Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Movie Review V, or, How to Plot Revenge, or, Why War Sucks

This weekend I watched not one, no no, but TWO new movie releases! I know, I really worked over time for you people. (Please feel free to mail me those airline tickets and cruise packages, ANYTIME.)

First up? Law Abiding Citizen featuring Jamie Foxx and Gerard "I-haven't-done-a-movie-as-awesome-as-300-since" Butler. The basic gist of the movie is that Gerard's family is murdered and Jamie Foxx is the prosecutor who cuts a plea deal with one of the killers. Gerard waits ten years and plots his vengeance. Mayhem ensues.

Here's the thing I realized while watching the movie. Even in my revenge fantasies I'm sort of half-assing it. I know! If ever you should REALLY put forth the effort with bullet point lists and spreadsheets, it's when plotting hardcore revenge. Clearly, I need to step up my game.

Although, our friend GB's character goes a leeeeeetle to the dark side while trying to avenge his family. Killing the killer? Sure, I'm okay with that. I think any mom worth her salt would tell you that if you mess with the kids, you're going down. Hard. As in FOREVER style. But the sort of planning in THIS movie? A touch over the edge. And GB's character also wants to take down the entire Criminal Justice System - lawyers, judges, hell, paralegals are fair game!

So it was a decent movie, but not my favorite ever. And I'm pretty sure I'm not capable of inventing machines that remotely shoot my enemies. Otherwise I'd probably have a different sort of day job; one that involved scary government agencies, clippy badges and secret meetings. Which. would. be. SWEET! But I digress. I can't invent my way out of an open plastic bag.

Second movie up? The Hurt Locker. Sigh. It was pretty hardcore. I liked it a lot though, which for me, is rather rare. I'm not a huge war movie fan, because, although stuff certainly does blow up, and there are usually good soundtracks, war movies hit sort of close to home here. Military husband y'all. (Right now, we're looking for some specialized tool to mail his buddy who's stuck in Afghanistan.)

(This rule doesn't apply if it's a super super old war, like, say a Greek War involving, ohhhh, roughly 300 Spartans. THOSE I can watch alllll day long.)

Another problem of watching this sort of war movie? Again, military husband. If you have ever, EVER watched a war movie with someone who was in or IS in the military, you already know what I'm talking about. They will sit and tell you EXACTLY what is "totally bullshit" about whatever is happening in the movie.

Oh, did the gun jam? Well that's "totally bullshit" because all you have to do with THAT sort of gun is hit it on the bottom and then eject the clip.

Oh, are the bullets stuck together? Well that's "totally bullshit" because that size of round is meant to withstand all sorts of adverse conditions and you'd only have to remove one and it would be fine and dandy.

Don't ask me, because I was happily watching and believing whatever was going on. I don't know these things.

Oh, did a lower ranking guy just punch a higher ranking guy? Well, guess what homies, that's "totally bullshit" because that just doesn't happen. I mean, it just doesn't. You'd "have his ass" if that ever happened.

Sigh. I was excited because I'm a dork I was all, HEY! They have the same gloves you do! Then I was all, HEY, where's the Air Force because those guys could use some back up! He just shook his head. Apparently they are NOT the same gloves and he didn't know where his boys in blue were either.

It was a really good movie though, seriously. I'm SO sick of the politics of it all and this movie took you right to the people who are stuck DEALING with the politics, hardcore, in the desert. The movie follows an Army squad, group, platoon (WTF I don't know) who's specialty is Unexploded Ordinance; they find those shitty roadside bombs and disarm or otherwise deal with them. (See also: NOT a job I'd ever do.)

*Honestly, and I mean this in all sincerity, any man or woman in uniform has my undying admiration because I could NOT do it. I am afraid of virtually everything. Spiders. Heights. Getting blown up or shot. I don't know how they do it but it amazes and humbles me.*

The Hurt Locker's pace is relentless. There aren't a lot of "downtime" sequences, it's pretty much balls-to-the-wall finding bombs and dealing with citizens who either might have planted those bombs or are just innocent bystanders, but you're never quite sure. It's set in Iraq 2004, and it's just very tense. I had a hard time sleeping later because I'd been keyed up the whole time.

The characters are pretty believable, and I walked away even more sure that the "War on Two Fronts" is creating an entire generation of PTSD victims on a hella-huge scale. I mean, I think I GOT PTSD from watching the movie. I can't imagine living through multiple rotations and seeing that sort of death and destruction on a daily basis.

Final verdict? Awesome movie. Regardless of how you feel about the war, the government or our "mission," you end up admiring the people serving for doing what they do, day in and day out, rotation after rotation.

Comments, questions, thoughts?