Having mentioned that, I'm now prepared to talk about the movie I just saw, "Unleashed". Maybe there'll be spoilers, you'll never know if you don't know now.
Somehow, it had escaped my attention (perhaps I had forgotten?) that this was a pairing of Jet Li (Kiss of the Dragon, Romeo Must Die, Lethal Weapon 4, The One, Hero) and Luc Besson (Kiss of the Dragon, (La Femme) Nikita, The Professional). Also for good measure, add in some Morgan Freeman (Electric Company, Deep Impact) and Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Balto).
I saw an ad which jogged my memory, and so I figured I had to get out to see this movie. I drove into Monroe to see the 7:45 showing. The first thing I noticed was a group of maybe twenty, let's call them 'enthusiasts', camped out. I can only assume they're really really excited about "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". To each his or her own.
Next thing I noticed: I'm not completely OK with paying $9 for a movie. Granted, I make a living, I can afford seeing a movie at full price, but that's more than full price, it seems to me. I know that there are some of you for whom that's a matinee price. But this is wide-spot-in-the-road Monroe here. It's not like I'm paying a premium because the theatre's sitting on expensive property. Nor am I paying for a yak team to cart the reels up a mountain through civil war torn countryside. Although I did get an almost private screening of the movie. If I were the only one in the auditorium, yeah, I'd pay up to maybe $15.
As I was waiting for the movie to start, I noticed after a while that I was staring at a black screen - no inane "Did you know that this actress is STILL working on a children's book about her own real-life experiences? Or that this actor's brother once had a medical problem, but don't worry, he's OK now." That was nice, but as soon as I fully began to appreciate it, other people entered the auditorium, and the slides began. Enjoy what you have while you have it, I suppose.
Another odd thing that I noticed - they were playing Star Wars music instead of the familiar pop Musak. Refreshing.
I won't go into much about the movie itself, but if you're a fan of Besson and/or Li, you owe it to yourself to see this one. Lots of fighting, but with an actual story. Something of a story. As much as I needed, anyway.
Also, there's a bit where there's gratuitous nudity. Actually, I'm not sure if it's really gratuitous. It's certainly not prurient. But there's this shower scene. The more I think of it, I think that the shower scene contributed to the film. But if I were the cinematographer, and I wanted to show my mom the movie, I think I could have found a reason to put a potted plant in the bathroom to block line of sight. Then again, the movie is already rated R for some frank discussion of certain activities. Oh, and there's a lot of killing that happens, too.
Everybody's performance was spot-on, although I'm a little puzzled by the casting of Kerry Condon as a music student. She had a pleasantly crazy personality (think of Jordan from "Real Genius"), but she really didn't strike me as being 18 years old. According to Some Random Person on The Internet, the actress is 22 years old, but to me she looked quite a bit older than that.
As the credits were rolling, someone (presumably an usher of some sort) came in with a flashlight. I imagine he was checking to see if the auditorium was empty, but really, don't shine the light around while there are still people watching the movie.
On the way out, the 'enthusiast' line was now around 100 people, and there was a radio station van parked in front of them. I'm a little alarmed that Monroe is the place that the radio station decided to cover. Really, it's just a place that you drive through. Maybe you stop to get gas, but there are gas stations conveniently in any direction you choose to go, no need to stop.
Man, I wish I had time and Netflix, so I could add all the Luc Besson I haven't yet seen and a goodly amount of Jet Li to my list. I do enjoy a well choreographed fight scene.