August 19, 2007
Movie Reviews: The Bourne Ultimatum and Becoming Jane
...Where Jason Bourne is a bad-ass mo-fo, and Jane Austin sticks it to traditional patrimonial English society.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
I finally got around to seeing seen The Bourne Ultimatum, I was waiting to see it with my dad, we're both action/spy-flick junkies, and after seeing it, I can happily say...We both loved it! And that's even with pretty steep expectations going in. It would be an understatement to say I've been looking forward to the release of this film for a long time; ever since shortly after having seen The Bourne Identity with no expectations going in and being blown away by the fact that someone had created an action film that contained the perfect balance of well-articulated action sequences with suspense and an intelligent and intriguing story, and shortly thereafter looking up the original novel and discovering it was the first of a trilogy. So, obviously, in the time since the Identity I had developed a particularly refined set of expectations for this third and final installment. And I can honestly say, the Ultimatum easily far exceeded them.
There were several references to both earlier Bourne films. The action scenes lived up to their predecessors. But what I think I enjoyed most about this film, was the resolution and closure to the story occurs. With films like these, there is always the possibility of leaving significant unanswered questions, which isn't always a bad thing; but this time around, all the relevant questions are answered.
I began to wonder what it was about spy movies that makes people like my dad and I like them so much, and this one so much in particular. It occurred to me that perhaps the character of Bourne, in a way, is the quintessential man verses the world story. Bourne's struggle for self-awareness epitomizes our collective struggle just to make it through our days, paying bills, raising families, etc.--trying to keep pace with the societies in which we live, and often wondering what is the point of it all. In the end, The Bourne Ultimatum is without doubt the most kick-ass, well-constructed, action flick to grace the silver screen since Goldeneye.
Becoming Jane (2007)
This movie is about the life of the author Jane Austin, most famous for her novel Pride and Prejudice (which I have not, and do not, make plans to read). Someone I know sprung this movie on me, and I agreed to go without knowing anything about it, or Jane, in advance. And it was honestly, a good movie.
When we got there, I was a little nervous. The two young women I went to the theater with and I were by far the youngest in the relatively modest crowd. We sat in the back row, and I was struck by the effect the reflection of the big screen had on the silvery hair of the majority of the attendees sitting in front of us...it appeared as if I were sitting in a field overrun with large dandelions illuminated by moonlight. This was a disconcerting observation. But as it turned out, I gradually started to enjoy the film; I began to see through the confusion involved with dialog where much of the actual meaning is implied; which apparently is the only way Victorian-era people were inclined to speak. And the movie helped me to appreciate how fortunate I am to be living in modern times. Most of all, as someone accustomed to a modern perspective, and thus with a moderately more progressive view of society, I recognized that I am automatically biased to find her accomplishments less impressive than they truly were, and so I came away thinking that this woman, Jane Austin, must have been even far more audacious then this movie portrayed.