Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Review: Babylon A. D.

Filed under: Art,Fun,Movies,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rat which is in the wee hours or 12:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I saw Babylon A. D. this weekend.

It wasn’t bad.
Actually, it was pretty good. Naturally, starring Vin Diesel, it was an action film, but that’s not a bad thing at all. The premise was that Diesel was a mercenary in a post Apocalyptic world, delivering a special girl from a nunnery in Tibet to New York. He’s hired by a Russian gangster, in some burned out version of a future Russia. Oddly, the Russian is played by a Frenchman, Gerard Depardeu, who wears a totally extraneous bit of facial appliance. Not sure what the point of that was, honestly. It was sort of strange, actually. So, in any case, this Russian gangster does all his business from a modified armored personnel carrier, because that’s the level of violence the world has reached, apparently. He airlifts Diesel’s character in a Russian knock-off of a Mercedes and drops him in front of the Tibetan nunnery, where he meets Michelle Yeoh’s character. She plays a nanny, of sorts, to the very special girl who was an orphan of some kind and needs to be delivered safely to New York City in six days.

Obviously, there are people trying to stop Diesel and Yeoh from getting the girl to NYC. That, in fact, is the basis for what seems to pass for a plot for most of the movie. It’s all about getting past all the barriers and obstacles to the Big Apple.

There are a few things that are a bit of a surprise, but, mostly, it’s a fairly predictable movie-length chase. There is a plot, of sorts, but it’s so thin that it seems more like a sub-plot than anything. And, it never really seems to get resolved, to me. It just suddenly ends. I mean, one minute, there’s this massive action scene and then… Poof! The movie is over. It’s really bizarre. It’s almost like there was an hour cut out of the movie that explains the ending or something. Really strange.

Oddly enough, the small point of not having an ending doesn’t really make it a bad movie. A little odd perhaps, but not bad at all. In fact, it’s a pretty good movie. It’s not Dark Knight, but it’s not bad, either. In fact, I might be willing to see it again, just to try and figure it all out!
So, in short, if you like science-fiction movies, or Vin Diesel, or just plain action films, it’s worth seeing at least once.


Review: The Dark Knight

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Movies,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:57 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I saw The Dark Knight today.

I feel confident that this is going to be the best movie of the year. I have to admit I was a little dubious based on the massive amount of publicity the movie’s gotten and all the rave reviews my friends gave it. I mean, when they compared Dark Knight to the Godfather movies, well, I thought the reviewer had lost his mind, but I think they may be onto something.

So, the Dark Knight picks up where Batman Begins left off. Batman Begins retells the origin story of Batman in a way that’s closer to the original comic than the first movie did. This movie continues with that story, though Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawson and Aaron Eckhart joins as Harvey “Two Face” Dent. Christian Bale still plays Bruce Wayne/Batman, with Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, not to mention Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon.
The story opens with Batman fighting a number of criminals in a parking garage, along with some Batman copycats sort of getting in his way. He seems to find the whole thing a little depressing, having copycat vigilantes. He’s also sort of looking for a way to retire, once the city is safe from organized crime. For this, Bruce looks to Harvey Dent, the Gotham District Attorney. He’s the last honest man, outside of Jim Gordon, in the city and he’s putting away plenty of criminals. He’s also dating Rachel Dawes, much to the pain of Bruce Wayne.

Well, it seems he has his work cut out for him when he goes up against a new kind of criminal, the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger. He’s scarred, both physically and mentally, and appears in makeup to hide both. But, his crazy shows through both when he kills his accomplices and offers to kill the Batman, for a fee. So, off he goes, in his crazy way, using random violence and our own worst nature against us.

Well, I don’t want to give away too much plot, because you all really have to see this movie, so I won’t tell you more, but it is a violent roller coaster through a dark world of back alleys and sub-levels and ruined buildings. There are explosions and guns and more explosions and hand-to-hand action and car chases. But, oddly, there’s also a fair amount of philosophy, brilliant dialog, and social commentary. But, none of that stuff gets in the way of the story or the action.
The sets and cinematography are brilliant, too. Oh, and most of the movie was shot in Chicago and near where I worked for several years. I kept seeing things in the background that totally reminded me of home. In a good way.

I’m sure I’ll see this movie again, possibly on IMAX. The friend I saw it with today had already seen it twice before and was talking about seeing it again. Dark Knight is one of those movies that you can watch many times, finding more each time you watch it. It truly is the best of the Batman films and, really, is one of the best films I’ve ever seen.
I cannot encourage you enough to see this film. If you see no other movie this year, make it Dark Knight.

Powered by WordPress
Any links to sites selling any reviewed item, including but not limited to Amazon, may be affiliate links which will pay me some tiny bit of money if used to purchase the item, but this site does no paid reviews and all opinions are my own.