Movie Review: Transporter 3

Wow… Ok, if you saw The Transporter and loved it, then you most likely went to see The Transporter 2… and hated it.  Well… Hates a strong word – its really only the one scene that make everyone cringe when they think of the sequel.  The scene where the movie jumps the sharkJason Stamos, in an attempt to remove a bomb from his car, flips the car upside down and in mid-air scrapes the bomb off the bottom of the car by passing under a crane hook, saving the car and himself by mere seconds.  Most of the audience was thinking, why not just get out and take it off or run over a speed bump really fast, or anything other than the impossible mess I just saw.

Dismissing the why, just accomplishing this feat is impossible.  I call these moments ‘leaps of logic’.  Scenes that defy the rules of physics; my wife rolls her eyes when a moment like that ruins a movie for me since the movie itself is often a ridiculous plot in outerspace or involving monsters or supernatural creatures of some sort, however physics are physics.  For instance, traveling faster than the speed of light isn’t (or at least typically isn’t) regarded as possible, however most space-based TV shows and movies involve faster than light travel.  This isn’t a leap of logic because the shows give my brain something to dismiss it – subspace time travel… OK I’m losing you, I know.  Back to Transporter 3

If you saw both the original and the sequel, AND are interested in seeing the third movie, then I put you in one of two camps – you either simply were not bothered by the crane-bomb scene in the second movie or you hope the producers listened to the critics and ensure that nothing so ridicules makes it into the third movie.  I was in the latter group, the producers made this movie for the first group.

If the crane-bomb scene didn’t bother you than 20 or 30 such scenes won’t either, right?  Like say putting a man through a concrete block wall with a single punch and having him get up un-scathed would be fine (don’t cite super-hero comic movies, they give my brain an excuse – they are super-human and can take the abuse).  How about floating a car from the bottom of a lake using nothing but a couple of duffle bags and the air from the cars tires?  Think that’s tuff – try doing that while the car is sinking and using the air from the tires to breath while creating the duffle bag balloons.

Ok – lets move past the leaps of logic that bother me, others don’t mind as much as I do… the plot, acting, and action should be enough to redeem that anyway, right?  Well… The plot was weak – it felt a lot like they made this movie so that the series would be a trilogy, not because there was any compelling story to tell – and they threw in the currently popular Hollywood lick the bark mindset, because why not, right.  The acting – its an action flick, the acting is irrelevant.  It wasn’t so bad as to get in the way, but it wasn’t so good that you are sucked into caring about the characters – which is right on the mark for an action movie.  The action?

Well, the fight scenes were good, but the car scenes were too few to be a transporter movie.  Most of the hand to hand combat scenes were obviously coryographed – I mean like bad-guy-swings-putting-his-arm-in-position-to-be-grabbed-and-holds-extended-position-for-1.2-seconds-while-good-guy-wraps-said-arm-up-with-shirt kinda obvious.  Still, the fight scenes were the highlight of the film.

To top it off, continuity issues abound.  I don’t  mean like in one scene the pen is in his pocket but in the next its missing kind of stuff… more like “weren’t the airbags deployed in that last since, when did he get the dash fixed and the airbags put back”, or “didn’t he just bust out both windows, he must of had those replaced during the subsecond switch between camera 1 and camera 2” kind of stuff.

If you think Jason Stamos is the best action star ever then you might consider renting this using your Netflix account since it doesn’t cost you thing more than you are already paying.  Otherwise… don’t bother.

Really? A chic-flick Vampire Movie?

Quick Disclaimer: if you are one of my readers that would be appalled at a Harry Potter movie - you may not care for this post. For everyone else, there are no plot spoilers...

Is nothing sacred any more???  I saw a preview for Twilight (2008) and thought to myself, “Cool – A new vampire movie is coming out!”  I NEVER would have imaged it to be a CHICK FLICK!  Some of you may not know that I enjoy this particular type of movie, but vampire movies are at the top of my list of “types of movies I enjoy despite my being religious”.  Most recently, I enjoyed I Am Legend (2007) – the book was vampire, the movie, not so much – Underworld (2003) and Underworld: Evolution (2006); I’ve seen all three of the Blade movies (1998, 2002, 2004) with Wesley Snipes although they weren’t very good; My all time favorite is The Lost Boys (1987) – they just don’t make classics like that anymore.  I even sat through Vampire’s Kiss (1989) with Nicolas Cage which was one of the worse movies ever.  Interview with a VampireBuffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel (TV Series), I could go on an on, but back to Twilight…

You can image how I would be excited about a new vampire movie.  So, I went to see it.  I was a bit suprised to see so many girls in the theater – I mean, this is a vampire movie, right?  What I didn’t know was that the movie is based on a young adult novel by Stephenie Meyers (Twilight).  The entire movie was filled with awkward teenage “saved by the bell” moments, which wouldn’t have bothered me if it weren’t for the constant giggling all around me.  I felt like I was crashing a slumber party with a bunch of school girls (I’m a dad, there is nothing exciting about that idea for me).

As with every vampire movie, the were several twists to the traditional vampire legend – no garlic, I don’t remember seeing a single fang, and sunlight didn’t have quite the same affect as expected.  They did elude to the tension with werewolves – which is traditionally the Hatfields verses the McCoys for vampires stories, but there were no actual werewolves in the film.  I did have a favorite line in the movie:

Chick: I want answers

Dude: Yes… No… To get to the other side… 1.77245…

Chick: I don’t want to know the square root of PI!

Dude: You knew that was the square root of pi???

The movie itself, 2 1/2 out of 4 stars, the overall experince, 1 out of 4 stars…

A Great Adventure

Lexi stretching her legs
Lexi stretching her legs

Stephanie and I have been married for nine years, yesterday.  I took several days off work to celebrate the occasion, even though we had not made any formal plans.  Back when Stephanie and I got married, we used to take day trips on a regular basis, even some weekend driving trips on a whim – trips to near by cities a few hours away, trips to the beach or to Washington DC over 8 hours away, and even longer trips to see family in Maine or Charlotte NC weren’t uncommon.  But as we got more busy, added children to the mix, and moved across the country, those driving mini-vacations all but vanished.

J-Haul - that made me laugh!

We both miss them despite all the ups and downs of being in a car for several hours at a time, so when I suggested we hit the road and head to San Francisco – Stephanie said yes with enthusiasm!  Wednesday night we headed out and got as far as Blithe, CA.  We stayed in a cheap (in every sense of the word) hotel.  The next morning, we hit the road with a San Francisco or bust mentality.  Zander and Lexi have been been great for being trapped in a car most of the day, but we did stop to let Zander climb a tree or two at rest areas and we took a few pictures along the way.  We got into San Francisco last night at about 9pm.

Zander being awesome!

After paying $4 to cross the bridge from Oakland to San Francisco, calling several area hotels, attempting to drive around to look for a descent place to stay that wasn’t $200 bucks a night, and climbing the scariest hill of my life in a stick shift four cylinder, please never do that again to me car – we left San Francisco and headed back to Oakland for the night.  Let me pause here to say, if you ever drive to San Francisco and get there after dark and you are in a Hyundai Elantra – don’t climb the hills!  It was difficult enough just driving up them, but when we got the red light, and my wife started yelling for me to run it, then panicing that I stopped, then screaming when I rev’ed the engine to over 5 thousand RPM with the emergency break on, dropped the break, came off the clutch, in first gear, only to still travel backwards, I must say I was beginning to doubt turning up a street that looked like it went straight to up to heaven.  It was only after I rev’ed it to 7 thousand RPM and quite possibly damaged the transmision that we started to move forward at a pace of about 1 mile per day.  The entire time, my son was saying, “Its OK Mommie, I’m not afraid.” and my wife was trying to remember the number for 911.  We are on a great Adventure!