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Ocean's Eleven and Hot Fuzz

i'm much more of a telly person than a movie person, but circumstances led me to decide to watch a few movies lately. Hot Fuzz i hadn't even heard of until last week; i came across it because someone had asked me if i had ever watched Spaced, which i hadn't, and that led from one thing to another. Ocean's Eleven i had watched once a long time ago i'm not sure when, and i decided to watch it again to give it another go as the first time i watched it i didn't like it much and wanted to see if my opinion of it had changed at all.

When i watched Ocean's Eleven the first time, i remember feeling that if you isolate certain moments of the movie, you have some great things, but when you put it all together, you don't get a great movie. like, here are all of these quality ingredients that a chef goes through great pains to pay for, but the resulting end-dish doesn't taste much different than something you get at a fast food joint.

and it wasn't that it wasn't clever or that there were any plot holes that annoyed me or anything, there's just an overarching sense of... *nothing* in the film. (Similar, actually, to how i felt when i came out of the theater from watching we own the night.) as in, any time they tried to capture a particular emotion or a moment of tension or excitement or humor whatever, it never landed on your body as a punch, it just landed as a finger-flick.

This time around, i tried to give it more of an open mind, and i still got to the end with a similar feeling of blah about it. The moments in the movie that were really great didn't make up for the fact that the movie lacked substance to me, something underlying that would make the movie truly meaty. i really *wanted* to like it because it's my kind of film, but it just didn't do it for me. it was pretty annoying.

--

Unlike most people, i didn't much care for Shaun of the Dead, but i decided to try Hot Fuzz anyway, albeit with a degree of skepticism. I didn't know anything about it other than it being a cop film written and starring some of the same people, and i was pleasantly surprised at how much i liked it.

One of the most important thing it achieves for me is that the fact that it was fairly predictable mystery did not take away from how much it was successful. The high quality in execution and conception of the film as a comedy/homage to cop films wrapped me into the film pretty early on, and even though there were a lot of predictable elements, there were still tidbits and moments that took me by surprise. An easy example is that right from the very moment that they introduced the NWA guy with his surveillence cameras in the police station, i said to myself, "okay, he has to be involved in the main plot somewhere down the line," and the amount of attention they were paying to Timothy Dalton's character made it seem like, "this is a classic case of misdirection, duh," but when those things came together towards the end with the NWA scene at the castle, there was a lot more behind it all and with the other little clues planted in the film that i only had a vague notion about went "click click click!" in my head in a way that was amazingly satisfying. The way that scene was played out overall with the explanations of who and why and "the greater good" &c is one of my favorite sequences in the movie.

I really liked the return of Angel to the town and the subsequent action scenes. It was exciting and ridiculous at the same time, and felt like the sort of tension release that the movie was heading towards from the first time that Angel sets foot in the town. I'm not sure what i thought about the fight scene between Angel and Skinner; it felt a little off, the analogy of the destruction of the actual city with the model city, and the conclusion of the fight was a little gruesome for my taste, but overall it still worked pretty well.

i feel like i should have written some sort of concluding paragraph thingers for both of those, but i'm feeling lazy about my writing form, so tough. :)

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littlebeth47
Jan. 28th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed reading this. =) I love Hot Fuzz. It happened the opposite way for me - I saw Hot Fuzz and liked it, and then watched Shaun of the Dead and wasn't too fond of it. I agree with you about everything that you said about Hot Fuzz though! Especially the fight scene at the end - it was WAY too much for me - and I'm easily squeemish anyways, but I always say that would be on my top five favorite movies list if it weren't for the gruesomeness of the ending.
girfan
Jan. 28th, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
Hot Fuzz was filmed down the road from where I live. If you want to know how people who live in the Bristol area sound (accents) this film gives you a good idea. It's very West Country.


There were probably things you wouldn't "get" by not living around here.


I love Bill Bailey's character/s and how each read books by the same author, though one read Iain Banks (novels) and the other read Iain M. Banks (sci-fi).


Do you plan on watching Spaced anytime soon?

lifeofmendel
Jan. 29th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
i didn't catch the iain banks references. that's funny.

i watched the first couple of episodes of spaced and liked them. i started watching the third, but got distracted because i realized how much the third reminded me of SotDead, and that's what led to me watching Hot Fuzz in the first place. i'll get back to it relatively soon.
mandra418
Jan. 28th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
for some reason it amused me that brad pitt was eating in every scene in oceans 11. In shaun of the dead and hott fuzz i really enjoyed the way they cut to the next scene. What i really like about simon pegg is the quickness of the dialouge just reminds me of seeing a play more then watching a movie. Have you seen Run Fat Boy Run?
lifeofmendel
Jan. 29th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
have not seen run fat boy run. saw reference to it in the wiki entry about simon pegg, that's about it. recommend it?
cryforthemoon
Jan. 29th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Shaun of the Dead didn't grab me much, either - possibly because I'm not much of a zombie person, though. (As in liking the zombie-horror genre, although neither do I shuffle around moaning 'braaaains'. I only shuffle around moaning for biscuits.) Hot Fuzz was shiny, though. :)
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