Salt – It Is Angelina Jolie! Gasp!

What’s there to like about Angelina Jolie, Cynthia would ask.  Sigh.  Need I say, really.  Her lips?  Her sexy back?  Her Lara Croft come alive body shape?  Her guns and ass kicking action takes?  Well, none of the above; all of the above and more.

So I dragged Cynthia to watch “Salt” at our favorite cinema at The Cathay, with our friends, over the long weekend.  I love “Wanted” and in a strange way, “Salt” reminds me of that movie.  Must be the gun fight and action (and more).  I was genuinely led confused throughout a good portion of the movie.  “Salt” is action packed, from the very first frame.  It is a film about CIA and spy, Korea and spiders, US and Russia, nuclear war and a dog inside a backpack (OK, it is not that abstractly artistic, just in case you get the wrong idea).  Some parts of the film do not seem to make sense.  But it has sufficient feel good factors to keep us entertained.  And there are sufficient moments that move.

Yes, “Salt” is about vindication.  Bad guys must die.

Wanted – OMG, It’s Angelina Jolie (with a Gun)!

Though I must say, the focal point is at James McAvoy instead.  But still, I simply love Angelina Jolie with guns (think “Lara Croft” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”) and I love her attitude too.  One of a kind, truly.

You’ve got to have quite a strong stomach to take in those over the top intensive scenes that have the pace and the music to match.  My recently self-diagnosed sensitive stomach did give me some warning signals on and off throughout the show.  I guess that is a good indicator on how intense “Wanted” is.

Yet another comic book adaptation and it is created by the Scottish graphic novelist Mark Millar.  Something different from the typical American comic book style I suppose.  A kind of strange storyline that involves a thousand years old organization called The Fraternity and these assassins – who have some sort of superhuman abilities I suppose – take in order from a textile loom coded with the target’s names under the microscope.  What a strange concept, to kill as dedicated by destiny to keep the Universe in balance. 

There is nothing much to say on the acting or character development of “Wanted”.  Is it entertaining?  Yes.  How so?  There are enough surprises within the plot to keep the film moving.  Some of the computer generated images and sequences are just jaw dropping.  Time slows down, at times reverses, to depict some physically impossible moments.  Some scenes are just comical.  Lots of blood for sure.  But if you have got the stomach and in for some fast pace intensified entertainment, why not?

I won’t even mention about Angelina Jolie’s sexy back from shoulder to … oh well, I missed it while reading the subtitles.

Kidding!  Ha ha ha!

“Beowulf” – Now, What Have They Done To The Epic Poem?

Why do I watch that many movies lately, I do not know. It may be the sign of work starting to get into me and watching movies seems like an easy way out for lack of a more creative way to spend my spare time. Perhaps what Michael Watkins wrote in his book “The First 90 Days” is true: we spend the first 3 months learning and not adding much value to the organization, only thereafter do we start to contribute. No wonder the past one month has been rather busy, even when we officially cut our working hours by 10% (it was more than some of you guys to start with so don’t envy me!).

Actually, I wanted to title this review as “This Year Warrior Has A New Name, NOT!”. Inside the shower, I was pondering who are the great warriors on a movie screen. Perhaps King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans in “300: March To Glory” are good candidates. Somehow, the image of Brad Pitt from “Troy” got stuck in my mind. The character Achilles certainly has my number one vote as the greatest warrior on screen.

Some may praise “Beowulf” because the hero is portrayed as a flawed human being. Some may appreciate the filming technique of motion capture much like the director’s previous work “Polar Express”. I personally am puzzled with characters fading in and out of the animation. One moment I swear I see the real face of Angelina Jolie and another moment, her face looks like a piece of computer generated graphic that doesn’t look like Angelina Jolie at all. I have been thinking hard if there is some kind of significance to all these scenes of fading in and out of reality and I can think of none. (Perhaps the further it is, the more unreal it becomes?)

From what I read in the Internet, the movie deviates from the epic poem written in year 700 for quite a bit. My humble opinion is that after reading the summary, the original story makes more sense while the movie adaptation leaves many question marks in my head.

Having said all that I dislike, some scenes are really worth mentioning. I in particularly like the battle with the dragon. It was intense and thrillingly heroic. There are some emotional moments before Beowulf heading to an epic battle. And there are some rather hilarious moments too. But other than that, I think it is for the fans of English animated films by and large.