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Monday Movies could have hired ourselves to new masters. But we chose honor. We chose myth.

Ronin held up well, twelve years later. At the time, it was received as a tony car commercial; the chases are insane, and now I have an Audi.

Many heists are romances. In Ocean’s 11, Clooney has history with both Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, but Roberts requires much more wooing to join the game. In Ronin, Robert De Niro flirts with Natasha McElhone, his team’s patron. They play a dangerous game. By sleeping with him early, does she prevent him from executing a deserved revenge later on? Still, it’s mostly a set of game moves. Capable, confident American man, pretty blonde.

Jean Reno, on the other hand, De Niro’s partner in crime (online daters, I mean it for reals), takes an immediate fancy, but it’s a few dates in before he’ll give it up. As their heist team’s loyalties fold over and recombine, they grow ever closer. As their attachment heightens, so does its stakes. By the end, De Niro is much farther out on a limb than the job required — disqualifyingly so — but Reno stays with him. Love is more a master than any samurai could hire out to.

What did you see, and how did you like it?


October 2, 2011 - Posted by | Monday Movies | , , , ,


  1. The Girlfriend’s sister is currently visiting, and she’s a Disney fanatic, so we wound up watching Tangled. Wow, what a shitty movie! The only good part was the sentient horse that sometimes also acted like a dog — but that just highlights the shittiness, because having a character like that made absolutely no sense.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 3, 2011

  2. i seems used up all my favourite cartoons rewatched and posted on facebook, so am going to switch now to disney productions, to the horror of my friends there i guess, if they did not hide me up yet, though what i always thought is strange is that all the characters seem have similar faces from a cartoon to another cartoon, so all the different princesses look the same except their gowns

    Comment by read | October 3, 2011

  3. I saw ‘Yes Man’ and … it … was … great! (Although they alternated good music with god awful music, if you do have some good music, why not stick to it for the whole 90′?).

    It was infinitely greater at least than the quarter of an hour of “The Tudors” I saw right after it. The reason for said comparative greatness was utterly Craigian: “The Tudors” is boring. I tried the first episodes of it with The Kids and they found my exclamation “Off with her/his head” rather funny for the first 3 times. I guess we’re now 100 episodes later and not only is The Queen still The Queen, even Thomas More is still alive and un-kicking. If ever there was a TV character that is hopefully nothing like its historical precedent, Thomas More is it. Man, he is so boring that I’m contemplating beheading him myself. At the rate this show is going it will take until the Season 100 before we’re rid of Anne.

    Comment by Guido Nius | October 3, 2011

  4. 9/27/11 – The Human Condition Part 1 of 6 – Kobayashi 1958-1962
    9/28/11 – The Human Condition 2 of 6
    9/29/11 – The Human Condition 3 of 6
    9/30/11 – The Human Condition 4 0f 6
    10/01/11 – The Human Condition 5 of 6
    10/02/11 – The Human Condition – 6 of 6
    The Humanist Masterpiece, far better than Grand Illusion and making Bridge on the River Kwai look silly. I think. about being a humanist in the 20th century’s most trying conditions on the wrong side of history.. This is a grand epic in ambition and scope, of it’s late 50s era in soundtrack and commerciality, though it gets less commercial as it goes on. Many say it should be watched in one sitting, but it wasn’t released that way, and I think my way might be best. It is one long story, so the parts should be not be separated by weeks. It is not so “arty” very watchable and fast moving and plot-filled, unusually so for a Japanese movie of it’s time. If you can handle the fucking bleak bleak bleak. It does not “whitewash” the Japanese war crimes, although it doesn’t wallow in them. Kobayashi did a later movie about the war crime trials. Our protagonist is a pretty good man, but starts the nine hours by compromising with the system and goes down as his social circumstances devolve. And there are lots of monsters, mostly Japanese. Tatsuya Nakadai carries the movie, is the movie, and you will love him, and Kaji, the character he plays. And you will cry with and for him. Kaji is a natural leader (and socialist and pacifist), and the movie is partly about the practice and failure of (social) leadership and compassion in many different circumstances, which is why it needs to be so long. And endurance and survival. David Shipman’s review, google it, says Kaji is the twentieth century hero. Movies have different purposes and intentions, so I can’t do “best”, but I can’t think of a better epic antiwar or humanist movie.
    9/10 worth it if you can handle the bleak despair.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | October 3, 2011

  5. Adam: the dog part was surely exceptional, but the sentient part surely was not as all horses are sentient.

    The only movie we watched this week was “Due Date” and only because it was cycling off of “On Demand.” As a general rule, I do not like Robert Downey, Jr. This movie conformed to that rule. But I liked Jamie Foxx more than I thought I would because, as a general rule, I also don’t like him. RZA’s part was funny. My older brother, Zach Galifianakis, was as funny as the role would allow. They really missed an opportunity at the end: the baby should have come out not white. But, overall, the movie seemed to be an advertisement for “Two and a Half Men.”

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | October 3, 2011

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