Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Great Unwatched: Wanted (2008) and Dollman (1991)

There's lessons to be learned in getting too cocky. I promised my girlfriend we'd go out last night, so I didn't get a chance to watch anything. I figure hey, I'm ahead of the game, one night won't be so bad. Today I get a call from Mom that proves me wrong; she'd just found a DVD mailed to me a few months ago that she'd forgotten about. Apparently, I'd neglected to say no to a Columbia House Director's Selection a couple months ago and so now I was the proud(?) owner of Timur Bekmambetov's Wanted. So not only did I miss a day of movie viewing, but the list just moved up a tick. Brilliant.

Anyway. On to our feature presentations for this evening.

Wanted (2008)

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Runtime: 110 minutes

Well, that was... action-y. Wanted is a kinetic, highly visual experience largely undercut by main character Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) and his sarcastic narration. I get that his life sucks, really I do. It just seems like a director as visually oriented as Bekmambetov clearly is could have more clearly conveyed Gibson's dilemma without leaning on the crutch of a descriptive voice-over. Gibson's snide self-loathing doesn't endear him to us and when he's picked out to be an assassin because his panic attacks are, in fact, superpowers (among other reasons), he reacts by freaking out. A lot. And it's really annoying. Of course, there's no movie if he doesn't get over it and start busting heads, but by the time he does, he has a long way to go to regaining the audience's trust.

Otherwise, the action sequences are appropriately awe-inspiring, if on the far side of ridiculous. Angelina Jolie looks like she needs a sandwich. The twist midway through is fairly easy to pick out, but if we're going to really quibble about something, let's talk about the finale. In the final showdown, one character does something monumentally idiotic, based on evidence that they've just discovered has been forged in the past. Furthermore, these forgeries have all come from the same person whose giving them said evidence now. And yet, they take this irritatingly, mind-blowingly stupid action. And the movie wants us to think that they are not only noble, but awesome. I don't buy it. No thank you.

Worth the Purchase: Well, it was kind of pretty?

Dollman (1991)

Part of: The Full Moon Archive Collection

Director: Albert Pyun

Runtime: 79 minutes

I think the best part of this movie was seeing Jackie Earle Haley, some eighteen years before he essayed the part of Rorschach in Watchmen, dropping the f-bomb every other word and squishing a tiny alien head with his hand.

I think the worst part of this movie was the rest of it.

Worth the Purchase: Nah.

Stats: 13/401 movies watched in eleven days.
Currently Projected Completion Date: January 29, 2010
Completion Date Goal: February 25, 2010

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