Friday, March 10, 2006
Movie reviews Ultraviolet & Dave Chappelle's Block Party
Set in the late 21st century, a subculture of humans have emerged who have been modified genetically by a vampire-like disease (hemophagia), giving them enhanced speed, incredible stamina and acute intelligence. As they are set apart from "normal, healthy" humans, the world is pushed to the brink of worldwide civil war (a war between humans and hemophages) aimed at the destruction of the diseased population. In the middle of this crossfire is an infected woman, Ultraviolet (played by Milla Jovovich), who finds herself protecting a nine-year-old boy who has been marked for death by the human government as he is believed to be a threat to humans.
Ultraviolet is one of those movies that somehow let me down even though I had very low expectations. When I first saw the trailers for this movie I thought it looked terrible, then after I saw it a few more times I thought it maybe kind of cool, especially after I found out it was direct by the same man who directed, the cult hit, Equilibrium. I've been a fan of Milla Jovovich over the years and I have to admit the Resident Evil movies have always been a guilty pleasure of mine, what can I say any movie with zombies, I'm in :-D
Then the movie starts and the mess that is Ultraviolet begins. The plot is so convoluted and murky that it's nearly impossible to follow. The action sequences vary from cool to silly. The dialogue is some of the worse I've ever had the misfortune of hearing and I've seen Elektra. A lot the action goes unexplained we never really get a sense of what goin on or why these people are fighting. The real shame is that there was potential in the character and the overall idea but the execution of it is so bad and script so horrible that its all for not. The look and feel of the movie are nice to look at but past that there's nothing much else going on.
A special mention should be given to Milla's personal trainer, she looks great in the movie and the director really seems to enjoy shooting her. I kind of think this movie would have been better if it would have been a silent film.
Dave Chappelle's Block Party
Dave Chappelle's Block Party spotlights comedy superstar Dave Chappelle as he presents a Brooklyn neighborhood with its very own once-in-a-lifetime free block party. The unprecedented combination of comedy and music was shot on location. In addition to Mr. Chappelle performing all-new material, the stellar roster of artists includes Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, the Roots, Cody ChesnuTT, Big Daddy Kane, and - reunited for their first performance in over seven years - the Fugees. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michel Gondry and his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind cinematographer Ellen Kuras capture all of the exclusive performances and crowd excitement on an unforgettable Saturday afternoon and night, as well as (earlier in the week) private rehearsals footage and Mr. Chappelle in the small Ohio town he calls home. In Ohio, Mr. Chappelle wandered through town handing out golden tickets to invite several dozen citizens to join the party, providing transportation and lodging for their first-time-ever visit to Brooklyn. Ohio's Central State University marching band made the trip and helped kick off the festivities at the intersection of Quincy and Downing Streets. As a diverse crowd comes together, Mr. Chappelle's freestyle wit guides them (and us) through a day-long, life-affirming celebration of music and comedy, history and community. The lineup of performers is distinguished not only by the caliber of their music but also by the strength and power that their art draws from keeping their creativity pure.
Dave Chappelle's block party is more of documentary/ concert film. It's extremely funny film as well but those expecting to see Chappelle doing full on characters or sketches from his show will be disappointed. What we do get is Dave being Dave, he seem really at home during the pre planning of the block party and is funny while maintaining a clear head about what he wants to accomplish. In addition to that you get a lot of great performances for a lot great artist in this film.
This is one of those documentaries that really give you a feel for what these performers are like when they aren't in the spotlight.