Saturday, October 21, 2006

Soldiers raise up the American flag in Iwo Jima in FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS.

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS: Blog #2... I saw the World War II epic today, and while it was not as intense as 1998's Saving Private Ryan, it was more moving and emotional. Like Private Ryan, Flags opens up with a modern-day sequence featuring a WWII veteran...who in the Clint Eastwood film recounts the significance of the flag raising photo shot in Iwo Jima. The battle scenes in Flags are just as realistic and gut-wrenching as those in the Steven Spielberg epic. But unlike Private Ryan, the modern-day scenes also take place during the movie...and they are actually pivotal to the story in Flags. The modern-day scenes at the beginning and end of Private Ryan, on the other hand, could've been deleted from that film...which would've probably made the '99 Best Picture nominee a much better movie. It's still a great film, though.

A screenshot from FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS.

Proof that Flags of Our Fathers was emotional and moving was evident at the finale, when most of the theater audience remained still and silent during the end credits sequence. As the credits rolled, actual photos taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima came up on screen...and it was interesting to see how close Clint Eastwood came to re-creating certain events that took place in the 1945 Pacific conflict.

A montage of screenshots from FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Soldiers raise up the American flag in Iwo Jima in FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS.

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS... Clint Eastwood’s World War II epic about the famous photo taken in Iwo Jima comes out today. I’ll probably watch it sometime this weekend. Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige is also out in release. I’ll probably watch that too... Don’t know when, though. Definitely can’t wait for Borat to come out (it opens on November 3rd). That looks like a hilarious film. "I support your war...of terror." ‘Nuff said.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) gets interrogated by one of Frank Costello's (Jack Nicholson) goons.

THE DEPARTED... So I saw the film yesterday, and there’s really one thing I need to point out: In the hands of a capable director like Martin Scorsese, violence rocks!! Yes, you heard right... It might be my dark, sadistic subconscience talking...but nothing gets the adrenaline pumpin' faster than having most of the main characters get blasted away at the en— Err, you can finish the sentence. Storywise, I’m well aware that Scorsese actually remade a little Hong Kong film known as Infernal Affairs, but since I didn’t see that movie, I’ll treat Departed as being completely original and kicking ass. Jack Nicholson, unsurprisingly, gave a great, wacky performance as mob boss Frank Castello (especially in that scene where he was giving that little imitation of a rat. Yes, the actual rodent). Matt Damon gave a good, straightforward performance as mob mole Colin Sullivan. Mark Wahlberg gave an amusing performance as trash-talking police investigator Dignam...and Leonardo DiCaprio gave a strong performance as Jack Dawso—err, Howard Hugh—I mean, police mole Billy Costigan. And Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin were okay, too. So that was Anthony Anderson. And I thought that was Maggie Gyllenhaal who played Madolyn. My bad. It was another lady named Vera Farmiga.

Billy Costigan gets interviewed by police officials Oliver Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg).

Now that I’m done listing the main cast, what else should I mention? I already pointed out the violence, and how it kicked ass, so I’ll switch to something else. One negative comment I have about the film is that the editing was very haphazard in many of the scenes. Apparently, the script supervisor was dozing off on set...since some of the actors' gestures were inconsistent with the shots that followed the previous ones. In one shot Leonardo Dicaprio will be staring straight ahead at a wall, in the shot after that his head is turned as he is conversing with Martin Sheen or making a move on Vera Farmiga’s character. To the film editor: It must’ve been fun working on the Avid for this film, eh? Anyways, that is the only nitpick I have. Don’t know if this film will be Oscar material for Scorsese, but we shall see...

Billy Costigan confronts his mole counterpart, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon).