Thursday, June 11, 2009

A non-beer related rant

This doesn't really have anything to do with beer, but I was enjoying a Troëgs Dreamweaver Unfiltered Wheat last night as the thoughts were forming, so there's that.

I was watching The International, a thriller with Clive Owen about an evil bank that came and went earlier this year. As is my custom, after the movie, I pulled up the reviews online to see what other people thought and found lots of critics comparing it (unfavorably) to the Bourne movies, specifically the last two, which were directed by Paul Greengrass.

Now, I like all the Bourne movies, but I think the first one was the masterpiece, while the other two are disposable. The reason: Paul Greengrass cannot shoot action, or he can't be bothered to try.

PG is a big fan of handheld, shaky cameras and quick, disorienting edits. Many critics call this "stylish," I call it nauseating. It's a cheap, lazy way to make what's happening on screen seem exciting. You don't what your actors to have to rehearse a fistfight so that they can perform full speed and make it look real? Shake the camera like a candy-fueled six-year-old and cut after each punch. Voila!

Whereas, Doug Liman, the director of the first Bourne movie, allowed the fights to "breathe," showing several moves at a time, from a medium distance, so the audience could tell what was happening. And what was happening was awesome.

So after I read these critics bashing The International and taking more opportunities to sing hosannahs to Greengrass, I popped The Protector into the DVD player. It's a Thai martial arts film. The plot, such as it is, involves a warrior out to get his elephants back from poachers. And it fucking rocked.

The centerpiece of the flick was a 5 minute, no edits, smooth as silk steadicam sequence that follows our hero up a big, circular, Guggenheim-style ramp as he beats up about 2 dozen guys.

That, Paul, is how you shoot action!

1 comment:

  1. I think maybe I saw that Thai movie on TV. But I hate shaky action camera. Star Trek was kind of like that.