Monday, August 09, 2004

I know. You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows, and Henry knows we know it. [smiles] We're a knowledgeable family.---Prince Geoffrey, The Lion in Winter

(Or, The Good and the Very Bad)

Matt and I are working through our Netflix list...just 366 in our queue at the moment!

This weekend, we watched The Lion in Winter, and Once a Thief.

We kept putting off watching The Lion in Winter...just as we did Dr. Zhivago. It's a CLASSIC, you see...one of those films you should see.
Not watching it was holding up other films, though; we finally popped it in Saturday.

My, what a brilliant film! I can see why Hepburn got an Oscar for her performance; she was incredible.
Matt's not a Katherine Hepburn fan, but he agreed she was wonderful in this movie.

We also got to see Anthony Hopkins in his first role, and Timothy Dalton in just his second film. Goodness, they were young!

Best of all? The dialogue. It was sharp, and witty, and rapid-fire. We were in awe.
Fantastic film, so happy we finally watched it.

And in the opposite corner:

Once a Thief, by John Woo.

Now, we like John Woo. Guy's a genius. And as Matt likes to say, his pre-Hollywood stuff is so much better!
Plus, this movie starred Chow Yun-Fat. Can't get much better than that, can it?

Oh, but it can. Because this film was a complete stinker.

Silly and stupid. And almost no kung fu!

The plot...well, there barely was a plot. The stars over-acted, and it was truly a silly and ridiculous movie.

I like Hong Kong films, I like the action and the drama. I've watched quited a few of the DVD's in Matt's collection...but this one was terrible. On the Netflix rating scale, we gave it (as Matt said) a generous two out of five stars...very disappointing.

Idle Chatter:
For what it's worth, John Woo's films have always been far heavier on the guns than the hand-to-hand combat, so the lack of kung-fu is to be expected. That said, the action scenes in "Once A Thief" had neither the quantity nor quality of the dazzling gun-fu in, say, "The Killer" or "Hard Boiled," nor anything like the pathos or depth of feeling. Very much a minor effort by two otherwise remarkable talents.

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