Tag Archives: joe pantoliano

Daredevil (shitty film)

Daredevil is a pretty awesome comic book character. It just didn’t translate to the big screen. Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch, Ghost Rider) directs Ben Affleck in this jumbled and diluted tale of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and a masked vigilante by night. Daredevil fights crime in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, righting wrongs, beating up bad guys, and kicking ass even though he can’t see anything. In this movie he meets Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Bullseye (Colin Farrell), two of his main rivals in the comics. He also meets Elektra (Jennifer Garner), his sometimes ally, occasional foe, and passionate lover.

Daredevil Movie Poster

The movie begins with the origin of Daredevil. A young Matt Murdock is living with his dad, the aging boxer Jack “The Devil” Murdock. Being an aging boxer doesn’t pay the bills, so Jack has to work as a mob enforcer. Matt runs away and gets in a freak accident with some chemicals and loses his sight. His other senses become heightened and he starts honing his abilities. The mobsters kill his dad and Matt Murdock becomes Daredevil.

Matt Murdock meets Electra and the two of them have a romantic friendly fight and decide to hang out. Her dad is a criminal with ties to a shady new crime boss known as Kingpin. Kingpin doesn’t like Elektra’s daddy anymore and hires a deadly hit man named Bullseye to kill him. Daredevil tries to prevent the hit, but doesn’t succeed and Elektra thinks that Daredevil killed her dad.

A reporter named Ben Urich (Joe Pantoliano) has been investigating Daredevil and discovers his true identity. Rather that trying to publish a story, he helps Daredevil out and tells him that Bullseye is going after Elektra. He goes to help Elektra, but she kicks his ass instead and finds out his true identity and realizes that he didn’t kill her dad. She then goes after Bullseye herself, but she dies.

Matt fights Bullseye and defeats him and goes after Kingpin. He gets his ass beat for a while, but ultimately prevails and Kingpin goes to jail. There’s a few hints that Elektra might be alive, and one of the final scenes show that Bullseye is recovering in the hospital and it sets things up for a sequel that will never come to be.

Daredevil is a great comic book character… comic book, not film. Daredevil is blind, but the comics can depict Matt’s emotions show his fears, his thoughts, and his inner turmoil. Movies rely on pictures to tell stories. If your main character is a blind guy, there is no way to visually tell his story and that’s one of the areas where this movie fails. Daredevil’s world is darkness, and movies require light so that you can see what is happening. The two ideas clash and can’t coexist.

Jon Favreau plays Matt’s friend and business partner Foggy Nelson. You can tell that he is just taking notes on making a movie about a second-rate Marvel hero. And he did a great job because Iron Man kicks ass and Daredevil sucks.

This movie is slow. It is dull.  A bunch of things happen but nothing stands out. The worst part about this movie is that it makes Daredevil seem lame so newcomers wouldn’t want to read the comics. And you can’t blame them. This movie destroys Daredevil, Elektra, and Kingpin. Colin Farrell’s Bullseye is the least intimidating and most absurd comic book villain ever… even Jim Carrey as the Riddler is more frightening. Watch this movie if you want, just be aware that it disrespects the source material.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment

The Matrix

No one can be told what the Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself. And you’ve should have seen it by now. It’s been out for 13 years. Andy and Larry Wachowski wrote and directed The Matrix, one of the greatest action/sci-fi films ever. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a hacker who finds out the world is a lie perpetrated by machines to control and harness energy from humans, and that he is the One prophesized to save mankind.

Thomas Anderson A.K.A. Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a hacker by night and an office drone by day. He senses that there’s something wrong with the world, but he can’t quite grasp it. He gets enigmatic clues about something called the Matrix, but he can’t figure out its meaning. He meets a mysterious hacker named Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) who leads him to man named Morpheus who can help him find out what the Matrix is. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) gives Neo a pill to swallow, and since you should always take strange pills that a stranger gives you, Neo swallows it and reality collapses into a dream and he wakes up in the Real World.

Morpheus finds Neo and takes him on his ship, the Nebuchadnezzar. Morpheus is the captain, Trinity is a crewmember, and there are a few other crewmembers including the shady Cypher (Joe Pantoliano). Neo finds out the truth about the Matrix. Humans developed machines that got too smart and that lead to a war and that lead to us getting our asses kicked. Now the bulk of mankind is harvested for energy. The Matrix is a simulated reality that the controlled humans are connected to. The world that they know is a computer program.

Neo learns that he can manipulate the computer program, that he can bend the rules of gravity and physics and learn Kung Fu. Morpheus believes that Neo is the One, that he will end the war between the machines. Neo doubts himself; he can’t quite free his mind. Neo learns all the rules about the Matrix, and he learns that the Agents are bad. Especially Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving).

So there’s a bunch of philosophical hoopla about the nature of reality and prophecy and fate vs. freewill. They visit the Oracle and she talks to Neo about his future. She tells him what he needs to hear. Then the shady Cypher is revealed to be working for the Agents. He sells out his crew and tips off their location. Morpheus gets captured, the unnecessary crewmembers die, and now its time for Neo to man up and save Morpheus.

They get a shit ton of guns and have a cool fire fight and kill lots of innocent guards who aren’t agents or evil. They decided not to bring spare magazines, so each time the clip runs out they just whip out a new gun. I guess it’s easier to just carry 20 guns rather than reloading. Neo and Trinity rescue Morpheus. Trinity and Morpheus go back to the real world, and Neo gets attacked by Agent Smith. And Neo stands his ground for a while, but then he runs away like a bitch. Just as he’s about to exit the Matrix, he gets shot. And he dies. And then Trinity kisses him and he comes back to life. And now he’s the One. And then he kills Agent Smith, but not really, because Agent Smith comes back in the sequels. But we don’t know that yet. But for now, Neo has saved the day, and things are looking up for mankind

.

Quick factoid: Will Smith turned down the part of Neo to star in Wild Wild West. Thank god, because he would have ruined this movie. Keanu Reeves is not a good actor, but he is perfect for Neo. He lets the events unfold around him, he doesn’t talk much, and he just reacts and looks bewildered by everything. And it suits the movie perfectly.

The action was and still is amazing. The fight choreography is as good as it gets. The bullet time sequence is one of the coolest shots in history. The action is great, but this film works because the action and philosophical scenes go hand in hand. This is a smart movie. The sequels tried to be smart and got pretentious

.

If you haven’t seen this movie in a while, go back and watch it. There’s a great buildup, and the dialog is very layered. There’s a lot more to The Matrix than you might remember. It deserved to be the start of a franchise. And even though the Wachowski Brothers went kind of crazy, the Matrix Universe is still worth exploring.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment