BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

A day at the movies ...

D minus 4 to "hooligans back in school again" day ... today we spent most of the morning yelling and screaming and crying and pouting, eventually running out of time to activate Plan A (going down to the Field Museum) and still leave enough time for me to get The Girls up to Dojo by 4:45, so we eventually settled on a patch-work Plan B which involved having a quick lunch at the incomparable Flamingo Bar & Grill, and catching a movie.

As we were short on time, I popped off the bus a stop before the rest and ducked in the theater to buy tickets, while they were (in theory) going to have lunch all ordered by the time I got caught up with them. Unfortunately, the Flamingo was the busiest we've ever seen it, and The Wife was just getting to the front of the line to order when I arrived with the tickets and about 35 minutes till showtime. Our food appeared about 25 minutes later. Being a "chow vacuum", I was able to consume my order with time enough to make it back to the theater, but the rest of the family was lagging far behind. Good thing we were going to see separate movies.

Yes! I was able to talk my way out of seeing Lassie and got to go see Crank! They both had 1:30 showtimes, so that worked out great ... I ended up leaving the family at the Flamingo and got back over to the theater just as they were rolling the previews.

Crank is an interesting movie that borders on being a farce, and certainly doesn't take itself too seriously. There is much murder, mayhem, blood splatters, drugs, and random violence (and a few boobie shots), but it's fun. IMDB explains the plot thusly: "A hit man learns that a poison injected into his body will kill him if his heart rate drops below a certain point. Now he must exact his revenge on the people who injected him before he takes his last breath." ... and that is, essentially, the broad strokes of what's going on.

So much of this film could be said to be borrowed from other films, but it does it subtly enough that the borrowings work more as jokes than a series of homages ... #1 being his heart filling in for the bus in Speed ... if he doesn't constantly get an adrenaline rush, he croaks! Needless to say, there are very few "slow paced" parts in this, since if things start slowing down, the main character gets woozy and he has to do something (put his hand in a hot waffle iron, screw his girlfriend in public, ride a motorcycle standing up on the seat a bit like the scene of Kate Winslet "flying" on the prow of the Titanic, etc.) to get his juices flowing. I don't want to give away anything, but there is also a MAJOR plot twist involved, which leads to the penultimate bloodbath (which Peckinpah would have loved).

I guess I don't see enough of the "right movies", but I was quite taken by Amy Smart (playing the clueless girlfriend), who could be the kid sister of the much-admired (by me at least) Peta Wilson ... how come I'd never seen this gal before??? I wish somebody would cast both of them in an action flick!

One cool "effect" they use is satellite mapping for getting characters from point A to point B without too much drag time ... they head off someplace and suddenly you're looking at a satellite shot panning to the next location that then gets supered on the screen. Oh, yeah ... they do use a lot of supers ... sometimes just to freak you out (main character looking at somebody else who gets his line sub-titled, which is then backwards in the resulting reaction shot, like the text was hanging in the air between them!).

Perhaps due to not having a lot of "filler" shots (like the interminable and insufferable Superman Returns), this is a very short movie, clocking in at just shy of an hour and a half ... but it's quite a ride. Needless to say, I recommend it to anybody who's not squeamish about bloodshed, violence, and the pursuit of adrenaline substitutes.

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Tags: movie review
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