Sunday, March 27, 2005

Spoilers here, obviously.

First, though, a BIG thanks to Sacha for the wonderful help she gave me!!! :)

.:Film Reviews: A Double Dose Of Tom Cruise:.

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Minority Report
I predicted this would be good. I was right.

Tom Cruise stars as John Anderton in a Steven Spielberg film called “Minority Report”, set in the not-so-distant future of 2054, where a district in the United States has been experimenting with a Precrime system for arresting a potential criminal before he has a chance to kill a person.

The opening sequence pretty much outlined how it works: three pre-cognitives have visions of murder, and give details regarding the murders. The Precrime police have the unenviable task of figuring out how to prevent the crime from happening, although it was odd how they couldn't find an address for some of the suspects, considering how they know the names already.

Nonetheless, the sheer brilliance of the film comes to the fore when things are turned around and all of a sudden, Anderton is on the run for the potential murder of a man whom he never even knew. Little did he know that the murder of this man would only be start of a chain of events that would lead people to discover that Precrime isn't exactly as great as it seems to be.

I won't spoil much about this film because I loved the twists and turns of the film so much that it's too good to spoil. Of course, I saw quite a bit of them coming, but what was amazing about the film was how realistic it all seemed despite being set almost fifty years into the future. The drama was gripping, and how Anderton interacted with both Burgess Lamar, the so-called father of Precrime, and Whitwer, the federal agent who doesn't exactly appreciate Anderton, was pretty clever.

I also liked how Anderton's motivation when it came to losing his son really played an important role in holding the film together. It sort of became a kind of glue that not only kept the film believable, it made the film work even better.

The sheer Philosophical insight of the film is even more brilliant, in my opinion. What I really liked about the film was how they pretty much established that the murders, despite being predicted by the pre-cogs, were still subject to change. Yes, a ball rolling across a table will fall, but if you catch it, it doesn't fall. Because you prevented it from falling, it didn't. That in and by itself should insinuate that anyone who is only set to commit a crime would have to be treated less harshly than one who has actually committed the crime already.

I believe that the film was a testament to the power of free will, that a human being, no matter how seemingly predictable, is far more than just a set of bodily chemical reactions coasting along daily life.

This is definitely a keeper of a film. From the amazing action to the heavy thought process involved in dealing with the issues addressed by the film, Spielberg has certainly outdone himself in this outing.

“Fun” Evaluation: A+
“Critical” Evaluation: A+

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How does one outfox a killer who just cruises along?

If there's one word that I can best use to describe “Collateral”, it would simply have to be “gripping”. Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise in what was practically a two-character film played off of each other so well as Foxx's Max the cabbie, and Cruise's Vince, the hired killer.

The story starts off with Max picking up a fare whom he debates with over cab routes. By the end of it, he ends up engaging her in a very deep conversation over why a cab driver would want to shave off five dollars off his meter just to prove a point. Shortly after an engaging conversation, Max finds out she's a prosecutor, lands her calling card, and gets another fare.

This time, the fare is Vince, who wanted Max to make a series of stops in exchange for $600 worth of fare. What Max didn't realize was that he was going to personally chauffeur Vince to commit five murders, and with each passing murder, Max's desperation at stopping his fare from accomplishing his task gets stronger.

This film is testament to how a brilliant premise for a film could be taken to amazing heights by the people involved. Cruise and Foxx attacked their respective roles with an amazing chemistry that just made for a gripping story from top to bottom, particularly when both of them relatively got along despite the fact that Max tried to pull out various stops to screw Vince over, only to find that Vince is one step ahead of him every single time.

The film's climax, where Max discovers that Vince is out to kill the same prosecutor he took downtown earlier that day, was a brilliant touch. However, I saw it coming. Incidentally, I found it ridiculous that a lawyer would be working that late in the evening in her office. Couldn't she take her work home or something?

In any case, despite some gaps of realism, I definitely enjoyed watching this film. It was brilliant the way they carried things out, and I enjoyed the see-sawing conflict between Max and Vince, as it certainly made the story all the more interesting. The interplay between the cold, methodic killer and the warm, intense cabbie certainly made for a wonderful clash of personalities that was anything but easy to pull off.

Do give this movie a watch if you haven't seen it yet.

“Fun” Evaluation: A+
“Critical” Evaluation: A-

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