I’ve had something of a return to form this week, going to see three movies inside of six days. Due to too many late shifts and weekends at the bookstore (which we don’t get paid extra for, thank you) I haven’t been to many recently. So on Sunday I went off with my chum Melanie to see Charlie’s Angels. Pretty much what I thought it would be – a very silly froth of OTT action scenes and bizarre dance interludes, peppered liberally with shots of Cameron Diaz’s knickers and Lucy Lui’s pert bum. Some reviewers have said it lacked heart and wasn’t as good as the first one. Personally I think they just feel they have to say something like that. I thought it was just as silly but equally just as enjoyable as the first outing. You know what to expect here, it isn’t Shakespeare after all, but if you go in expecting ridiculously extravagant goings on then you will be entertained.
Bad Guy is part of the Tartan Asia Extreme season going on at the UGC. A violent gangster takes a shine to an innocent student and contrives to have her framed for pick pocketing in order to drive her into a life of vice, which he watches from behind a two-way mirror in the bordello. It sounds like a recipe for a piece of violence and sexual exploitation cinema, but surprisingly it wasn’t really. The gangster (silent almost all the time) is a conflicted mixture of tenderness and violence – after seeing one john force himself onto the weeping girl he follows him and beats him – even although the whole situation is his fault. The girl is seen before all of this stealing money and books from a store, so she isn’t actually an innocent angel either. The mirror, his silence (partly caused by a throat wound, partly because of his inability to articulate himself), her repression all become symbols of differing types of isolation and repression. It can be disturbing but was also fascinating, refusing to go completely down the roads you would have expected.
Lastly I went to see the Hulk today. Really enjoyed it (although the ending was a bit OTT, but hey). I loved the fact that Ang Lee made a film that was mostly about characters, using the effects and action sequences only towards the end, letting the narrative drive things instead of the normal blockbuster model of minimal storyline and lots of action scenes strung together as eye candy. Expect the review on the Alien shortly.