Musings of Movies Past – Series Kickoff

I came across The MovieNess’ Mini Netflix Reviews post last week, and I thought, what a great idea. I’ve watched a bunch of movies prior to my blog that I won’t ever have time to write full reviews of. So to start off this series, I’m going to pick three random movies from different genres: Multiplicity, Equillibrium, and One Night with the King. I know, it’s not lost to me that these are definitely bizarre combination. But no, I didn’t see these five back-to-back, in case you’re wondering 🙂 Anyway, depending on how long my ‘musings’ for each flix ends up to be, I might have more or less movies in this series and I may include a clip/trailer as I see fit.
….

Multiplicity (1996)
The Plot: Doug Kinney never has enough time for the things he wants to do is offered the opportunity to have himself duplicated.
I’m definitely in the camp that thinks Michael Keaton is an underrated actor. I mean he’s followed up his fine turn as Batman with a Shakespeare comedy (Much Ado about Nothing), a Tarantino crime flix (Jackie Brown), an action thriller (Desperate Measures), and of course, this lighthearted comedy. Now, by no means I condone this type of procedure from a moral standpoint, but I actually enjoy this movie, largely due to Keaton’s goofball & earnest performance. Unlike Eddie Murphy’s outrageous clones the Klumps in the Nutty Professor, Keaton’s Doug Kinney is hilarious in its real-ness of the good-intentions-gone-bad kind of predicament. He injects each of his ‘Doug’ clones with their own eccentricities: the first clone is butch, the second slightly effeminate, and the third, well, something that’s been ‘photocopied’ three times usually doesn’t come out real sharp. Andie McDowell turned up a pretty decent performance as Doug’s constantly baffled wife who must endure her husband’s multiple change of personalities, including fulfilling the wishes of his ‘insatiable’ husband(s) one frisky night.

Equillibrium (2002)
The Plot: In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system.
I must say this is a flix the whole isn’t exactly greater than the sum of its parts, as for me, the flix in its entirety is not ‘great.’ But there are parts that definitely make me love this movie, especially the scenes of Christian Bale and Emily Watson together. Their encounters are breathtaking, as well as the scenes where Preston frantically tears down the filmy layer of his bedroom window as he emotionally marvels at the beauty of the sunrise. Bale’s compelling transformation throughout the movie is a testament to his amazing talent. It’s not without humor, either, the scenes with the dog is pretty funny. I could do without Taye Diggs here and wish they’d beefed up Sean Bean’s role. Obviously this flix has a cult following for the rather violent action and fighting sequences, but the heartfelt scenes are what leave an impression to me, such as this interrogation scene below where Mary challenges super soldier Preston’s reason for living:

….
One Night with the King (2006)

I found an old review from 4 years ago that I posted on a social networking site. I thought this might be a good pick for those looking for a decent family film. I’ve added some tidbits that weren’t available at the time I wrote this.

Now most of you probably have never heard of this movie. Me neither until about a week ago when my friend Vony told me about it. There was practically NO marketing for this film, except perhaps through some Christian venues. The story is from the book of Esther in the Old Testament, but the script is loosely based from a book called Hadassah: One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney, so there are elements that aren’t in the Bible. For example, the character ‘Jesse’ wasn’t in the Bible but was given quite a few screen time as Esther’s friend. But the essence of the story of Esther is preserved. We see that God’s hand was present in Esther’s life and she was obedient to fulfill her ‘destiny,’ even when it meant losing her own life.

I was impressed with the lush production of the film. It didn’t feel ‘cheap’ even though it’s an indie production, and the scenery was beautifully shot on location in India. I enjoyed the cinematography and the aerial shots of the palaces, etc., and the costumes were absolutely gorgeous!

Esther & Xerxes

My gripes about this movie is given the epic historical background, it could’ve been a much better piece. Alas, the wooden acting (especially Luke Goss as Xerxes. 80s music fans might remember him as one half of the pop duo Bros) and the dismal dialog no doubt contribute to the poor reviews. Novice actress Tiffany Dupont is beautiful as Esther, but her performance is awkward at times. She does share a pretty good chemistry with King Xerxes though (yep, that’s the same Persian King in 300, obviously before he shaved off his head and developed affinity for gold jewelry). There is a scene where their hands brushed lightly as he is showing his sculptures, and his attraction to her is palpable. Of course as King of Persia, Luke Goss looks far too ‘Caucasian-looking’ with piercing blue eyes and British accent, but that’s Hollywood for you. A few notable actors are involved, such as Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif (together again since Lawrence of Arabia), and the remarkable John Rhys-Davies who’s excellent as Mordechai, Esther’s uncle. Oh, I almost forgot there’s James Callis, all sulking and smoldering as the evil Haman. I haven’t seen Battlestar Galactica back when I saw this, but as a fan of the series now, I just might re-watch this movie again to see him channel bad boy Gaius Balthar with his genocide scheme.

It’s far from a perfect movie, but overall I enjoyed it. It’s always nice to see a Godly story on film without all the cussing, violence and sex like the rest being offered out there.