V for Vendetta

by Michael Alderete on 4/29/2006

Been meaning for a while to post that I saw the movie V for Vendetta, on the IMAX screen at the Sony Metreon. I enjoyed the movie immensely. It’s been a decade since I’ve read the original graphic novel by Allan Moore, so I can’t say how faithful it is to the original. Certainly there are departures, both in the basic plot and to update the story for 2006. But overall it’s a very well-written, acted, and shot movie. Stylistically, there are two sequences which recall the best parts of Matrix: Reloaded — the dominos sequence, and V’s final fight sequence — and these are thrilling enough in themselves that I’ll probably see the movie a second time.

Like the Matrix films, V certainly is the kind of movie that benefits from the extra detail on the IMAX screen. I highly recommend seeing it, even if you don’t have an IMAX theater in your area. But if you do, spend the extra money and see it on the huge screen.

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House of Flying Daggers

by Michael Alderete on 12/27/2004

Over Xmas, in conversation with my brother about various movies that have come out in the last year, I found myself wondering why I haven’t been to the movies more often in 2004. Today I was reminded why. In spite of going to the “bargain” matinee, my movie experience was nearly $20 ($7.50 for the ticket, $9 for popcorn and a Coke, and $2.75 for parking).

In spite of the expense, I enjoyed House of Flying Daggers. While it’s not at the level of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it tries for it and succeeds on many, if not all, levels. Gorgeously photographed and choreographed, and Ziyi Zhang is definitely one of the most beautiful actresses on the planet. It’s a movie worth seeing on a large screen, for the action, costumes, and settings.

Even if it costs you $20.

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Reloaded three times

by Michael Alderete on 6/30/2003

I just went to see The Matrix Reloaded for the third time last night, which will seem like a lot of times, especially to those folks who didn’t like it, or the previous movie. But this is entirely defensible.

The first time was the first time. Needed to see it in the theater, had a great time.

The second time was actually free, Rochelle and I just walked into it on a Sunday afternoon, because it started 2 minutes after The Italian Job finished, and we decided to get our money’s worth out of our tickets.

The third time was different. It was amazing. It was in IMAX.

If you haven’t seen The Matrix Reloaded yet, and if it’s playing on an IMAX screen near you, I recommend kicking in the extra $5. Even if you’ve seen the movie already, it’s worth going again. It’s a whole new experience, totally worth the extra money. There’s just way more detail up on the screen, and it makes the movie that much more “real.”

I may need to Reload again.

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

by Michael Alderete on 1/27/2002

Rochelle and I watched this last night, recorded off Stars onto our TiVo. (I had seen it before, in a theater, but it was Rochelle’s first viewing.)

Even on the small screen, this is an astonishing movie. Most of the many, many Chinese historical / fantasy action movies are long on action, and short on plot — if there’s any discernible plot at all. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon proved that adding great writing to the usual elements could produce a movie that is not only likely the best in its genre, but also a Great Film.

It blows me away that this movie was beaten by Gladiator in the Best Picture category of the Academy Awards. While Gladiator is a decent, enjoyable movie, in anything but the short run it’s completely forgettable. (It would have been forgivable to have given the honor to Traffic, itself a great movie.)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is anything but forgettable. Make sure you see this movie.

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Le Pacte des Loups

by Michael Alderete on 1/21/2002

I finally managed to go and see a movie this weekend! Le Pacte des Loups, or The Brotherhood of the Wolf. It took about 20 minutes to get used to the subtitles (as it always does), but then the dialog just flowed into my head without thinking too much about it.

I highly enjoyed the movie. An intriguing story, some really amazing action sequences (right up there with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix), and gorgeous photography. I’m not a movie reviewer, so I’ll skip trying to sound smart while critiquing the film. I enjoyed it, money well spent. Check out the trailers if you want more of a taste.

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