Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Island review

Having obtained two free cinema tickets from Bowling Ben, I took my fiancee to an ickle cinema in Kurume last night to see The Island. Below is a "hidden" review of the film, obscured from view because there are spoilers that some readers might not want to see. If you want to see it, use the mouse to highlight the area below...

The Island is a good 2 hours of entertainment. Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) is a resident of a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island," reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet. But Lincoln soon discovers that everything about his existence is a lie. He and all of the other inhabitants of the facility are actually human clones whose only purpose is to provide "spare parts" for their original human counterparts. Realizing it is only a matter of time before he is "harvested," Lincoln makes a daring escape with a fellow resident named Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson). Pursued by the forces of the institute that once housed them, Lincoln and Jordan engage in a race for their lives to literally meet their makers.

Good things:
- thrust of the story (we are clones but we have feelings and want to live) works ok.
- interesting and restrained imaginings of what the future will be like (table top computer displays, hover shuttles running alongside cars, not replacing them.
- Scarlett Johansson's mouth.
- Steve Buscemi.
- Ex-neighbours stalwart Madge Bishop as an extra in the facility (I think...)

Bad things:
- very Hollywood, with the predictable car chase, girl dangling from the precipice hanging onto the hero's arm, bridge on which the hero and baddy are fighting collapsing amidst fire and destruction.
- blatant and yawnworthy product placement.
- lots of excitement but scenes don't flow smoothly... seems a bit of a mess.

In other news, the deafening sound of cicadas in kyushu signals the end of the rainy season, or to be more accurate, the rainy long weekend, as I can only recall about three days of heavy rain this year. Instead of being hot and sticky and wet, we can now look forward to a month and a bit of just being hot and sticky, with a shower required everytime you return from outside.

Today is the final day of the Sumo Basho in Nagoya, and it's by far the most interesting one for the past few years. This is due to the emergence of unknown Bulgarian quantity, Koto-oshu, who has surprised everyone by going into the final day as co-leader with Yokozuna Asashoryu, tied at 12-2.
Koto-oshu stands at over 2m tall, and whilst not as girthful as his fellow wrestlers, he is thick set and has speed and maturity beyond his size and position in the hierarchy. This is the first time in ages that Asashoryu hasn't wrapped up the tournament before the final day, and if both men win today, there will be a play-off bout to conclude the tournament.
The smart money is on the Yokozuna, who is still, not literally, head and shoulders above the Bulgarian.


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