Death, Taxes and Movies

I am, as I type, watching the credits role on Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven“. As most of you know, I don’t have television, but I do watch the occasional movie. This one I watched online from Amazon.com’s Unbox service.

Let me just tell you, I love this movie. This movie is the movie I want to make one day. I am a huge fan of Western’s in general and of Clint Eastwood’s Western’s in particular. There’s something emotionally satisfying about a movie in which a very bad man does very bad things to very bad people. It gets down to the very basics of human nature and you don’t have to do a great deal of thinking to get something out of the movie.

You can do some thinking. You just don’t have to.

Another movie like that is “Taken“, a movie I saw on Saturday night. It’s a very streamlined movie. A guy has his daughter kidnapped. A guy promises to get even with those who took her and a guy hits a whole lot of people in the face to do it. It’s so straightforward that you get the feeling that the writers knew the movie was about a guy who hurt a lot of people and then they came up with a reason for him to be doing so.

Really. The movie is sooo basic. You expect this movie to star someone like Jason Statham or Daniel Craig or Matt Damon. It’s a “Bourne”, “Transporter” or “Bond” type of film. (The new Bond, anyway.) But this one stars Liam Neeson, a person I consider to be a more serious actor. (Craig is someone I consider to have decent acting chops as well.)

This also makes you think the writers said “what if we made an ass-kicking movie with a serious actor?”

As it stands, Neeson’s acting was pretty much the high point of the movie. Sure there’s a whole bunch of emotionally satisfying ass-whipping handed out, but the plot is so cobbled together that it detracts from the movie. The movie doesn’t start until Neeson starts hitting people and ends as soon as he stops hitting people. All the rest is just an excuse to get him there.

That being said, if you like that kind of movie, definitely go see it. Just don’t expect it to win any Oscars.

Not like “Unforgiven”. I’m watching it again, as I type. I cannot tell you how much I love this movie. He kills lots of people.

I also did my taxes. It’s like death and taxes. But with movies.