to the five expertly orchestrated sequences whenever I want. They are: the escape from underground bunker Camp G, the fight & chase among loading containers at the dock, the 3:08 long (got to time it on the DVD) aforementioned tracking shot of Bana, his assault on Blanchett's apartment, and the final chase/confrontation. I still wish we were given more insight into the backstory, but it works superbly as a stylish action thriller that knows when to allow for time to breathe. Lastly, the alternate DVD ending is simple yet very valuable in providing closure that was lacking in the theatrical cut.
Doctor's Favorite Movies
The blackest of black comedies released during the height of the Cold War is sheer genius. Peter Sellers masterfully plays three roles while George C. Scott takes a hilarious turn as a gung-ho general. Scathing, sobering, and an all-time classic.