The Bourne Supremacy

As I have stated before, I am ok with movies not having sequels; sequels tend to disappoint. My biggest example of this is the Matrix series, but I digress.

When The Bourne Identity was over, I was satisfied — I did not need to see another reason to make more. Then I found out that it was actually book one of a series, so that means sequels would be coming soon.

I was disappointed in the second one, mainly due to the shaky-cam process. It hurt my eyes to watch and overall caused me to not recommend the movie. I will say that the effect is not as bad on DVD.

The story is good and so is the pacing. The DVD has the usual extras.

My advice: definitely watch before going to see The Bourne Ultimatum….

The Bourne Identity

I had been putting off seeing The Bourne Ultimatum because I wanted to make time to refresh my memory of The Bourne Identity and the Bourne Supremacy.  I finally took some time last Sunday to have my own Bourne marathon.

The Bourne Identity took some time to build an audience when it was released in theaters.  A lot of people did not believe that Matt Damon could be a believable action hero — those parts belonged to his best budd, Ben Affleck.  After watching The Bourne Identity, you get a sense that Damon could play any type of part he sets his mind to.

The movie starts off with a rescue at sea, as amnesiac Damon tries to piece together who he is.   As he finds answers, it leads to more danger and more questions.  His female companion is apropos for the movie — she is not your typical Bond sexpot.  Together, they have a chemistry that grows — that helps the story remain rooted in reality.

For an action movie, there is not much willing suspension of disbelief required.  Except for a couple of stunts, an audience member could do the same things with training.  The story is kept simple and, despite the twists that appear, has a comfortable linear progression.

The DVD has the usual extras.

My advice:  see it.  If you miss this movie, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Bubba Ho-Tep

Anybody who loves movies is familiar with the term “B-movie.”  Usually it refers to those movies that are not very good, but are high on the “cheese” factor.  Back in the day, theaters would play the bad movies as part of a double feature — the B selection.  We see this mirrored in the days of vinyl with 45-records having the hit on the A-side and another song on the B-side.

Since the early 90’s, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have teamed up to make some memorable B-movies (Evil Dead).  Even into the 2000’s, Bruce Campbell seemed to relish being able to camp it up a bit on screen and TV.  So it was a no-brainer for him to take on the role of Elvis for a movie about a mummy spirit invading a rest home.  Ossie Davis, in his final screen appearance, plays a black JFK and provides the right chemistry to be Bruce’s sidekick.

A lot of the movie deals with Elvis’s thoughts and backstory — this could have been eliminated to add more danger from the monster.  The monster only got 2 people and was never on-screen long enough to make me fear that he might destroy everything.  What saves this movie is the relationship and the action sequences at the end.

The DVD features the normal extras, with the following bonuses:

  • Commentary by Elvis, in addition to the director
  • Music videos
  • a leather Elvis jumpsuit sleeve for the case

My advice: if you like Bruce Campbell, check it out; otherwise, be prepared for it to be slow in a lot of places…

To Thumb or Not To Thumb…

For anyone born in the 70’s, you grew up, as I did, knowing what “Two Thumbs Up” meant. Siskel and Ebert, along with Joel Siegel and the guy on Crook and Chase (whose name escapes me and IMDB is not helping with), helped form a broad spectrum of reviewers I trusted. Like many others, I was saddened when Gene Siskel passed away, but was glad that Roger Ebert chose to carry on.

Lately, Roger has been sidelined due to medical reasons, but the show continues. It was with sadness that I saw mention on Ain’t It Cool News and Roger Moore’s blog about the removal of the thumbs from the show.

Here is the statement from Roger Ebert’s site regarding the issue:

Ebert’s Statement re: Thumbs™

/ / / August 24, 2007

Roger Ebert’s statement in response to a recent Disney press release:

I am discussing with Disney my association with the show that Gene Siskel and I started more than 30 years ago. In addition to my personal involvement, we are discussing the continued use of our Thumbs™ trademarks, owned by myself and the Siskel family.

Contrary to Disney’s press release, I did not demand the removal of the Thumbs™. They made a first offer on Friday which I considered offensively low. I responded with a counter-offer. They did not reply to this, and on Monday ordered the Thumbs™ removed from the show. This is not something I expected after an association of over 22 years. I had made it clear the Thumbs™ could remain during good-faith negotiations.

During my absence from the balcony, I have been excited to participate in the show in ways other than being on the set. I love the show and I love the Thumbs™ and I hope we will all be reunited soon.

I agree with Roger’s last line — “I hope we will all be reunited soon.”


In a previous review, I discussed the television series Firefly.  Serenity is the movie that was made two years after Fox canceled the series.

Joss Whedon had an interesting dilemma — create a movie that anyone could see without having to see the TV series, while adding new stuff for those who did see the show. Given that task, I think he did a decent balancing job.

He brought back the original actors, some with slightly different situations.  He did a good job of wrapping up some loose ends from the show and the ending was satisfactory.  I may not have liked where some characters ended up, but then it was not my story to tell — that may be because I watched the series immediately before watching the movie.

The DVD includes:

  • deleted scenes
  • audio commentaries
  • documentaries

My advice:  enjoyable.  If you are wanting something that is not your typical sci-fi movie, then check this one out…