Monday, March 20, 2006

Two Vendettas

It has been slow year so far for movies. I took a pass on Underworld:Evolution and Ultraviolet since I think the whole ass-kicking-skinny-chick-with-a-sword genre has been completely done to death. So this past weekend was quite an anomaly since I saw two movies, V for Vendetta (about a masked freedom fighter waging a one man crusade against a totalitarian government that did him wrong) and Beowulf and Grendel (about a warrior who fights against a troll who is, in turn waging a one monster crusade against a king who did him wrong). Clearly the theme of my weekend was revenge. VfV stars Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings) as V and Natalie Portman (Star Wars I, II, III) as Evey, a love interest and eventual ally of V. The movie itself is a decent thriller, though perhaps not as action-packed as the trailers might lead one to conclude. Although it is a Wachowski Bros. production, the feel of the movie is more 1984 than The Matrix. It is somewhat predictable, but still worth seeing. BaG stars Gerard Butler (Reign of Fire, Lara Croft Tomb Raider II) as the Geat warrior, Beowulf, Stellan Skarsgard (King Arthur, Deep Blue Sea, Exorcist: The Beginning) as the grieving Danish King Hrothgar and Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead) as Selma, an outcast Danish witch/whore whose loyalties are questionable. It's quite nicely done, although Polley's Canadian accent is quite jarring alongside the various Scottish, English and Scandinavian actors that comprise the rest of the cast. BaG is a low-budget European/Canadian production shot against the stark, but beautiful landscape of Iceland and there's a not CG effect to be seen anywhere. Very refreshing. It is in very limited release, so if it shows in your town, see it quickly. It's worth it.