Implied Dissent

Friday, November 07, 2003

I've seen two movies in as many days.

MATRIX REVOLUTIONS was an expected disappointment. All of the freshness and hipness of the first part of the trilogy has been swept away by indulgent seriousness. SPOILER ALERT: I would hate to ruin the ending for anyone who is reading this who hasn't seen it, because as much as I don't respect this "film" I do respect the viewers and their right to obtain closure by seeing the final installment, but the ending was rife with overt religiosity that wasn't even original. Martyring the main character has always been a tried and true ending to any hero epic, but doing so while making visual references to Christ is just overdone. There is a difference between classic and trite.

Otherwise, the movie was resplendent with somewhat overdone and cheezy special effects and portentous dialogue that turned characters that were, in the first movie, hip and exciting into ponderous downers. I've never seen less energy from Lawrence Fishburne.

Highlights included Jada Pinkett Smith - I always suspected she had some talent. She gets lost in the character and reveals a gorgeous mix of grit, vulnerability and sexiness. I am also a fan of the "Sentinals."

BUBBA HO TEP. If you see only one movie this year..... wait... I would probably say 28 Days Later, but this one is a good addition. The director, Don Coscarelli was a new name to me. He is best known, apparently, for PHANTASM (a cult favorite). With Bubba Ho Tep he leaves the genre of Sci Fi/Horror behind and enters a strange twilight zone of Horror/Camp/Absurdity. The film brilliantly stars Bruce Campbell (of, among other things, Xena, Evil Dead and The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr.) as none other than the King and Ossie Davis as JFK. Set in an east Texas Rest Home, the film depicts the heroic efforts of these two legends to save the souls of their fellow inhabitants from the evil Bubba Ho Tep. The special effects included a truly creepy mummy and scarab beetles that made me shiver. The film opens on a sickly bed-ridden Elvis describing a growth on his .... well, you'll just need to see it. Two Thumbs Up indeed.


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