09 August 2004

Collateral, T3 and an interesting Sunday...

Collateral, Michael Mann's new film starring Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise, was an absolutely incredible thriller- an exciting, scary, well acted, frenetically shot film about a contract killer and his hostage. Set in LA, the film is, thankfully, short on excessive background and detail- instead, it is all action serving the plot; constant enthralling, bull-rushing energy that never allows a free breath. It's funny, weird, new and frightening all while being a very specific- and non-specific- genre piece. A noir thriller.

There's not much more to say without ruining it. Some movies are just fucking great. This is an absolutely great fucking movie. Jamie Foxx was brilliant, Tom Cruise was predictably great, and though the ending was a touch underwhelming, Michael Mann has made what may be his best film. But then, most of Michael Mann's (The Insider, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Ali, Manhunter) films are great.

I also had occasion to watch Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. T2 is, to me, quite possibly the greatest action film of all time- I mean that very specifically, too- big budget, popcorn-explosions movie. This is essentially a remake of T2 but with a less optimistic and more shocking ending. Both T's 2 & 3 are largely chase films with similar goofy one-liners and huge set piece after huge set piece. T3, though, has less heart, unfortunate casting, and what amounts to a return-to-the-pack of action films. It was a good action movie, but there are a lot of those. T2 was iconic. T3 was just good. Here's a great exerpt from Roger Ebert's review of the film:

Is "Terminator 3" a skillful piece of work? Indeed. Will it entertain the Friday night action crowd? You bet. Does it tease and intrigue us like the earlier films did? Not really... and "Terminator 3" is dumbed down for the multiplex hordes.

I don't entirely agree- the ending was actually quite daringly despairing for a blockbuster summer movie- but other than that, the film just jumps headfirst into the chase and never stops. Nick Stahl and Claire Danes are awfully cast as John Connor and Elizabeth Brewster, respectively. Stahl never lets you forget how perfect Ed Furlong was in T2, and Danes just seems out of place in this type of film. There are some great, great action scenes- the hand-to-hand fight between Christina Loken and Ahhnold, the various car chases, the helicopter "party-crashing." It's middle of the road, but decent middle of the road. At the end of the day, the premise Cameron set up was hard to make all bad.

Not much of this from Timmy today

6 HRs. That's how many Tim Wakefield surrendered today against the Tigers... at Comerica Park, the most HR un-friendly park in baseball. The teams combined for 10, and Wakefield, who was awful, won the game. Sox victors 11-9.

Wakefield was the first pitcher since 1940 when on September 7th, George Castor of the Philadelphia A's surrendered 6 to the Boston Red Sox. Previously, the only other pitcher to do it was Tommy Thomas of the St. Louis Browns on June 26th of 1936 to the New York Yankees. It ties an AL record for HRs allowed in a game. In 1886 though, Charlie Sweeney of the St. Louis Maroons surrendered 7 in a game during a season when he gave up only 9 total in 93 IP.

But we won. So it's all cool.

And finally, this from today's Boston Herald:

Them's fightin' words

Wondering what the rest of the league thinks about the Red Sox' fight with the Yankees on July 24?

One Detroit player approached a member of the Boston media over the weekend and asked him to shake Jason Varitek's hand for him. When asked why, the player responded: "For punching that (multiple-expletive) A-Rod! That must have felt good. I've wanted to do that for a long time."

Ahhh....well said. Any guesses on what the multiple expletives were? I know what MINE would have been...

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