Every time I watch this movie, I’m surprised at how simplistic it is. It follows a very simple storyline between four characters and never veers from that path. Focusing on human emotions and the tribulations we all face (although the cases may be extreme in this case) it’s a movie where the acting and humanistic side aren’t far off. Add elements that make it a worthwhile plot, and you have the makings of a film debut by Jieho Lee in his first film.
The entire film is based on an ancient Chinese proverb. Life itself is made up of four emotions. Happiness (Forest Whitaker), Pleasure (Brendan Frasier), Sorrow (Sarah
A well known cast with a bit of heart.
Michelle Gellar), and Love (Kevin Bacon). Each of these characters are represented on a hand, all connected by fingers (Andy Garcia). Through four separate “mini-stories” played out in an intertwining fashion, we gain insight into what the Chinese proverb means.
Hey may look friendly here, but he seems always frightening in his films.
Here’s something I don’t get though. Most critics gave this a bad review. They said that the all-star cast didn’t give enough of a boost to the film. I don’t think the cast or any of that hullabaloo had anything to do with this movie and how it did. This movie focuses on the plot. Seeing as its a character driven plot, the characters fuel and progress the story by their emotions and actions (finally discovering the emotion they represent by their part’s end). People say Brendan Frasier is a terrible actor (excluding The Mummy Series, of course. If you think those are bad, you have no idea what a good action movie is.) but I think this movie proves that theory wrong. Brendan Frasier plays an atypical character to what he normally plays. He’s not a muscled buffoon or frozen caveman come to life. He plays a thug, sure. But he plays an introspective thug who thinks before he acts. He has emotions and feelings you don’t normally see in a Brendan Frasier vehicle,
Give her the nod for this one.
something I’m proud to say he did very well.
There are other reasons this movie is good. Andy Garcia, how can you ever go wrong with that? He’s a frightening mobster man in whatever he does, and I’d personally never want to cross him. Forest Whitaker plays outside of what I think his normal roles are with his timid and almost asthmatic accountant position. Sarah Michelle Gellar was at least applauded for this movie, which I think was justly deserved. Kevin Bacon, well, he’s just Kevin Bacon. Combine interesting roles with an uncanny cadre of actors and you have yourself an interrelated plot about the human extremes of emotion.
Kevin Bacon. He’s footloose in this one.
This movie isn’t flashy. It’s not presumptuous or too intellectual. It shows you that it is what it is and that’s it. An emotional rollercoaster with a happy ending. Not everything that leads up to the ending is happy, but we must all go through trials and tribulations before we see the silver lining (or get to reach it). I think this is an understated film. It’s one of those films you should own in your collection as a little bit of a “life check” for when things are bad, or even good. So I would recommend at least giving The Air I Breathe a try. It’s thought provoking. 8.2 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: accountant, all-star cast, Andy Garcia, badly review, Brendan Frasier, Chinese proverb, emotional roller coaster, extreme cases, film, Fingers, first directorial debut, focuses on plot, Forest Whitaker, four emotions, four main characters, frightening mob boss, hand, Happiness, happy ending, human emotions, humanistic, insightful, interrelated, intertwining characters, introspective thug, it is what it is, Jieho Lee, justly deserved acting, Kevin Bacon, life check, love, mini stories, Pleasure, Sarah Michelle Gellar, silver lining, simplistic storyline, Sorrow, The Air I Breathe, The Mummy series, thought provoking, timid character, tribulations, understated film, worthwhile movie | posted in Movies
This stoner film classic (a title I wouldn’t normally give this film, but apparently is its category/genre) is a movie I’ve been aware of for a while and have watched at least a dozen times on Comedy Central. Sitting down to watch it, uncensored for a baker’s dozen made it all the more satisfying. This outlandishly dull/dark comedy film with its underlying marijuana jokes (by that, I guess I mean jokes that would be found funnier if high) and hilarious insults, this movie kicks a lot of ass. And takes no names. Well, it takes some. But this film incorporates the great tribute to the comedic road-trip (i.e. Dumb & Dumber) and ridiculous occurrences (i.e. Meet the Spartans/any spoof movie with random appearances of randomness) and molds these two concepts into one great head trip of druggie proportions. But at the same time, it works for non-stoners like myself, with its hilarious actors.
So Dick Murphy (James Roday, star of Psych) is a down on his luck T-shirt decal shop. He’s been recently broken up with, repossessed, and poor. With nothing else to ride on, him, his brothers, and a few college friends take on the enormous
The Murphys and some strippers. Rolling hard.
task of stealing a bunch of weed from a U.S. growing site that their hippie parents used to frequent. With obstacles and hardships aplenty, its a wonder they get anywhere at all. I mean, come on, geese that attack at the provocation of a car horn. Damn, dirty goats? It all adds up to a failed trip in the making.
But no, these 5 determined men won’t give up at all in their quest for the nugs. Despite police, border patrol, and an unkind Southern hermaphroditic waitress, these men will stop at nothing to make bank with bud. After every scene, every line, I find something new and funnier to laugh at. Despite seeing it so many times, the movie just gets better with age, like a fine wine. I tip my hat Thomas Haden Church (Sideways and Spider-Man 3 actor, but more importantly Brendan Frasier’s antagonist
A couple of great scenes. Who knew?
in George of the Jungle) the director and writer and 2-part actor in this film for the ages.
There are some hilarious not well known actors in this film. Sam Huntington plays the crippled and angry Dinkadoo Murphy, better known as “Dinkus”. Although he has been getting more work since this and his other smaller bit roles in a few comedies, I find Sam Huntington to be far funnier than he is given credit for. Dinkus’s character is no different with his hilarious outbursts and insult thrown at anyone who pisses off the boy in the wheelchair. Charlie Finn plays Kevin Haub, confused and slightly retarded friend of the Murphys who battles the entire movie with the idea that he might be gay (inset horn sound here). This clueless character is unlike any I’ve seen before, and I could only liken it to Dumb & Dumber. Ryan McDow plays (as a one time role) Hunter Bullette, the anti-social narcoleptic with a kind soul but hulking whale body. Filling out the cast in Rip Torn, known simply as Oldman, the messiah who leads the boys to the promised land of Mary Jane. Rip must be a natural comedic actor, because ever since Dodgeball, I’ve seen him in EVERYTHING.
With such a great cast and such a simple idea, this movie is definitely worth a few views. High or sober, it doesn’t matter, I’m sure it can be appreciated by everyone. With the pursuit of a dream and some major bones, this film brings the American West into perspective painted on a faux-highway of gold bricks. With nothing safe, why wouldn’t you risk your entire livelihood for weed?
Leave a comment | tags: American West, anti-social, Brendan Frasier, Brothers, bud, Charlie Finn, college friends, comedic road trip, Comedy Central, cripple, Dick Murphy, Dinkadoo Murphy, Dinkus, director and writer, Dodgeball, druggies, Dumb & Dumber, geese attack, George of the Jungle, goats, head trip, high, hilarious insults, hippies, Hunter Bullette, James Roday, Kevin Haub, marijuana jokes, Mary Jane, may be gay, Meet the Spartans, narcoleptic, nothing is safe, nugs, Oldman, outlandish comedy, police, Psych, retarded, Rip Torn, Rolling Kansas, Ryan McDow, Sam Huntington, Sideways, simple idea, Spider-Man 3, spoof movie random, stoner film, T-shirt decal shop, Thomas Haden Church, unknown comedic actors, weed | posted in Movies
So I just recently re-watched The Mummy and The Mummy Returns with my roommate and it was quite the nostalgic experience. I went back to a time where I used to be obsessed with the Eqyptians. I read books about them, I talk with my grandma about her trips to Egypt, she showed me slides, and, most importantly, I watched The Mummy series. I loved the story of Imhotep and how the story was interesting and at the same time based on historical evidence. The people, the places, the times of the Pharaohs, it was all real and interesting. And it was all set in the era of the archeologist. And automated weapons. What could be better?
So, basic plot of both films. Rick O’Connell (Brendan Frasier) and Evelyn “Evy” O’Connell, (Rachel Weisz) (Yes, they get married in the second. They even have a child! Imagine that!) accompanied by her brother Johnathan, (John Hannah) awake a mummy named Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo). He was never meant to be awoken, because of his travesties against Seti I. He was given the Hom Dai, the worst of all curses that transfers over into the afterlife. He fooled around with Seti’s wife-to-be Anck Su Namun (Patricia Velasquez) and killed Seti I. This story is all explained and re-explained in the two movies.
So Evy awakes Imhotep and the whole rest of the movie Rick and Evy race around Egypt attempting to stop the creature. And thus does the first one end. What’s nice about the second one is that it picks up from a point later on, and now Evy and Rick have a kid in tow. Their little “bundle of fun” Alex (Freddie Boath) puts on the Bracelet of Anubis and awakens the Scorpion King (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) who will bring about the next apocalypse. Those are Ardeth Bay’s (Oded Fehr) words, not mine. So this movie is about Rick and Evy vs. Imhotep in their race to the lost oasis of Ahm Shere to stop/utilize the Scorpion King’s army.
And these nice little action/adventure plots are what makes the movies. They’re not hard to follow, the keep up the suspense and action, and they’re academically infused with a bit of mythology and history. All based around the idea of a mummy coming back to life. Frightening, and at the same time mesmerizing.
I might be a little biased in my review because I grew up with the Mummy series, but these movies are quite fantastic. And no, I’m not including that hulking piece of garbage known as The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. That thing was awful. There’s no Rachel Weisz, the plot is rocky, there’s no Egyptian aspect to it, it’s just trash. If I had to do it, I would compare it to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Not as bad, but really detracted from the Indiana Jones series. But yes, The Mummy/Mummy Returns are quite fantastic in their scope. They use the history of the Pharaohs and the rituals of Egypt to spook and entertain. Setting it all in a early 1900’s era gives it that age of discovery and adventure around the world. And the use (?) of actual (?) locations really ties it all together. (I don’t know if it was filmed on location, but I do like all the pyramids.)
Brendan Frasier at his finest.
And the acting, quite frankly, is some of Brendan Frasier’s finest. He’s witty, but at the same time he can be serious. But I feel like that’s the way this movie was set up. It has the witty, corny lines (to a degree), but at the same time it has its serious parts and serious acting shines through. Rachel Weisz is always great (I can understand why she did resign for the Dragon Emperor) and John Hannah (although Scottish) does quite a good English accent. Probably not the point, but you can only see a little Scottish that pops through throughout the films. Oded Fehr is amazing and does a great job as an Egyptian Medjai. Kevin J. O’Connor always makes me laugh as Beni in The Mummy and whenever Rick O’Connell deals with him is great. I really appreciated Patricia Velasquez’s acting in the second Mummy as Anck Su Namun, trying to pretend to be a reincarnated version of herself. And the list goes on with cameos and small supporting roles that are all quite great.
So if you haven’t already seen these films, check them out. They’re worth the watch and are great for their entertainment value and scope in what they deal with. A definite 8.9 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: action/adventure, actual locations, age of discovery, Ahm Shere, Alex O'Connell, Anck Su Namun, archeology, Ardeth Bay, Arnold Vosloo, based on history, Beni, Bracelet of Anubis, Brendan Frasier, cameos, corny lines, Dwayne Johnson, early 1900's, Egypt, Egyptian Medjai, Egyptians, Evelyn "Evy" O'Connell, Freddie Boath, Hom Dai, Imhotep, Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, John Hannah, Johnathan O'Connell, Kevin J. O'Connor, Mummy Series, mythology and history, nostalgic experience, Oded Fehr, Patricia Velasquez, Pharaohs, Rachel Weisz, Rick O'Connell, Scorpion King, serious parts, Seti I, small supporting roles, suspense, the creature, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Rock, witty | posted in Movies