Friday, June 02, 2006

Camera Obscura - District B-13, Aeon Flux and More

Yay Friday! Time for movie news, reviews, DVDs, some hot summer movies just ahead and a few thoughts on the week's entertainment news. This includes a new summer action film based on "Escape From New York" and a kind of street-gymnastic-fu craze that boasts worldwide membership, even here in Tennessee, but more on that in a moment. Let's start with the story of li'l Katie Couric and her jump to the Big Show.

Katie Couric says she's the best, mostest hard-nosed journalist going, and is vowing to end what she called the "pretentious era" in TV news. I have no idea what that comment - or several of the other comments she made to CBS execs, really means. One function she has filled for years is to talk extensively without really saying anything.

She's no Edward R. Murrow and she's no journalist - for instance, the late, great Peter Jennings worked his way from field reporter to bureau chief to anchor, not from Morning Face to Evening Face. We are all better off searching for news on our own. And she might consider the words Mr. Murrow offered to news directors in 1958:

It is not necessary to remind you that the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other."

Last week, I mentioned that there wasn't much success at the screening for "Southland Tales," and new reports indicate a major re-edit for the movie is on the way so it can find a U.S. distributor. Which also means you'll have to wait for the DVD to see the original cut.

For summer viewing fun, a reader notes his most-anticipated movie is the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel. Enjoy a lengthy preview here. Personally, I am looking forward to the 3rd movie, which was shot simultaneously with part 2, which will feature Chow Yun Fat. Fat is my hero.

Opening today (though not anywhere locally I could find) is the movie "District B-13," which has captured outstanding reviews. It's a sort-of "Escape From New York" story. Set in the near future, Paris has become so ridden with riots and crime (as it actually has been) that the government was walled in several communities and ghettos, including B-13. A cop and a criminal join forces in typical buddy movie fashion and the action in this Luc Besson-produced adventure takes the action of "Transporter" and endless king-fu features and ramps up the intensity several notches, thanks to a recent urban sport called Parkour. Oh, and the presence of nuclear weapons in the ghetto.

The website for the movie has tons of previews and explanations. Parkour-participant David Belle stars in the movie. Parkour is a sport of sorts, where people sort of jump, dance, bounce, fly, leap, in a freestyle extreme sport kind of way. Tennesseans from Bristol to Knoxville to Monterey to Memphis have joined in the action, according to this website.

I also finally watched the movie "Aeon Flux", based on the cartoon series created by Peter Chung and aired on MTV. An attempt to film this bizarre bio-nano-weirdo hi-tech future is an enormous chore and the results are only average. Charlize Theron stars as the semi-naked assassin and she does well as semi-naked assassins go. The movie's design work and effects are excellent, the writing is not so excellent. But it does compete well in the semi-naked babe sci-fi movie genre (see also "Barbarella" or "Fifth Element" or "Terminator:3" or "Danger: Diabolik")

Afraid of catching a true turkey of a movie this summer? Check out The Movie Binge, where a group of bloggers has vowed to watch and review 85 major releases over the summer. Might save some time and dollars for you.

I also found a good collection of movie scripts online, including David Lynch movies, Kubrick, Raimi, Tarantino, teen comedies and modern classics and many more. C'mon, aren't you tired of always quoting "Caddyshack"? There's a world of movie quotes ready for you!


  1. I thought the cartoon Aeon had bigger...uh, was more curvaceous.

    Do YOU watch the evening news?

  2. I'll watch the network newscasts perhaps once or twice a week.
    With so many more news choices available online, the main reason I'll tune in is to see how they spin or what they spin.
    I'll watch the PBS news occassionally too.

    And just for the record, Couric must be the Queen of Pretentious.

  3. I think my three favorite lines in movies are:
    1. "Francine, don't forget to wash your clothes" ... Polyester
    2. "If your hungry, stop and eat something." Best of Show
    3. "Soylent Green is people." Guess on that one, although a Charlton Heston quote is also good for "Damned Dirty Apes."
    Also the song from Troy McClure regarding Planets of the Apes on Broadway on the Simpsons was also pretty damned good.

  4. "Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius!" the Simpsons rule.

    one of my all time favorite lines is from Dr. Strangelove:
    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! It's the war room!"

    and from Conan (say it like Arnold did):
    Conan, what is best in life?
    To crush your enemies, see them driven befoer you and hear the lamentations of the women.

  5. Last night, in a bleak fit of forgetting how to spell, I forgot how to spell Zaius.
    Although, as I posted, I was singing the song, which is sort of pathetic because one of the dogs growled at me to shut up.

  6. Chow Yun Fat in a "Pirates" movie ... I'm there already .. thanks for the heads-up!

  7. Long John Monkey8:47 AM

    What's the latest you hear about Keith Richards playing Capt. Jack Sparrow's father in the third Pirates?

  8. I've read that - not sure if it will be in 2 or 3 though. Also at one point Fat was to be in both 2 and 3 as well - perhaps only mentioned in 2 then the main villian in 3 ...
    No mention of Richards in part 2 on the credits ... be ye must keep yer eye on a pirate as scurrilous and scurvy as jack sparrow and his whole kith and kin.