Kapitar

Adventures in Arts

Filmlog: The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau PosterSaw this film last night and I have to say it surprised me. Totally enjoyable experience. The casting is spot on, Matt Damon has the charisma to pull of the romantic humour as well as the integrity and willpower to fight the system. Emily Blunt manages to create a character that you can imagine wanting to beat the odds for.

Thankfully, very little time is spent on explaining why the 'Angels' are here, even the one or two lines of exposition are a little off putting. Instead they decide to focus on the meat of the story, should you accept your logical fate or fight for your gut instincts.

What it made me realise was that getting the emotional punch right cancels out any of the fancy pants special effects: even the really subtle ones here were extraneous (like smart-paper schematics on the notebooks). I think it was also wise to drop any complications to the plot. All I cared about was what the Hero was going to do next, that's what a good story is all about.

PS: How many filmable Philip K. Dick short stories are left?

Favourite Scenes #5: The Chronicles of Riddick - Teacup

The Chronicles of Riddick I'm a night owl and while I work away into the morning hours I like to play movies in the background. There's a certain type of movie that fits the bill. It has the be action focused, with a good visual style and more importantly, strong audio and dialogue, as you listen more than you watch. Any smouldering tension or complex storylines are a no go, they are too distracting. A film like Chronicles is a perfect choice, and it's in the regular rotation.

I'm not saying I enjoy it 'cause its bad, on the contrary I admire this film. Wikipedia tells me the budget is USD 105 million, and I believe every cent is up there on the screen. Some of the sets are awe inspiring, and are very reminiscent of Dune, the action set pieces never feel small. I also like the running time, its got a pleasing number of arcs. That's very important when you don't want to be distracted thinking of what film to play next.

As for Vin Diesel, well its the part he was born to play, so its no surprise he's so fond of the character. Which leads me on to the scene I want to talk about today.

The Setup

  • Riddick is on the prison planet Crematoria reuniting with an old friend Kyra, who is running into some problems with the resident rape gang
  • He advises them to depart while they still can, unsurprisingly, they decline..

The Characters

  • Vin Diesel plays Riddick, the archetypal anti hero
  • Alexa Davalos plays Kyra, a tough girl with abandonment issues

The Scene

  1. Riddick calmly advises the rape gang to departGenerally, as a bad guy, when someone is this nonchalant, you should be asking yourself why
  2. They quite rightly point out that he's only armed with a soup cupIm pleased to see theres a wide choice of food and beverages
  3. Riddick informs them that its actually a tea cup, and yes, that's all he needsAlso surprising that some of the most dangerous prisoners in the solar system are given jagged metal cups
  4. He places it on a suspiciously convenient ledge shaped rockYou'll notice in the film thats theres actually a perfectly shaped bump to splay the lip of the cup open when struck from above
  5. The classic 'ragged metal cup to the chest' moveDidn't From Dusk Till Dawn address the challenges of successfully pushing objects through the bone and muscle of a human torso
  6. Riddick shows them the next improvised killing instrumentI can see how you could injure someone with this, but I'm curious to see how you could deal a death blow with it
  7. They key from a sardine tin, niceI suspect the bad guys returned later for this, its a nightmare opening a tin without one
  8. The bad guys get the messageI like the practicality of leaving the corpse behind

Amusing deaths and witty one liners are the staple of a solid action movie, and here Chronicles does not disappoint. A character like Riddick is perfectly fit to deliver both, which is a big part of this movies appeal.

Oh I almost forgot..

The fantastically bizarre Lensors..One of the odd touches that helps set the film apart from the standard military sci-fi muster