naked weapon (2002)

by zEke

naked weapon es, tal y como en su día dijo un sabio, una obra de arte. Pero como en tantas otras ocasiones, y sin ánimo de ofender, la miel no se hizo para la boca del asno. Con esto quiero decir que es necesario ser un iniciado para saber apreciar lo que esta producción made in Hong Kong esconde, de la misma manera que para un estadounidense medio el fútbol son sólo veintidós jugadores pasándose el balón sin ton ni son.

Las películas de kung fu se caracterizan por lo particular de su guión, su interpretación y su coreografía. El guión es lo de menos y muchas veces incluso negativo, aunque eso sí, siempre al servicio del entretenimiento del espectador más exigente, a la par que freak. En naked weapon la excusa es el secuestro de cuarenta niñas menores de quince años por parte de una organización liderada por Madam M. Su objetivo, convertirlas en asesinas, y para ello les enseña artes marciales, además de a manejarse con soltura en la pasarela, la mesa y la cama. Pero sólo puede quedar una, así, el último día de instrucción se convierte en lo más parecido al deporte favorito de Héctor del Mar que ha visto el cine, the marine (2006) y otros experimentos a parte. Sobra decir que las cuarenta niñas se convierten en jóvenes que quitan el hipo. Ni una fea, vamos. Para cuando han sido instruídas se ha esfumado ya media película por lo que la segunda parte se convierte en un mejunje sin sentido del que emerje un malo más malo que Madam M y un policía intentando resolver el caso de las niñas desaparecidas. Pero a quien le importa, digo yo. Continue reading

king of california (2007)

by zEke

king of california posterIt has been a while since the last time Michael Douglas managed to catch my attention. The last time might have been with his performance in traffic (2000), even though he was just one more among a neverending cast. After that, he has tried to relaunch his career with comedies to forget like the in-laws (2003) and wannabe thrillers like the sentinel (2006). No luck there. And then, out of nowhere, when I had already forgotten about Kirk’s son he steps right onto the independent scene to portray a charming madman turned into a treasure hunter. A treasure hunter that could perfectly be an older and demented version of Jack Colton from romancing the stone (1984) and its sequel.

Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood) is a Californian lonely young girl that has been taking well care of herself ever since his dad, or Charlie (Michael Douglas), as she likes to call him, was admitted in a mental hospital. She is an employee at a fast food restaurant and lives a simple and easy life. She does until Charlie is released and brings home a dream with him. The dream of finding a long lost Spanish treasure that is buried somewhere near their suburban house. Armed with an old Spanish diary, treasure-hunting books, a metal detector, and a shovel, he starts his delusional hunt. Continue reading

there will be blood (2007)

by zEke

there will be blood posterThe suggestive title everyone is talking about. Or should I say the brilliant performance everyone is talking about? Paul Thomas Anderson’s there will be blood is his very own free adaptation of the Upton Sinclair’s novel oil (1927) about the early days of the American oil business. And I probably should not say adaptation since, as Anderson acknowledges, there is too much of the novel that inspired him left behind. But, who says a filmmaker cannot take a novel and draw something new but yet impregnated with the novel’s essence? There would be then minor room for cliché statements that claim that a particular novel is better than the movie based on it. I am so tired of them. Give to cinema what is cinema’s and to literature what is literature’s.

The events remind me of those of older films, and I am not just thinking about giant (1956). The rise and fall of Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), that is, an oil man who makes his way up from down low. This epic has the taste, and the length, of past times, but with a dark and bitter twist to it. Continue reading

the nines (2007)

by zEke

the nines (2007)the nines. I take a deep breath. I don’t even know how to start. Certainly a movie difficult to label, which a priori is neither good nor bad. A movie that made its debut at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and became later a minor cult classic for some, despite its limited theatrical release.

The experience is divided into three shorts that share the same actors, who play different characters. Are they really different? The answer to that question is obvious, otherwise we would not be talking about a feature film. Everything turns around Ryan Reynolds’ characters, a successful actor under home arrest firstly, an effeminate scriptwriter secondly, a responsible family man thirdly. And that said, you better know nothing more about the plot itself. Continue reading