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Movie Nuggets: Avengers, Aeon Flux, Stop-Loss, He Was A Quiet Man

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For those who just want to know, "Should I see this or not?" without all the fluff and intellectualism (or at least minimal amounts), I present to you these bite-sized movie reviews. If you're in an abnormally large hurry, skip to the last few words of each section, as each is noted with "See it" or "Pass." So without further ado, let's see what's on the slate in this edition.

The Avengers

Stylish British spy romp; not particularly brilliant or anything, but accomplishes its goals with a certain amount of bravado, and Uma Thurman manages to be delish as usual. Reminded me a little visually of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The common Sean Connery element probably helps. It's not great, but not terrible either. Fans of the original show may enjoy it more than the rest. The style, costuming, and vibe of it is endearing, so all in all I'd say it was worth a look. See it.

Aeon Flux

Visually impressive, though the story falls flat (avenging sister's murder, finds out she's a clone who's attracted to her nemesis). Even the action sequences aren't much to look at, though Charlize Theron does what she can with what she's got to work with (and looks good doing it). For me, it's tied with Ultraviolet for unrealized dystopian sci-fi potential. To see this done right, rent Equilibrium. Pass on this.

Stop-Loss

Starts off well enough, with a routine checkpoint duty turning ugly really fast. The guys get shipped back home, and some are supposed to get out. The stop-loss element is sure timely subject matter, which makes it good for now, but probably irrelevant to viewers born from this year on. Starts to feel a bit futile toward the end as everything wraps up right back where it started. If bad-mouthing the Bush administration and the war in Iraq are your ideas of a good time, see it. Otherwise, you can probably safely pass.

He Was A Quiet Man

Surprisingly good, catchy story and dialogue, great performances by everyone involved. Basically, Christian Slater plays a burned-out office worker (not unlike Milton from Office Space, only more grim and less jovial) who fantasizes about coming to work and blowing away half his irritating scumbag co-workers. I'm not entirely sure I like the very ending since it negates all the struggle and character development in the story up to that point, but it was much better than I ever expected. The characters are memorable and engaging and give their all. This one's probably not on your radar, but definitely give it a look. See it.

That's it for this edition. I'm sure I'll be back soon with more, as I can't seem to stop renting stuff. Cheers.

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About Mark Buckingham