Yesterday, I was on the phone, and absent mindedly watching the first episode of season 2 of Lost (women can multitask, didn’t ya know?) So anyway, I was chatting away when the vapid adverts came on, wasting the TV space, and then there was something that really grabbed my attention – the minute director/writer, J.J Abrams, boosting his own film, Mission Impossible III.
Now, as you may know, I promised that I would only go see this if I earnt my right to watch it, ala, higher than 80% on my Spanish aural. Well, my Spanish teacher said I’d get a high mark, which means he’s happy with it, if I’m not, and I’d made plans to see it years ago, so I am totally seeing it.
The only other film that I am anywhere as excited about is Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s uber-shoddily written, but still rather interesting, The Da Vinci Code. Snobby pseuds will knock it (as I have, I guess…), but the book did thrill me, and, having it read to you on audiobook is fantastic! I actually feel kind of sorry of Silas.
So, what better way to celebrate my excitement, then comparing the two? Tom and Tom both starred in 2004 promise-showers, The Terminal and Collateral, released around the same time in the UK, though the two could not have been more different. And their difference continues.
MI3: J.J. Abrams is the creator of TV’s most innovative an exciting creation – Lost. With its mixture of intensity, emotion and adrenaline fuelled-tension, it truly is one of the best things to have come on TV. Abrams has also done Felicity and Alias, the latter of which I enjoyed the first season of, but then found Jennifer Garner so talented, good at fighting, and pretty, that it simply hurt my ego too much to watch. ****
Da Vinci: Ron Howard is not what I call a good director. I enjoyed A Beautiful Mind, but that was largely due to Jennifer Connely and Paul Bettany, as well as the Maths, than anything capital in the way it was made. Cinderella Man epitomizes the phrase “Oscar begging,” though I did enjoy it, as well as Apollo 13, which I thought rather fantastic. What was not fantastic was Cocoon, Parenthood and The Missing. Still, if he can make fun of himself in The Simpsons, he’s not all bad. ***
I say stars because when we’re on box office babes such as these, it’s all about the attraction.
MI3: Tom Cruise, box-office draw of Will Smithian proportions and sporting some very fine suits as the hero, newly crowned Best Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, IMDb Oscar Buzz Boards draw and sporting post-Oscar weight (after Bennett and Dan quit their babysitting posts) as the villain, working together again after Magnolia. There’s also British talents in Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg and Bend it Like Beckham babe Jonathon Rhys Meyers. Michelle Monaghan and Keri Russell are people I’m less familiar with, though the former is not related to Dominic. ****
Da Vinci: Tom Hanks, donning the hair extensions and a pseudo-intellectual frown as Robert Langdon, with the fantastic Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neaveau (I always knew she’d be perfect for the part) Paul Bettany takes as the homicidal albino Silas, freshly equipped with white-blonde hair and a cilice belt. Jean Reno (who was in MI) plays the officer tailing them all, and Ian McKellan is the eccentric grail-searcher Leigh Teabing. And someone else. Which anyone who’s read the book ought to know who. Yeah, he’s Teacher. ****
MI3: Don’t know quite what writing is to be expected, as it kind of is an action movie. The cinematography/jumpcuts will surely be suiting to the style of the film. But what I’m most excited about is the composer…Michael Giacchino! An underrated composer to the extent of Alexandre Desplat, he is also one of the most diverse, responsible for the jazzy, sexy smoothness of The Incredibles, as well as the tremolo-fuelled Lost score. And they’re maintaining the theme too! Clashing cymbals and violins, here we come! ***
Da Vinci: Avika Goldsman does not shy from the sentimental (proof: A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man), though I’ve never disliked any of his scripts, and Da Vinci promises some fresh concepts for him to work with. Cinematographer Salvatore Totinic is a relatively new member. Even Hans Zimmer, who I’m not normally overly impressed with (the score for Black Hawk Down sounded like some queer Gladiator work on electric guitars), shows promise, as the haunting music played in the trailer to The Da Vinci Code sounds very excellent indeed. Yay! ***
I’ve seen each of these trailers several times because… hot damn… they appeal to me more than the idea of a Peter Sarsgaard/Jake Gyllenhaal kiss.
M13: Loads of booming colours! Tom being thrown into a car! Philip screaming! Two female characters! Some more explosions and stuff… all the ingredients I need to take my mind off exams that are looming. *****
Da Vinci: Glimpses of everyone in the film, as well key passages showing some promise in the dialogue. Then there’s the transition where Tom and Audrey are in London, and you think, in Match Point, London was portrayed as somewhat of a Utopian society, whereas here, police chase everyone about. Da Vinci is closer. *****
MI3: I have really enjoyed the other two, the first more than second, as I thought Thandie really damaged the second film. This franchise’s style-over-substance, thrill a minute really entertains me, and Tom himself is pretty great. Also, it’s rated 12A, which promises more violence than the first, less than the second. I also looked at pictures of the premiere, and Tom seemed really happy, which certainly is a boost from the War of the Worlds’ “You’re a jerk!” Lastly, I’d began to think that Scientology had got to Tom’s head when I read that he actually wanted Scarlett J in the film, but luckily, her role fell through. She was too good for it, you know. She was making masterpieces like The Island. **
Da Vinci: Whilst I am fine with watching films like MI3 and King Kong with a bunch of rowdy 4 year olds, this is because the film is so loud that you can’t hear the children half the time anyway. What really grates is that this film… with such 15, even 18 rated premise, became another Bourne Identity, and got a 12A. I said I’d refuse to see it if it were a 12A, but I guess I lied, though if I get seated behind some chav who starts getting their digital camcorder out, I am like, so, never going to read Angels and Demons ever again.
MI3: Might scrape a few technicals – Sound, Visual effects, perhaps. I’m also hoping for a masterful, Lost-esque score, to make up for Giacchino’s missing nomination for The Incredibles. What it will not get nominated for is Best Original Song, where Kanye West hollers his name consistently. Tone down the ego pal, you’ve been hanging out with Jamie Foxx too much. **
Da Vinci: Had Brokeback Mountain won the Best Picture Oscar, I would have seriously thought this film would have stood a chance in the final five, as it would have shown the voter’s liberal side. All the right Oscar-beggers are involved, and it could have been viewed as a Cinderella Man makeup. However, BBM did not win, so Da Vinci will have to do with score (Hans Zimmer, duh), perhaps Sound Editing (it was re-edited to suit England’s 12A rating… fantastic) and something like Art Direction? If anything, for that masterful creation of inside of Teighbing’s House. Well, I don’t know, do I? They awarded Art Direction to Memoirs of a Geisha, so they clearly don’t know an awful lot. **
MI3: It’s the third in a very popular series, and God knows it’s been promoted enough. Yippee! (predict: 50 million, first week; total gross: $300,00,000)
Da Vinci: Slightly more controversial, though adds are appearing for it weeks before the film comes out. Also, just about everyone’s read Dan Brown’s book. (predict: 45 million, first week, total gross: $300,000,000)
The winner? I’ll have to watch them, won’t I? Though I have a hunch that The Da Vinci Code may snake out in the lead.
And you? Which are you looking forward to more?
Quench your thirst: A photo of one of the pictures,