Thursday, May 10, 2018

Jason goes to the Castro for a double bill of kick-ass spy ladies

A couple of recent spy lady flicks that I finally got around to watching, thanks to the Castro Theatre programming.

RED SPARROW: This movie, despite the anticipation of Jennifer Lawrence's nude scenes, has been more or less a box office flop. Personally, I blame the Internet for making it too easy to see stars naked without ever having to go to the movies. Anyway, if you actually watch the movie you'll see her boobs, and her ass, and if that guy just moved a foot to the left soooo much more. But you'll also see a pretty good spy thriller with revenge and double-crosses galore. In fact, all the promised sexiness--even between the characters who allegedly fall for each other--is just spy games. This should've been marketed as a kick-ass espionage thriller with a solid dose of violence. In fact, my only real disappointment is not enough violence. When J-Law has to kick someone's ass, she can do it very well. But it holds that back in favor of double-crossing and psychological violence. Which is cool, I guess....

Now ATOMIC BLONDE had no problem dialing up the violence. Charlize Theron kicks more ass here than she did as Furiosa. I won't even attempt to untangle the plot, which is secondary to the action and the cinematography. I will say they really drive home the point that this is all taking place in Berlin, as the Berlin Wall is about to fall. So there's this overwhelming sense that all of the espionage plots don't really matter (or won't in just a matter of days.) But the characters aren't going through the motions. It's like they have a desperate sense that what they're doing really, really matters (spoiler: it doesn't, but it's fun as hell to see that commitment.) Oh yeah, and in this one the sex scenes really are about sex. At least as much as about spycraft.

Total Running Time: 255 minutes
My Total Minutes: 478,099

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