June 18, 2011

169: Favorites XXI, or Saturday Morning Movies

Sometimes, I watch action movies on Saturday mornings.  Just, you know, to start the day off with some explosions.  Some favorites from my DVD collection:

The Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum
 I watched Ultimatum this morning, just to relive 1) Bourne beating a guy with a textbook and 2) Bourne calling a CIA deputy chief from the guy's own office.  I like the trilogy because Bourne is an intelligent antihero with all kinds of creative ways of getting rid of henchmen -- putting a magazine in a toaster as time-delayed ignition for a gas leak (although the Mythbusters disproved the plausibility of that), beating an assassin with a magazine and a ballpoint pen, etc. -- because there are all kinds of crazy car chases, and the initial shock of Matt Damon being a serious action star?  Priceless.

Batman Begins
Before we all found out that Christian Bale is a little bit crazy, he busted out that ridiculous Batman voice in the franchise reboot.  I love a good origin story, and while The Dark Knight may have been even better, I go back to this one more often (and not just because I never actually got the sequel on DVD...) just to watch Bruce Wayne pull together all the elements of his secret identity.  Also, there are some genuinely funny moments, usually involving Alfred (Michael Caine!) or Lucius Fox (President God Morgan Freeman).  Fast-forward through all the parts with Katie Holmes and it's an extremely enjoyable substitute for Saturday morning cartoons.

Casino Royale/Quantum of Solace
What I said about origin stories goes double for Daniel Craig's two outings as 007.  Sure, I didn't know if I could get behind Blond Bond when Craig was cast, but he makes a great rough-around-the-edges James Bond, and I completely buy that this guy turns into a super-smooth secret agent later on in his career.  Even between Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, you see the slightest bit of growth for Bond, even though he's still messier than a covert operative ought to be and he's well on his way to being the disgusting womanizer that we all know and cherish.

Star Trek
Sure, there's plenty of action, but it's really just about the scene where Kirk's hands puff up like balloons and he runs around with a numb tongue.

The Incredibles
I'll go out on a limb and call this one the best superhero movie in years.  Fun, exciting, and animated, so the laws of physics need not be taken into consideration, and it's okay if Elastigirl's stretching looks cartoonish.  Because it's, you know, a cartoon.  Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter are the perfect voices for the retired superheroes, and Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone is just a bonus.  It may not be as universally beloved as Up and Finding Nemo, but it's one of my favorites.


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