Thursday, February 17, 2011

UNKNOWN (2011)

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

 This is the first movie I have seen for free since Burlesque (2011). Can't believe how someone can be so lucky in such a short amount of time. It was a ROCK FM promotion too. At Hoyts in Riccarton.  I snuck in left over pretzels and peanut M&Ms. I regretted not buying a popcorn. I was scared that they would see the snack-packets and not let us in. I regretted not buying a coke. There was a big line of ROCK FM listeners. While in the queue Ben pointed out the poster for Never Let Me Go. I want to see it when it comes out. I think he does as well, but secretly because it's about love and not assassins like Unknown. Also it looks good. It's based on the book (with the same name) by Kazuo Ishiguro. He is a Japanese-born British author. I want to read the book before I see the film. He wrote the original story for The Saddest Music in the World which Guy Maddin and some other guy rewrote and shot and won lots of awards for. When I was looking at the poster for Never Let Me Go I looked at it with such vehemence that I walked backwards into a big Maori man who was eating a delicious looking ice-cream. I said "Oh my god I'm so sorry" and laughed thinking 'oh no I walked back into him so hard that he nearly mushed his ice-cream all over the lady in front and what a waste of an ice-cream that would have been especially if it was a banana choc-top because they are the best'. Also that he had a very broad back and I was tempted to lean up against it again. At the entrance to the theatre THE ROCK FM promo team and a security man from the cinema were taking everyones cellphones and putting them in plastic zip-lock bags and getting people to write down their numbers. What use would their numbers be when their phones are in zip-lock bags? I asked why and they said they were taking stuff that could be used to record the movie. Guess measures like that have to be taken with THE ROCK FM listeners. Was kind of disheartening on the other hand that THE ROCK FM lack that much faith in their audience. I was embarrassed that my cellphone can't record video (or take pictures either). We got good seats. There was only one trailer. I can't remember what for though.

 Jaume Collet-Serra directed the 2005 remake of House of Wax with PARIS HILTON. He also directed this movie. It stars Liam Neeson. Also Diane Kruger as an illegal immigrant from Bosnia. It's set in Germany. It is an action thriller. Basically Liam Neeson gets in a car accident and loses his memory and has major identity/relationship problems while being chased by assassins and there is a big scientific summit and a bomb and a cure for famine. There is also this BIG TWIST, like two thirds of the way in and I don't even care about spoiling it LIAM NEESON IS AN ASSASSIN ACTUALLY. It was kind of a bummer because the whole time I thought he was this cool botanist. He thought he was this cool botanist the whole time too and I suppose he was more shocked/bummed out than anyone when he found out he was really a pro liar/killer. Instead of Liam Neeson the bad guys should have gone after the screenwriters and that House of Wax director. I got the impression they kind of dug themselves into a hole with the assassin thing, like they pitched half of the story to Warner Bros and the Bros thought 'sweet man Liam Neeson is a real smart botanist and has a hot wife and this House of Wax guy seems real good like he's going to pay homage to mean films like Blade Runner which we actually distributed back in '82', then got 'green lit' and started shooting and then got to half way and thought shit, now what do we do? I bet they thought of Fight Club and toyed with the idea of giving Liam Neeson like, dissociated personalities or something, but judging by the scene in the museum however, where he makes out with his wife real sneaky amongst an exhibition of giant portraits of peoples faces representing all too obviously his personal predicament, it was way over their heads. What if he was an assassin but forgot he was one and was good now? they thought next. Yeah! Assassin!!!!! Then they thought shit we've already shot half of it, it's too late to get Angelina Jolie in now, let's just have more car chases and maybe no one will notice? Yeah! Assassin!!!!! they thought, this is gonna be the greatest redemption film since Shawshank.

 There was some good stuff about it though:

1. January Jones wearing a backless dress
2. Moment of understanding/male bonding during spy suicide 
3. Liam Neeson tries to kill the guy with chic specs like Roy Batty kills Tyrell in BR. I think this is the only time where any notion of homage is achieved, although it attempts many times to do so. Or they're just dumb. I dunno. Feel like Serra got confused with the meanings of homage and cliché the whole time. It would be a pretty shit way to die regardless. 
4. Liam Neeson is kind of sexy?

 The worst part was when the pretzels and M&Ms ran out so early on. When a car exploded a boy in front of us raised both his arms in the air and with fists clenched growled "yeeaarrrr". After it finished we went to the supermarket and got 18 Tasman Bitters for $22.95. 


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