The summer is almost over and I went to the movie theater a whopping two times this year. For someone who used to be a huge film buff, going to see a movie has become something of an event for me. It had better be worth my while (and my ten+ bucks) when I have such easy access to services like Netflix and Hulu. I am an action junkie and loved the Jason Bourne movies (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) so when I saw the trailer for The Bourne Legacy when I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman last month, I knew this movie would be better experienced on the theater screen.
The Bourne Legacy was awesome to watch. The opening shot of Alaska as Aaron Cross is maneuvering its frozen tundra was gorgeous and intriguing. Jeremy Renner, an excellent actor (unforgettable in The Hurt Locker and awesome in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, there's nothing he can't do) was perfectly cast as the black ops field operative. The camera drinks in his facial expressions and his eyes can convey so much in so little time. I enjoyed the movie but as time progressed I was waiting for more action. Yes, there were some moving scenes, but none of them yelled 'spectacular!' as viewers have witnessed in the series' first three films. That was until the motorcycle scene which I will describe with one word: thrilling. Aaron Cross and and Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz, another of my favorite actresses and I can't wait to see her in next year's Oz: The Great and Powerful) flee police and another colder, deadlier field operative, Larx-03 (Louis Ozawa Changchien) across the streets of Manila. This was what I paid admission to see! And it was worth my while. Until the scene ended and then.... The movie ended as well. Insert WTF emoticon here.
I finish watching movies at home shaking my head going "What?" or "Huh?" but rarely do I leave the movie theater dragging my feet, thinking "How could they do that?" They did that. To me. A huge Bourne fan. And I'm not happy. I'm used to cliffhanger endings in books. In movies? No. The Bourne Legacy ended so abruptly and unsatisfactory, I'm not sure I want to see the next one on the big screen. While the movie was entertaining, the story suffered from a lack of a cohesiveness paramount to understanding and enjoying this type of action adventure flick. The acting was first-rate. Renner. Excellent. Weisz. Very good. Edward Norton, his usual stellar self, was able to bring even more complexity to his role as Eric Byer. I would have loved to have seen more of Scott Glenn onscreen but I'll take what I can get. As a fan I was letdown and that's sad.
On a brighter note, I watched The Hunger Games at home and even though I blogged about seeing it in the movies and not being blown away by it, I have to confess I liked it even more this time. Why? I'm not sure but I believe the smaller screen made for a more intimate viewing experience and I picked up on more of the acting, the nuances of Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal of Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, as well as liking the actors chosen to play the tributes (in particular Amandla Stenberg as Rue). After listening to the movie soundtrack I had to wonder why some of the songs were not included in the movie. Some would have been epic.
The one part I still feel strongly about is Rue's death scene. The movie version seemed shorter and though moving, didn't drive me to tears the way Mainstay Production's video did. Otherwise, I was really pleased with The Hunger Games movie the second time around. If you've seen the movie and not this video, check it out. What do you think?