I don’t know if I would call The Transporter a good movie per se. The story and acting were far from stunning. But it was certainly action packed. Jason Statham has incredi-bod and according to the making-of special feature, he is the first Caucasian to perform such high-level martial arts stunts live on film. I mean, WOW. Qi Shu is hot, and Matt Schultz really did lose so much weight for the role that I didn’t realize he was from Fast & Furious. Oh and Ric Young, the uber-freaky Chinese torturer from Alias, played Lai’s father, so he was immediately evil. I was entertained.
Scorsese went all Tarantino with The Departed. By this, I primarily mean that a lot of people got shot in the head; the blood-spatter technique was perfected in all manners of gruesome death. The foul language also seemed to be excessive at times, and I say this as a fairly foul speaker myself. The all-star cast, including Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Alec Baldwin, put forth an outstanding performance. The complex, interwoven plot was fresh and nail-biting. Technically, it was a very good movie. However, the exorbitant violence and head shooting combined with the drastic ending ultimately left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I won’t be adding The Departed to my favorite movie list. P.S. A guy I work with explained that this is actually very classic early Scorcese. My apologies to his fans for the Tarantino reference.
Luckily, I saw two movies this weekend. Flags of Our Fathers was pretty amazing. It does seem that every war movie needs to outdo the one before in gore factor. This one took the gut-hangee-outtage to a new level for me, and while most people expect to see the severed arms and legs, be forewarned of the decapitated head. But let’s put the violence aside; it’s totally different because it’s a war movie. Still, while the movie dealt with the battle at Iwo Jima, it was truly about the infamous picture that inspired the United States Marine Corp Memorial. The story revolves around the men who raised that flag, how they got there, and the subsequent, tedious war-bond campaign on which the three survivors forcibly commenced. While this movie, unlike The Departed, was not about stand-out actors in stand-out roles, I would definitely commend Adam Beach, who I first fell in love with as Victor in the all Native American film Smoke Signals. His performance of Pfc. Ira Hayes dealing with both post-traumatic stress disorder and the prejudice of American Indians while on the whirlwind tour broke my heart. In all, I think this was a very moving film that brought World War II to the home front.