Archives for posts with tag: Julia Stiles

Grade B+


Shakespeare’s “The Taming Of The Shrew” is the basis for “10 Things I Hate About You,” a fun, sweet, romantic-comedy that has a surprising amount of substance.  Julia Stiles plays the “shrew,” a highly intelligent teen who is fiercely independent and speaks her mind at all times.  So what’s the problem?  Well, her sister is a social butterfly who wants to date but isn’t allowed to by the father…unless Stiles also dates.  The father’s idea is that Stiles will never date, and so the other daughter won’t either, and neither of them will do any crazy, sexual things with boys.

But two young men — one of whom is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt — desperately want to date Stiles’ sister; and so both of them work up a scheme to have a fearless, bad boy in their school (played by Heath Ledger) to ask out Stiles.   Typical of a rom-com, the lead romantic couple “meet cute,” they start to really like each other, then a monkey wrench gets tossed into the situation that can potentially mess everything up.

My most memorable, movie moment of “10 Things I Hate About You” is the scene when Stiles gets up in front of her English class and reads a poem that is basically a list of things she hates about Ledger.  It was the most poignant part of the movie as well as showing the wonderful talent of Stiles.

What sets “10 Things I Hate About You” apart from the typical, teen rom-com are: solid, three-dimensional characters of Ledger, Stiles and Gordon-Levitt; very clever dialogue dished out by Stiles; the two lead characters are very likeable; and the great chemistry between Stiles and Ledger.   It took me almost 20 years to finally see this movie, and now I know why it is so popular.

— M

Grade C +

Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass returns to the “Bourne” series to make the 5th “Bourne” movie, “Jason Bourne.”  This is a perfect case of Hollywood squeezing every penny out of a story that should have ended a long time ago.  “Bourne” fans: don’t blame Damon — if someone offered you millions to do a movie, you’d do it too.

Okay, so the story of “Jason Bourne”…umm…have you seen the first three “Bourne” movies?  Yes?  Then you know the story to this fifth installment of the series.  But let me give you some more details.  Damon (as Bourne) is unhappily living a life “off the grid” beating the hell out of big guys for money, then he finds out about data stolen from the CIA computers that has info about Damon’s past.   Wait…didn’t Damon already received this info from “Supremacy?”  Well…this is new information!  About Damon’s daddy.  And what daddy did while working for the CIA.  And how daddy died.  And who killed daddy.   And daddy’s connection to the super spy programs that Damon was tied to.   Damon needs to know!

So Damon resurfaces, CIA heads get afraid again and put out a kill order on Damon, Damon evades the assassins and gets closer to the truth and the bad guys, yada yada yada.  Oh, there’s a big, car chase sequence that goes on for so long, you can take a nap and when you wake up, it’s still going.  And there is still the common shenanigan in the “Bourne” movies where Damon, for the most part, wears no disguise despite being wanted by the biggest spy agency in the world.

Well, let’s get to it: my most memorable, movie moment of “Jason Bourne.”  That would be the scene when **SPOILER ALERT** Julia Stiles’ character is killed.  I liked her character, and I was sorry to see her go in such a violent manner.  But at least Stiles won’t have to suffer being in the 6th movie, “Bourne Again” or the 7th movie, “Bourne To Kill.”

If this movie was a financial instrument, it would be a savings account.  Why?  Because the returns are soooooo small.  You put your time and money into a movie, only to get a teeny tiny bit that is new, and the rest is the same old stuff from before.  This movie is tired, most of the actors here look tired, and the story is definitely tired and needs to be retired.

— M

Grade B +

Manny’s Movie Musings: Taking place immediately after the end of “The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Bourne Ultimatum” once again stars Matt Damon as the ex-spy whom the CIA just can’t leave alone.   With the information Damon received in “Supremacy,” he sets out for the U.S. to find out more about who he is and how he came to be the way he is.  Some members of the upper management of the CIA aren’t so happy with Damon being alive and actively seeking information that could bring prison time to said members of CIA upper management, so a standing order to shoot on sight is greenlit on Damon.  But Damon does have two friends in the CIA, possibly giving him all the edge he needs to stay alive and finally unravel the mystery of how he came to be spy.  Director Paul Greengrass ups the ante in this third “Bourne” movie, giving us a faster pacing, more intensity, longer action set pieces, and bigger stakes.  This was a good “end” to the series…if this was truly the end — we know now there were more to come.  My most memorable, movie moment of “The Bourne Ultimatum” is Damon’s fight scene with an assassin named Desh.  As with previous “Bourne” movies, the fights are long, raw and savage, with Damon using household objects to fight and kill his opponents.

— M

Grade B

Manny’s Movie Musings: Matt Damon returns for the second of the “Bourne” movies in “The Bourne Supremacy.”   Living in India with his girlfriend (played by Franka Potente), Damon’s worst fears comes true when he is pursued by a secret agent (Karl Urban).   Believing it is the CIA out to kill him, Damon takes the fight to them, unaware that Urban works for a rich, Russian businessman who wants Damon dead to tie up loose ends that began in the first movie.  Complicating matters is that Urban has framed Damon for the deaths of a few CIA agents.  With two groups out to kill him, Damon not only has to fight to stay alive, he has to figure out why he is being targeted for termination and by who.  Although “Supremacy” has a new director, the feel of the first movie carries over to this one — in other words, if you liked “Identity,” you will like “Supremacy.”  Fast pacing, frenetic action, a likeable hero, and a new revelation of Damon’s past all lead to a very entertaining movie.   My most memorable, movie moment of “The Bourne Supremacy” is the scene when Damon fights another Treadstone agent.   The fight is raw, brutal, and nasty — something “Bourne” fans have come to expect.

— M

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