Hardy, Renner, In Brief

Today Blog Mistress went to see “The Bourne Legacy.”  And it was a mighty fine movie.  Miiiighty fine.

First of all, Jeremy Renner is the new secret super-secret agent.  His eyes get really big when he is being earnest, which is distracting, but he moves with surprising grace, especially when jumping over rooftops.  There’s poetry in that body, dear blog readers.

Secondly, Rachel Weisz is just so good.  She is beautiful, but one doesn’t think of that when one watches a Rachel Weisz performance.  One thinks of her mind, behind those darting brown eyes.  Yes, she is one hell of an actress.

And now to Hardy.  There were previews —  many previews, of course.  Considering “The Bourne Legacy” has been given so much hoopla.  There was a preview for “This is 40” (Paul Rudd is still sooo handsome!  And Lesley Mann is absolutely a knockout.  Self didn’t know what this movie was about until she saw the title:  “And they think they have problems?” she hissed to The Man.  Who gave an I-agree-with-you kind of snort)

There was also a very exciting preview for “Life of Pi.”  And then something with Shia LeBouef, Guy Pearce, and Tom Hardy!  And Hardy was sporting a very believable American accent!  How did he accomplish that?  The trademark Hardy growling manner of speech is nowhere in evidence.  He must indeed have had a very masterful dialect coach!

And now self is watching “Warrior” (Her Netflix movie:  She’s had it about two months and never found time to watch it).  And, damn!  That Tom Hardy is so hot!  He’s in a scene with ex-drunk and father played by Nick Nolte, and he’s talking about some Deep Dark Shame which happened “over there” (Iraq), and why he changed his name to Riordan, and he is just so full of rage, and his lips are so full, and he has that Keanu Reeves kind of look about his eyes, but crooked lower teeth (Never have your teeth fixed, Tom!  Never, never, never!  And in addition, stay away from Rom-Coms!  Especially the ones that have Reese Witherspoon!  And you would be smart to heed this advice as well, Chris Pine!)

When he throws a bucket of slot machine coins at Nick Nolte, self was just —  awestruck.

And may self just add:  Nick Nolte’s face is as ashen and graven as Mount Rushmore!

And she actually felt like crying!

Even though The Man was walking in and out and wondering why self’s face was so red!  And she hadn’t even had a margarita —  all day!

And, before self parts with dear blog readers for the day, she just has to say that the Bourne Director did a GREAT job shooting chase scenes in the totally chaotic, atmospheric, and fascinating megapolis of Manila!!!  Yes!!!  You go, oh Bourne Director!  Five Stars!  For shooting the best chase scenes in a movie since maybe Bourne # 2!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Surprise/s of the Evening: Last Sunday in March 2011

Dinner (chicken and pork adobo) has been served.  Now self is watching the first Bourne movie (Still the best!  Matt Damon looks so young.  Whoever was responsible for casting this movie displayed sheer genius).  Suddenly, in a panning shot of the control room in Langley, Virginia, self sees him:  Boyd Crowder.

He’s just in a corner of the screen.  Self waits, and he re-appears.  Yes, she’s sure of it now.  Especially since, a few moments later, he has to stand up and utter a few lines of dialogue.  That certainly is Walton Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder in “Justified.”  And, what’s simply amazing, he seems hardly to have aged at all, though this movie was filmed in 2002, and “Justified” is of course right now:  2011.

A while later, self hears once again the immortal lines:

Bourne:   You take care of this car?

Marie:   What do you mean?

Bourne:   Tires felt a little splashy on the way over.

Marie:   It pulls a little to the right.

This movie has one of the best car chase scenes of all time.

*****

Random Thought # 1:  Don’t you just love how posting anything on Facebook, no matter how inane, makes you *sound* so busy, so connected, so alive?

Random Thought # 2:  Self has just read a scene in Joseph Finder’s Power Play.  Our hero has to turn on an Apple computer while, outside the room, a vicious gang of armed men are wandering around, threatening to kill a score of hostages.  The computer starts up with a noise like the start of a “Beethoven symphony.”  Our hero waits, watching tensely while the screen lights up with the Apple logo.  The computer “crunched and crunched.”  At this point, self was faint.  Hurry up and boot, you stupid Apple computer!  Otherwise the hero can’t get on with it!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Salt”/ A Couple of Garage Sale Finds

Ah, Angelina.  Such an action hero!  In one scene, she wraps her black panties around a surveillance camera.  In another, she walks through a ship, tossing hand grenades as casually as if she were scattering fertilizer.  She can go from blonde to black-haired, to woman-being-tortured-in-white-lace-underwear (by the North Koreans, of course:  those brutes!), to a vaguely tranny-looking NATO security officer.

The million dollar question is:  Who channels “Bourne” better: Matt Damon or Angelina Jolie?

The answer: Matt Damon.

Because even when Angelina is in disguise, even after she has donned a plain trench coat and dyed her hair a deep black and is Read the rest of this entry »

“From Paris With Love” : See it for Rhys-Meyers

First of all, he does a great American accent.

Second, he’s sort of channeling Matt Damon in the first Bourne movie (that “I-have-not-a-clue-how-to-shoot-a-gun-but-I-have-perfect-aim” shtick), a more twitch-y Matt Damon.

Third, a Luc Besson movie is always fun.  Even when it is ludicrous.  In this movie, Rhys-Meyers has to spend much time hanging on to a Chinese vase filled with cocaine.  Even when he and his new partner, played by Travolta, have to meet with every stereotyped bad guy in the book —  “Asian dudes,” Pakistani terrorists, and so forth and so on —  he has to hold on to this vase for dear life.  Why?  So that he can break it later —  did you even have to ask, dear blog reader ???  Remember, this is the same Luc Besson who gave us the gran boffo fabulousness of “La Femme Nikita”!!!  The movie about the girl assassin who was forced to do a hit during her honeymoon !!!  While her all-unknowing husband was waiting in the next room!!! And she pulled it off by pretending she was taking a long, hot bath !!!

Travolta is as expected.  That is, he is charming, even when pronouncing “Motherfucker.”  Though he is a tad overweight.  And should not be allowed to let that go any further (unless he has plans to give up the action roles and do straight comedy, ala Alec Baldwin)

But Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is surprisingly effective playing a geek.  And looks great with glasses.  And in the movie’s very last scene, he shows up wearing fashionably ripped jeans.  And goes shirtless under a grey suit jacket (except for a shoulder sling).  Wow!   Meaning his transition from geek to secret agent is now complete.  Will there be a sequel?  Let’s hope so.

To add to the utter fabulousness of the afternoon, self’s favorite ice cream person was on duty in the lobby of the Redwood City Century 20.  And they had Peanut Buttercup and Strawberry Cheesecake available (The flavors on display are constantly changing, so this is hit or miss).  And the man put extra dollops in her cup (No dinner for you, self!)  And he always makes chit-chat with self and asks her what she is watching.  And when self said she was watching “From Paris With Love,” he admitted he knew nothing about it.  And self said, “I heard it’s not very good, but —  ”  “But you happen to be a John Travolta fan.  No explanation required,” the man said. (Which isn’t true:  self did not want to see this movie because of John Travolta.  In fact, after watching the previews, which featured entirely too much of John Travolta, she almost didn’t feel like seeing it.  But she is a fan of Luc Besson.  One day, she might explain it all to the ice cream guy)

Then self saw the first previews ever of “Secret of the Witch” and “Kick-Ass” (both movies with Nic Cage!)  And a preview for “Brooklyn’s Finest” (Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle, Richard Gere and even Wesley Snipes, looking none the worse for wear)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Pre-Superbowl Saturday TV Viewing: All Action Movies, All Afternoon

Self spent the whole afternoon on the AMC Channel (Trying hard to stretch out her reading of Henning Mankell’s Before the Frost, that’s why!), watching one great movie after another: First, Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape.” Then, Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” (Self very struck by the somewhat modernist-ic touch of having no music at all in many scenes). And, currently showing, the very very great “The French Connection.”

This movie (“The French Connection”) was groundbreaking in so many ways:

  • Introduced Gene Hackman to the world.
  • Introduced shaky cam (Hello Bourne movies?) to the world.
  • Introduced razor-fast cutting to the world.
  • Introduced the unforgettable line, “You ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?” to the world.

It was made only a few years after “Bullitt” (to be specific:  three) but was light years, just light years ahead in terms of editing, camera technique, etc.  (Hmm, wonder how old William Friedkin was when he directed it?  And was this his first movie?)

And now self would like to turn to issue of Vanity Fair that appeared in her mailbox today:  the “Hot Young Starlets” issue (And, apparently, everyone is white.  Oh Zoe Saldana, where are youuuu?)  The issue in which James Cameron is anointed “the Visionary,” and Kathryn Bigelow and Jeremy Renner are billed as “the Battle-Scarred”?  Whaaaat?  Who thinks up these captions?  (The picture of James Cameron makes him actually look almost hot.  At least, it shows him doing some kind of wide-legged action stance with his camera.  And the one of Kathryn Bigelow is the only one self has seen that makes her look, well, older than 35?  To go with the “battle scarred” caption, perhaps?)

The big news of the weekend is that Channing Tatum did it!  He did it!  “Dear John” killed “Avatar” at the box office this weekend!  Finally, “Avatar” ‘s seven-week domination is over!  Self was getting so tired of hearing about the blue people and their wonderful visionary so-PC cultural world view! (Though she still likes Saldana and Weaver, and OK Worthington is cute and not a bad actor)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Ode to Summer II & A Poem by Jim Morrison

Oh Saturday, what a gorgeous day you turned out to be (although this morning was so cold, self nearly froze while walking around the Redwood City Farmers Market, because she forgot to bring her jacket)

How self adores the apricots and cherries she saw at the market, just bursting with sweetness.

Oh beagles, how self adores your barking friendliness, your wayward tangle of leashes, your swaybacked walks, and even the way your tongues hang out, the closer we get to home.

Oh Stafford Park, this afternoon you are full of children and birthday parties, laughter and noise, and you remind self of the times when she celebrated son’s birthday here, and of all the memories the one that stands out is his sixth, because that was when self outdid herself by ordering a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cake from Goldilocks, and when she took it out of the box, all son’s classmates went “Ooooh” at the sight of the three buildings made out of hard candy, tiny Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clambering down their sides.

Oh hubby, who refuses self’s invitation to take a stroll along Laurel Street (where self secretly hopes to stop by Chocolate Mousse and buy some slices of carrot cake) and all because Jason Bourne is on flat screen HDTV, and it’s coming close to the scene where Matt Damon and Franka Potente encounter punk-haired assassin in Bourne’s Paris apartment, and Matt achieves maximum lethal effect with a letter opener.

Now, both dogs are sprawled on hardwood floor, tongues hanging out. Breeze wafts through orange tree, laden with fruit. Student papers sit next to self’s laptop. The top one is a paper about a poem Jim Morrison wrote when he was in high school, “Horse Latitudes.” Self’s curiosity is aroused. She picks up the paper and reads:

“Horse Latitudes”

A poem by Jim Morrison

When the still sea conspires an armor

And her sullen and aborted

Currents breed tiny monsters

True sailing is dead

Awkward instant

And the first animal is jettisoned

Legs furiously pumping

Their stiff green gallop

And heads bob up

Poise

Delicate

Pause

Consent

In mute nostril agony

Carefully refined

And sealed over

Hmm, self thinks: Not bad. Not bad at all.

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