I watched three movies this weekend. This is extraordinary; on average, I watch less than one movie per week.
The first movie I saw is called The Protector, staring Tony Jaa. He is a great martial artist. I first saw him in the movie Ong-Bac, popular for its "real" fighting and stunts-- there were no special effects, which is a rarity these days. Although I enjoyed Ong-Bac as a quality action movie, The Protector was a disappointment in that department. It did, however, make for a great cheesy movie to make fun of with friends, which I did do with pleasure. The scenes were terribly random, both the transitions between and the content of. At one point, Tony Jaa inspects a fallen enemy, and a passerby gets out of his car and walks up to the two of them with a knife. Tony Jaa turns around, then jumps high into the air so that he can kick the bulb of a street light. End scene. The movie is non-stop fighting as Tony Jaa seeks to find his two stolen elephants, breaking the ligaments of anyone and everyone that gets in his way. In Ong-Bac, Tony Jaa was reluctant to hurt anyone-- in The Protector, he was reluctant to pass by any stranger without breaking a joint. Tony Jaa eventually finds that his elephants are in the hands of a black market that sells rare animals as food. One of his elephants is dead, the other is a baby that accompanies him in the last fight. He fights a family of tall and muscular Irish men that are fond of throwing Tony Jaa around. The funniest part of the movie is when Hercules O'Brien (the name of a character he played in another movie, but a name like that vetoes all others) picks up the baby elephant, swings it around and throws it. Tony Jaa defeats the Irish men by using elephant bones to tear their ligaments for a happy ending. I give this movie a 3/10.
The next movie I saw is called Idiocracy, staring Luke Wilson. He goes into the future (I walked in after this part) where he finds that everyone is really dumb. The police arrest him on false charges, and his lawyer is so dumb that he helps the prosecution. Luke Wilson is thrown in jail and is given a bar-code tag and later an IQ test. He then gets out of jail before he enters by telling a guard that he already served his time and was on his way out until he got lost. The stupid guard lets him go. He is later found again because he tested with the highest IQ in the world even though he isn't really all that smart himself. He is appointed to solve the hunger problem, and figures out that all the crops have died because they have been watered with a sports drink. When the president bans the sports drink from being used, half the nation goes out of work and wants to kill Luke Wilson. His execution is setup at a monster truck show. The audience sees footage of growing plants right before he is killed, so they don't kill him and instead make him president. The details of this movie are what make it funny; it is incredibly sarcastic and engaging enough that I watched the entire movie (from the point I came in close to the beginning) standing up, so as to watch it in a housemate's room. I give this movie an 8/10.
The last movie I saw is called The Illusionist, staring Edward Norton. I was hesitant at first to watch another movie this weekend, but everything that I have ever seen with Edward Norton has been fantastic, so I took a seat and watched with my housemates; this film was no exception to the Edward Norton Rule. It starts out with Edward Norton as a young man with Illusionist skills. He meets a girl about his age that he likes but she is always drawn away by her aristocrat parents because he is of low class. After running off together and getting caught, she is taken away never to be seen with him again. Switch to adulthood. Edward Norton is an on-stage performer in Austria that puts on Illusionist shows by himself that are very popular. One night, he brings a spectator onto the stage for a trick. The prince of Austria sends his fiancée onstage and the two recognize each other. She is his childhood friend. She later meets him again-- this time clandestinely-- and they each profess to have been longing for each other ever since they were separated. He asks her if she wants to run away with him. She says yes, but that it would never work because the prince would hunt them down and kill them. She returns to her fiancé and tells him that she can't marry him and darts out. Drunk, he chases her out with his sword. She is next seen riding away on a horse with a fatal wound and is found in a river. The chief of police tells the prince that he wrote a letter himself to the the king telling them that he knew the prince had killed her (he had plenty of evidence, developed over most of the movie). The prince pulls out a gun to kill the chief of police, but feeling helpless as more police swarm into town to arrest him, shoots himself. The chief of police later finds that Edward Norton ran away with his childhood friend, who is still alive, and everything about her death was an illusion. She was not stabbed-- the prince was given a drink that made him pass out, and she painted a fake wound on herself. She also placed jewels from his sword and her necklace on the ground to make him look guilty to the chief of police who found them. In the end, the couple was able to run away together without the fear of an angry prince following them forever. The grand illusion that they played only became clear at the very end, which felt like the Sixth Sense in that the entire movie was explained in the final instant. I give this movie a 9/10.