Frantic. Frenzy. Breathless. Bourne Ultimatum.

Free falling objects tend to have pitch, yaw, roll. Bourne Ultimatum is one such piece of film with its pictures moving in all three dimensions at such breathless speeds that they might break free out of the projector running off in a thousand directions. Here’s when they almost did –

  • When Bourne swerves left on the steering wheel when his cop car is being scraped across a median.
  • When Bourne jumps across the last roof, shown in slo-mo not super slo-mo, to crash across into the window in the opposite building.
  • “He just drove off the roof!”
  • The entire Simon Ross episode.

And here’s when they did –

  • Julia Stiles breaks into a smile. And the soundtrack kicks in to a shot of Jason Bourne… in fact, the whole epilogue was great.

Bourne Identity would still be held highest of the Bourne series because it has a high book-to-screen-ness quotient and the story stands good on its own. One the other hand, Bourne Ultimatum is one book-to-screen adaptation where there is absolutely no relation between the book and screen. And the screen doesn’t even inch towards a semblance of a story what with all the action taking the place of the story. But who cares? When the action is this mindblowing.

Movie Previews: ‘Reservation Road’, ‘Right At Your Door’..

I can always tell a good movie from a bad one from its trailer, eventhough most people think all trailers look good. For instance, I have a strong feeling ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ is gonna suck in hell, which will most probably turn out to be true.

OK back to this post! Terry George, director of the terrific ‘Hotel Rwanda’, directs a very impressive cast including Academy Award winners Joacquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly, and Mira Sorvino, in ‘Reservation Road’. Based on the novel of the same title, by John Burnham Schwartz, Reservation Road is a drama about revenge and redemption, revolving around an accident. I know that sounds familiar, but the trailer looks like this might turn out to be good. It also stars Mark Ruffalo, who I think is a good actor who hasn’t been noticed. Check out the trailer here.

Right At Your Door’s trailer promises an original thriller, and looks great. Seems to give a new twist to the usual virus outbreak movie. Check it out here.

Finally, there’s this movie called ‘The Last Winter’, which doesn’t look too promising to me. But I’m still gonna mention it, cos it has one of the best reviews a horror movie can get.. one critic called it ‘Scary as F–K’.. haha! Here’s the trailer.

“He just drove off the roof!”

Bourne Tribute

The first bit of dialogue, just dialogue without an action sequence, is at an hour and ten minutes into the movie. I know cos I actually looked down at my watch and smiled.

2007 is the year of the action movie. After John McLane and Optimus Prime, I would like to introduce you to the King, Jason Charles Bourne. In The Bourne Ultimatum, we are witness to the perfectly made action movie. A good sequel is a marvel by itself, but a spectacular 3rd movie is nothing short of a miracle. And wait a minute; weren’t these adapted from a series of books? Goodness! Respect, as Ali G would say.

The plot is very simple. It’s pretty much what the tagline states: This Summer, Bourne Comes Home. That’s about it. I don’t need to delineate events, but just need to describe the experience. I remember someone term 300 as one big action sequence, and I agreed then. But today, sitting there in the cinema hall, with my heart pounding every one of those 111 minutes, 300 paled in comparison. Ultimatum is an action sequence, and you’re in it. It grabs you in the first scene, and throws you right in the middle of it all. Bourne is on the run, retracing his steps back to where it all started for him, and you are just a step behind him throughout. You feel the danger in every moment, and you feel the urgency to keep moving. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where its brilliance lies.

Everyone who had read the Bourne books would agree with me that Supremacy and Ultimatum did not match up to Identity’s class. It is very impressive that screenwriter Tony Gilroy chose to eliminate the core storyline of the books, that involved the rival assassin Carlos, and decided to spin a yarn of his own. He decided to tone down the story, and spunk up the screenplay, giving us the three roller coaster rides that take the screen chase to a new high.

I don’t want to end this review without mentioning Matt Damon. His dedication and great talent transform him into Bourne himself. An incredible performance. Don’t miss it.

Superbad

WTF? Why the hype such as from the makers of 40 year old Virgin and Knocked up, when those movie themselves are pretty ordinary if not bad? Movie is loaded with crap and it is also annoyingly long! Aspirin and loads of coffee recommended if you still want to watch it!

‘Elizabeth – The Golden Age’

Shekhar Kapur and Cate Blanchett are back for the second installment of Elizabeth! It seems like a very unlikely movie to have a sequel, but it just speaks for the tremendous success of the first movie. Not only did it do well at the box-office, grossing over 65 million worldwide, it was also critically acclaimed, especially Cate’s powerful performance, which should have fetched her the Oscar that year(which went to Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love.. pathetic!).

Elizabeth – The Golden Age, which hits US theaters on October 12th, also stars Geoffrey Rush, and Clive Owen is a new addition. Clive Owen sure can act, and this will probably be his best chance at the coveted gold statuette.

Check out the impressive trailer, at my favourite trailer haunt.

Transformers

What a ride! WHAT A RUSH! I take back everything I’ve ever said about Michael Bay. When it comes to thinking big and making it bigger, no one does it like he does. Period.

Transformers is terrific. I’m actually too excited to type here, and definitely in no condition to say anything coherent. This movie puts the faith back into mega budget Hollywood flicks, comic-book movies, and creature movies all at once. Yes, you can do a bloody good job of it if you try hard enough. This is jumping up from your seat, pumping your fist in the air and screaming with joy good!

Traffic

Traffic
© USA Films

Another strong argument for Steven Soderbergh to be taken seriously, Traffic is an engaging movie about ‘the war on drugs’ in the US. Soderbergh uses the multiple-smaller threads-making-a-bigger-canvas approach, and does it with élan in this docu-drama. The screenplay is gripping, and the camera work is investigative news-story style, which I thought was very effective. Traffic is like Syriana in its style, which again comes from the Soderbergh stable.

I’ve always thought Michael Douglas to be stone-faced, which obviously isn’t something an actor should be. In Traffic, he gained some respect in my eyes, with a nice portrayal of the US government’s new ‘drug czar’, the highest authority in the it’s anti-drug initiative. He fits the role perfectly, and brings to the character a certain sincerity of purpose, which is a big strength to the movie. His battle against drugs on a macro-level, against Mexican drug-lords and generals, and on a micro-level within his own home, due to his addict daughter, is ironic, and essays the duality in this issue – that of supply, and more importantly, demand. It also gives an insight into human psyche, how we deal with an issue differently when it’s about others, and how that changes when it’s about our own family and us.

It’s no surprise that Traffic got the attention it did at the Oscars. Soderbergh has displayed a range as a director that definitely sets him apart from the riff-raff; if he could make Sex, lies, and videotape, Traffic, and also Oceans 11 to infinity, he’s GOT to be good!