Monday, September 15, 2008

This Weekend in Entertainment

The Deaths of Ian Stone was a promising but ultimately un-engaging horror movie. The initial premise is that Ian Stone keeps getting killed by some black spectral entity, and each time he wakes in another life, and I found this fascinating. It was what made me pick up the movie in the first place. However, the story becomes confusing as it tries to fill out a back-story for a race of spectral vampires that feed on fear - and it just didn't seem consistent. I wasn't engaged by the movie beyond the initial premise.

10,000 BC, a prehistoric normal man becomes a hero story that again looked promising - especially when I saw a preview of the special effects. But the story fell flat. I just didn't find myself caring about the characters. I stopped the DVD half way and looked this up on IMDB because I had a few questions in my mind... and found that pretty much every single detail of the movie was historically inaccurate. The metals, boats, mammoths, sabre tooth tigers, pyramids, and even the lands they crossed to get where they wanted to go.. all of these details were historically impossible for 10,000 B.C! I found it hard to suspend disbelief for this. Just like Gladiator or 300, some people might go away with this movie in the back their minds, informing just a little bit of their opinions on these times past. It is a little bug-bear of mine. :)

Street Kings with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker. This was biggest disappointment for me this weekend. I usually enjoy Forest Whitaker's acting, and always look forward to Keanu, but the story sucked and the script didn't give them a chance to do their jobs properly. It is a bad cop makes good story, but there were too many holes in the plot for me. From the start, I just wasn't buying Keanu as a veteran bad guy cop when contrasted against the other weasels in his team. The motivations didn't make sense. Reeves was a bit of a "one note" actor in this, playing the depressed guy all the way through. Forest Whitaker was too nice to be the evil guy he was meant to be. And Hugh Laurie (House) was the most disappointing. Little more than an extended bit part - they used his character to wrap up the ending in a way that really made no sense. How the writers seriously thought that the whole plot of the movie could be construed to be House's plan is beyond me. Worse, his character was just a shade of House - as though they said to him "do like you do in House, only boring it up a little".

I also saw One Man with Steve Berkoff on Saturday night with Dad at the National Theatre. I loved his one man play in two acts. The first was Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell Tale Heart" and the second act a story of his own called "Dog" about a British soccer hooligan with a pit bull. He was brilliant, using mime to incredible effect to show both drama and comedy. I greatly admire the courage it takes to do a single person play - to maintain a dramatic monologue that succesfully draws the audience in and makes them forget the actor and focus on the characters - and this is just what Steve Berkoff did!