Saturday, August 11, 2012


Year 4, Day 224 - 8/11/12 - Movie #1,214

BEFORE: Matt Damon carries over from "The Adjustment Bureau", and again dealing with issues of life and death and fate.  I've got three weeks to go before the big virtual around-the-world movie trip, and I remember how TCM's "31 Days of Oscar" schedule (from which I'm blatantly copying the idea) ended its long location-based chain with movies set in heaven, hell and outer space.  Thematically, that felt a bit like a copout.  Well, I already watched films about Mars last week, now I'm working on the afterlife, so I don't have to include those films in the tour, which will be limited to places on the globe that one can actually visit.

THE PLOT: A drama centered on three people -- a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy -- who are touched by death in different ways.

AFTER: The film is all about connections, between people and between the life and the afterlife, but I want to take a minute to talk about some basic filmmaking rules.  The first one is the rule of parallel editing, which dictates that any concurrent storylines HAVE to meet.  Perhaps the name is misleading, since in geometry parallel lines never meet, but in film editing, they do.  If this film were to show three storylines that ran at the same time but never came together, the audience would end up feeling unfulfilled.  So it's no great feat to expect the storylines here to (eventually) intertwine, the mystery is just abour when they are going to coincide, and in what way.

The second rule, and this is really first-year film school stuff, is about crossing the axis.  Any relation between two people in a scene creates an invisible line between them, the axis.  The rule states that the camera(s) can be placed anywhere on only ONE side of this axis, but never both.  If you have a scene where a man is talking to a woman, and you cut from an angle where the man is on the right and the woman on the left to a shot on the other side of the axis, they will appear to have suddenly switched places.  The only acceptable way to cut to that shot is to insert a shot in between where the camera is directly ON the axis, so that the audience doesn't experience the jump.  (You can also do that thing where the camera spins around them, but that's really contrived.)

Once you know to look for it, you'll see it again and again, in poorly blocked scenes, or in places where there wasn't enough camera coverage - but I really expect a director as accomplished as Clint Eastwood to know about this rule, and not cross the axis.  Yet it occured several times, most notably in the dinner-date scene.

Getting beyond the mechanics, there were even more signs that the "seams" were showing - I supposed that's bound to happen when you stitch together three storylines like this.  Random chance is one thing, fate is another, but a writer shouldn't rely on one to create the other.  That's just lazy.

An even worse offense is creating a main character who is a psychic, and having him be a REAL channeler of messages from the deceased, while at the same time, in another storyline, pointing out how many of the supposed psychics are frauds.  (Hint: it's all of them.)  Those who claim to speak for the dead might even be worse than people who claim to speak for God, because they specifically prey on people who've lost loved ones, and they say the things that they think people want to hear.  For anyone who might think they're real, psychics use a variety of tricks including, but not limited to, carefully researching their subjects, and making educated guesses about the deceased (a lot of names begin the letter "J", as one example) because their marks are likely to remember the correct guesses and forget the occasional misstep.  In addition, the mark, even when told to answer only "yes" or "no", often forgets about that and surrenders additional information about the deceased anyway.

Psychics and mentalists are slick, I'll give them that.  Two were recently featured on "America's Got Talent", but one blew his shot at the semis when he incorrectly heard the name of a city, and opened up the "sealed" envelope to reveal the predicted answer "Bilan" instead of "Milan".   Another was more successful, and played out a "Deal or No Deal" scenario, and it sure appeared that he was able to predict the choice of one briefcase out of a possible 16, with the prediction appearing both within the selected case and a sealed envelope.  I'm pretty good at sussing out how such tricks are done, I won't reveal the mechanics of the trick here but you can find it on YouTube.  I'll just say that the real trick was creating the illusion of free choice, when really there was none.

So, for those people who don't believe in an afterlife - how do they explain the tunnel of white light, the feeling of being outside one's body, the reunion with loved ones that those who have nearly "crossed over" say they have experienced?  Only those who have had near-death experiences can say for sure, but can't there be some kind of scientific explanation?  The inner workings of the brain are still something of a mystery, but what if those sights and feelings are a result of the human brain shutting down?  Some kind of dream or delusion that takes place due to a lack of oxygen?

You've also got to consider a lifetime, however long, of being told what to expect at the end.  When you were a kid, you believed in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, right?  But when you got to a certain age, you figured out those beings were impossible.  So why continue to cling to the same fantasies where God and the afterlife are concerned?  God's just the adult version of Santa, with his ultimate afterlife Christmas list of who's been naughty and nice. 

John Lennon sang "Imagine there's no heaven", and pointed out that the worst that could happen without it is that people would live for today, and therefore appreciate life more, and maybe spend less time asking God for help and more time helping themselves.  And who knows, maybe people would be a little more careful when crossing the street. 

Also starring Cecile de France, Bryce Dallas Howard (last seen in "Terminator: Salvation"), Jay Mohr, with cameos from Richard Kind (last heard in "Cars 2"), Derek Jacobi (last seen in "Anonymous").

RATING: 4 out of 10 books on tape

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Adjustment Bureau

Year 4, Day 223 - 8/10/12 - Movie #1,213

BEFORE: Quantum physics, of course, is just an attempt to explain the workings of the universe, but tonight's film offers up a different explanation.  This looks like it might be a good mindfuck movie, where reality itself is subjective.  Linking from last night's film, Marlee Matlin was also in "Hear No Evil" with Martin Sheen, who was also in "The Departed" with Matt Damon (last seen in "Courage Under Fire").

THE PLOT: The affair between a politician and a ballerina is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.

AFTER: This is all a riff on free will vs. destiny - but if you could SEE destiny, what would it look like?  In this case, destiny looks like a bunch of men in suits.  It's comforting to think that the universe has a plan for you, but do the architects of that plan have to be so damn creepy?

The title characters here are the adjusters who make subtle changes in the lives of humans, which turn out to create turning points in the grand design, in order to bring, something.  Look, some things we're just not meant to comprehend, right?  The agents can see the connections between people and events on their little magic iPads, and since events have consequences, they know what they have to do to effect change upon the world.

Problem is, it's tough to change the world in secret if someone spots you - the main character gets a peek behind the curtain, as it were, and sees a bit more of how the universe works than he's supposed to.  Next problem, he falls in love, and the relationship he wants is definitely not part of the plan.  But human nature dictates that if we're told we can't have something, or someone, we want it even more.

Me, I'm just glad that SOMEONE is seen running things - where are these people most of the time when things aren't going right?  Ah, but those things might be all part of their plan - like if you forget your coat and go back inside to get it, maybe that prevents you from crossing the street at the wrong time and getting hit by a car.

The suggestion here, however, is that single people are more ambitious, more unfulfilled, so perhaps they accomplish more.  I don't know if I fully agree with that, it seems like too much of a generalization.  But certainly there must be times when married people sacrifice for their spouse, like if someone didn't take their dream job in another city or something.

But I think it's about time that the concept of a supreme being got some new paradigms.  Why is heaven often depicted with people wearing biblical-type robes, with wings and halos?  Doesn't that all seem very old-timey?  Would you be shocked if you died and heaven looked like that, and you had to fly around and play the harp all day?  Why can't heaven look like, say, an office building or a library?  And why can't they wear more modern clothes up there?  This sort of spins off the concept, and fashion sense, of a film like "Heaven Can Wait".

I'm reminded of the questions that James Lipton asks all of his guests on "Inside the Actors Studio", one of which is, "If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?"  I've determined that my answer would be: "Glad you're here, now we can start to get things really organized." 

Ah, many linking regrets tonight - once again I wish I had gone to see "Men In Black 3", perhaps after "Seven Pounds", because both films feature well-dressed agents who work in secret to keep things running.  And if I didn't have the next 3 months blocked out, I could have picked up on the political angle and went with "The Ides of March" next.  Oh, well.

Also starring Emily Blunt (last seen in "Gulliver's Travels"), John Slattery (last seen in "Iron Man 2"), Michael Kelly (last seen in "Law Abiding Citizen"), Terence Stamp (last seen in "Red Planet"), Anthony Mackie (last seen in "The Manchurian Candidate"), with a cameo from Jon Stewart.

RATING: 7 out of 10 press conferences

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What the #$*! Do We Know!?

Year 4, Day 222 - 8/9/12 - Movie #1,212

BEFORE: When I started this blog, I did it to catch up on classic films - I didn't expect that I'd be asking questions about the nature of reality itself.  Yet that seems to be where I find myself tonight.

For linking tonight, I'm relying on some character actors - Gregory Itzen from "Life or Something Like It" was also in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" with Larry Brandenburg, who plays "Bruno" in tonight's film.  Considering this is a documentary with a few staged scenes, that's about the best I can hope for.

THE PLOT: This film plunges you into a world where quantum uncertainty is demonstrated - where neurological processes, and perceptual shifts are engaged and lived by its protagonist - where everything is alive, and reality is changed by every thought.

AFTER: There are a couple of things I know about quantum physics, one of which is that we don't know very much about quantum physics.  It's a bunch of theories that explain how electrons and quarks work, but it's largely, umm, theoretical, right?  For one thing, we can't be sure of what's happening at the sub-atomic level, because the act of observation often changes that which is being observed.  And we don't know where most of the matter in the universe IS, and light is both a particle AND a wave, etc. etc.  Oh, and the rules about time and space don't seem to function consistently, nothing to worry about.

BUT, can those rules about quantum physics be applied to our daily lives?  That would mean that reality itself would be subjective, and by observing it, even by THINKING about it, we could be changing it.  Come to think of it, what is reality - is it just what we perceive and recognize, or are things that we believe to be real also real?  And if not, do our brains even know the difference?  Here we go again, it's the "we're all just brains in jars" theory, which can't be disproved - but that doesn't necessarily make it true.

You can view life as a series of choices, big and little.  Lots of people get up at the same time every day, eat breakfast, travel the same route to the same job and come home to the same person, making a series of choices that, over time, can make them feel as if they have no free will at all.   But people change habits, jobs, even spouses, all the time.  Those are the ways that we DO change our realities.  You can think it, then do it.

We ate at a new restaurant last night in lower Manhattan.  A series of choices brought us there - I decided to get a new phone, I decided to download the Yelp! app, I decided to search on what was near my wife's office.  We chose to meet there on THIS day at THAT time, and it turned out to be right on the river, behind some buildings I'd seen but never walked around before.  So, quantum physics might suggest that the restaurant did not exist in my reality until I walked into that neighborhood for the first time.  But that's ridiculous, because the restaurant has been there for years, we just never went there.  Should I be so arrogant to think that it popped into existence just to feed me dinner?

Which brings me to the following problems with this documentary, and its attempts to apply quantum theory to human existence:

Problem #1) The rules on our plane are different.  According to these theories, nothing is real (and nothing to get hung about...) but I KNOW what's real.  The things I can touch, hear, see and taste.  Maybe my brain can't perceive everything that's happening, maybe my eyes are limited to the spectrum of visible light, but I'm going to believe in the tangible over the intangible.  Anyway, a documentary needs to be about real things or events, and not all this theoretical stuff.

Problem #2) Since the film favors the power of thought over, say, math & real-world physics, it tends to get a little hippy-dippy.  No matter how much I might want to walk on water, it's just not possible (unless water is frozen, of course).  I think the recent news stories about people being burned at a fire-walking seminar prove this - I just knew that was a scam, somehow.  Some of the "scientists" here include a chiropractor (more junk science) and someone who channels.

Problem #3) It also includes some "scientists" ready to give their views on religion, which is akin to your high-school math teacher trying to teach an English class.  I was glad to hear that some of these science folk seem to be agnostics, or they believe in a God that cannot be defined by human terms or the rules of organized religion (which were written by MEN long ago, for archaic reasons).  I have to agree with the guy who says that anyone who states what God wants or thinks is committing blasphemy of a sort.  Why can't we just keep this a mystery until we need to?  Because it keeps the masses in line, apparently, and prevents chaos while it promotes ignorance.

All that being said, how much of our reality is real, and how much is perception?  People once believed that the world was flat, or that a god carried the sun across the sky in a chariot each day.  People were wrong then, and filled in their knowledge gaps with guesses - how do we know that we're not doing the same thing?  Evolution, the big bang, there are still big holes in those theories (not as big as the ones in creationism, but still...)

How did we come to achieve awareness, is it just a by-product of evolution?  How did our cells know to come together to create the conscious beings we are?  What is consciousness?  Is it just a bunch of neurons firing in a particular way?  Or, as Kurt Vonnegut suggested, are we all just bags of chemicals walking around?  As this film suggests, are our emotions just chemical reactions, along with our addictions?  Make up your mind, hippie scientists, are we spiritual beings, or chemical factories?

To illustrate the scientific concepts, there are scenes of everyday life in this film, showing a woman struggling for the meaning of reality.  But I often found a disconnect between the scenes and the concepts - what does a woman drawing hearts on her body, or yelling at herself in the mirror have to do with anything?  Besides, the world is not your personal holodeck, nor is it The Matrix.

Here's what I think the true takeaway should be - the best advice I can draw from the film is the stuff that any good therapist would tell you.  Life is short, so try and enjoy it.  Do the things that make you happy, but if things aren't going the way you'd like, try to make some positive steps to improve your situation.  Accept the things you cannot change, etc. etc.  Be excellent to each other.  Oh, and don't invite a neurotic photographer on anxiety medication to your wedding and let her drink, because things are bound to get weird.  And if you eat at P.J. Clarke's, try the walnut fudge brownie, it's really wonderful.

Synchronicity comes from seeing some of the filming locations, and recognizing places I've been.  I spotted the Goose Hollow train station in Portland, OR - right near an animation studio that I've worked for and visited twice.  And one expert was being interviewed right in front of the Palace of Art in San Francisco, which I just photographed last month.

Starring Marlee Matlin, with cameos from Elaine Hendrix, John Ross Bowie, Barry Newman, Armin Shimerman.

RATING: 4 out of 10 basketballs

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Life or Something Like It

Year 4, Day 221 - 8/8/12 - Movie #1,211

BEFORE: Working with the loose theme of mortality this week.  Linking is made simple by the fact that Will Smith was also in "Men in Black" with Tony Shalhoub (last heard in "Cars 2"), who appears tonight.

THE PLOT: A reporter interviews a homeless man, who tells her that she's going to die and her life is meaningless.

AFTER: I just watched a show that aired on the National Geographic Channel, called "Comic Book Heroes", which profiled the staff of Midtown Comics, a popular comic book store in Manhattan.  The show also depicted a few of the customers, including my least favorite type of comic book shopper: the guy who picks up 30 or 40 copies of the same book, looking for the "perfect" one, the one with no nicks or folds or imperfections, meanwhile getting his grubby fingerprints over all of the others, including the one I'm probably going to buy.  Not cool, and I assume the fact that this guy buys so many books regularly is the reason they don't throw him out on his keister.

But even worse is the fact that he doesn't read the books he buys (probably because he spends so much time hunting for the perfect copies), which he admits while holding a large stack of books and shedding his slimy epithelials all over them.  So not only is he damaging other people's comics, he's missing the entire point of the exercise, to read and (hopefully) enjoy the books. 

I can get away with this tonight, since the film made a similarly horrible analogy comparing a relationship to Altoids mints:  life is like a comic-book shop, and we may be there for different reasons, but the goal is to find the items in the shop that have personal meaning for us, without infringing on the goals of others while we are there.

This is essentially the lesson that the main character of tonight's film needs to learn - of course the film couldn't make her too obnoxious at first or we would hate her, so it had to drop little hints that this is a career-oriented woman who doesn't realize how her 5-year plan impacts others, and that she's not a team player in any sense of the word.  She's got a high-profile boyfriend, refuses the most demeaning parts of her job (as a TV reporter/talking head), and harbors resentment toward her sister who appears to have the "perfect" family.

It takes an encounter with a homeless man who appears to have the gift of prophecy for her to confront her own mortality, and (perhaps) get a better sense of the urgency of existence - somehow the acknowledgement of our limited life-span can be a motivator, a wake-up call to get things done, and a humbling factor as well.

I figured that the film would find a way to weasel out of its own prophecy, but I wasn't exactly sure how it might accomplish that.  Because it still surprised me, and also because it referenced my high-school yearbook quote ("Live every day as if it is your last, because one day you'll be right"), I might be going easy on the rating tonight.

I guess I haven't told the Ed Burns story yet, since this is his first appearance in the countdown.  I sat next to him on a plane to Miami in 2002, and may have talked him out of making a comic-book movie.  I recognized him by his voice when he ordered a drink, and noticed he was reading a screenplay for "The Punisher".  When he saw me reading comic books, he started asking me questions about which books I read, which heroes I liked, and he said he was a fan of the Silver Surfer.  I let slip that they had made a film about the Punisher before (the Dolph Lungren one) and he was unaware of that.  He said that his agent was pressuring him to make a superhero film (the X-Men franchise was hot at the time), but since he didn't appear in or direct any Punisher film, maybe his conversation with me had an impact on his career, but whether for better or worse, I can't say.

Starring Angelina Jolie (last seen in "The Tourist"), Edward Burns, James Gammon (last seen in "The Cell"), Stockard Channing (last seen in "The First Wives Club"), Christian Kane (last seen in "Friday Night Lights"), Gregory Itzin (last seen in "Law Abiding Citizen").

RATING: 5 out of 10 segues

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Seven Pounds

Year 4, Day 220 - 8/7/12 - Movie #1,210

BEFORE: I'm not entirely sure this film fits here thematically, I'm taking a bit of a guess.  I'm trying not to learn too much about the plot before I watch a film, but in the case of a film like "Total Recall", it was just unavoidable.

Linking from "The Final Cut", Jim Caviezel was also in "The Thin Red Line" with Woody Harrelson (last seen in "Friends With Benefits").  Never saw it.   

THE PLOT: An aerospace engineer with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.

AFTER: I think my instincts were good, this film does have a lot in common with last night's film, focusing on a person who's harboring a secret, and the way that he chooses to live his life while dealing with guilt and looking for redemption.  But I was hesitant to watch something that also focuses on mortality, because my mother had another health scare, some kind of asthmatic attack, and too often I've found events in the real world mirroring those in the movies I watch, and vice versa.

My mom's heart is beating a bit too fast, and she needs to get it shocked to slow it down.  But a character in this film has a condition where her heart is weak and slow, so thankfully that seems to be the opposite problem. 

I was more than a little confused at the beginning of this film, and I think the culprit is (once again) non-linear storytelling.  The first half-hour shows only glimpses of the methodology of the main character, and gradually we learn that he's out to help people in some unorthodox way.  We don't learn the how and why of it all until much later, so I have to take issue with the intentional obliqueness of it all, it seems designed to confound while we all wait for it to sort itself out.

About 45 minutes in, I figured out where it was going.  That's when the film gave the first nuggets of actual information.  But while I penalize for the oblique time-jumping, I will credit the film for seeming to be completely predictable, and then still finding a way to surprise me at the end.  I'm being very careful not to give away too much here, because I managed to watch it without learning too much in advance, and I think that's the right way to go here.

Let's just say that redemption comes through charity, and these are extreme acts of charity.  I question the methods, and whether they are realistic, but everything here seems to be played for the maximum amount of drama, so the difficulty level is quite high, since things could easily drift into a place where things are either too dark or too cloyingly sweet. 

I thought that hotel looked familiar, it's the same one seen in "Memento", another non-linear film.  Nice touch.

NITPICK POINT: Is it OK for a grade-school chorus to be singing a song that mentions one-night stands?

Starring Will Smith (last seen in "Bad Boys II"), Rosario Dawson (last seen in "Unstoppable"), Michael Ealy (last seen in "Bad Company"), Barry Pepper (last seen in "True Grit"), with a cameo from Bill Smitrovich (last seen in "The Phantom").

RATING: 7 out of 10 ambulances

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Final Cut

Year 4, Day 219 - 8/6/12 - Movie #1,209

BEFORE: I got a copy of this one too late to be featured in the Robin Williams chain last July - so I slotted it here, after another film about human memory (though last night's film used the word to mean "storage capacity").  Sometimes I just have to put two films next to each other and hope that they'll have something in common, as I imagine they might.  Linking from "Johnny Mnemonic", Udo Kier was also in "Moscow on the Hudson" with Robin Williams (last seen in "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian").

THE PLOT: Set in a world with memory implants, Robin Williams plays a cutter, someone with the power of final edit over people's recorded histories. His latest assignment is one that puts him in danger.

AFTER: This is something of a high-concept piece, imagining a future (or at least an alternate present) where every moment of a person's life can be recorded and stored though an organic implanted chip of some kind.  The details about how the chip works, and where such a massive amount of video information get stored are somewhat sketchy, but perhaps irrelevant.  

I assume that we are being shown the way this alt-world works, in order to make some kind of point about the world around us - that's usually how these things work, right?  But I'm struggling to see the relevance here - the best I can come up with is that much like the cutters in this film, when someone we care about passes away, we tend to remember the good times we shared with them, and try to forget, or at least not focus on, their less-than-perfect qualities.  

But this seems a long way to go to make a simple point.  To re-imagine the way that people remember each other, the re-structuring of society to accommodate people who are essentially walking recording devices, the legal and personal ramifications of recording every moment of someone's life - couldn't this point, or whatever point they were going for, be made in a simpler way?  
Besides, when you cut out the dull moments, the bad moments, the personal losses from a person's life experiences - aren't you devaluing any lessons learned from them?  The problem with any editing is that you make a statement with what you leave in AND what you edit out - and just because something painful happens to you does not mean that the event is not also important. 

My screenplay writing is stalled again - gee, I never seem to have much free time, I wonder why - but in order to continue working on it, I have to remember details from a certain period of my life, and that means all the good parts AND the bad parts of a relationship.  They're both important if I'm going to create something that has a deeper meaning. 

As for tonight's central character, he has a shameful secret in his past, and by ignoring it, he has also made himself distant and numb, but those happen to be good qualities for a cutter, someone who views all of the footage from other people's lives, and then has to edit out the bad parts without judgment.  But a controversial editing job also happens to bring up his own secret, which leads him on a quest for his own redemption.   

I had a grade-school classmate call me once, maybe 10 or 12 years ago, and he was going through a 12-step program and had reached the step where you have to address people you may have wronged.  He wanted my forgiveness for some bullying incidents back in grade school, and what was I going to say?  I mean, I guess you've got somebody over a barrel at that point, they can't move forward with their sobriety unless you say they can - so can you like, ask for money or something?  I told him I didn't harbor any ill will, and besides, anything that happened back then made me who I am today, and I'm OK with who I am.  

I mean, we all have days we'd rather forget, or things that we might do differently if given the chance, but it's not really constructive to focus on that stuff, right?  Movin' on...

Also starring Mira Sorvino, Jim Caviezel (last seen in "Deja Vu"), Mimi Kuzyk

RATING: 5 out of 10 picket signs

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Johnny Mnemonic

Year 4, Day 218 - 8/5/12 - Movie #1,208

BEFORE: From a movie based on a story by Philip K. Dick, to one based on a story by William Gibson.  I haven't read any of Gibson's books, but I know a little about them since my ex was into reading them.  And we go from a film about a man with memory implants to one about a man with data-carrying implants.   Linking via actors, Rachel Ticotin from "Total Recall" was also in "Something's Gotta Give" with Keanu Reeves (last seen in "Freaked").

THE PLOT: A data courier, carrying a data package inside his head too large to hold for long, must deliver it before he dies from it.

AFTER: Again, not knowing much about Gibson's work, this film doesn't appear to make much sense.  This film was made in 1995, but the story it was based on was published in 1981, and both appear to be based on outdated assumptions about what the future would be like.  Back then, people thought that in the 21st century we'd all be entertained by virtual reality, and our minds would travel around the net while our bodies sat in a room, hooked up to a IV drip or something.  After all, the internet didn't even exist then, so we only had the view of futurists to tell us what it would be like.

Hindsight is 20/20, sure, but VR never really got off the ground.  3-D movies are not even close to the holodecks we were promised.  For that matter, where's my flying car?  

Computers have come a long way, as have phones and other devices.  The human body, not so much.  Sure, we've got organ transplants, but those have been around for years.  Better artificial limbs, OK.  But where are the data jacks for our brains?  The phones that can be implanted into our skulls?

NITPICK POINT: You need to carry 380 gigs of memory to another city?  Try a flash drive.

NITPICK POINT #2: If Johnny's brain can carry only 160 gigs, that's it.  You can't just somehow load more than that capacity and have him struggle with it.  If the data to be loaded is more than 160 gigs, then he just simply didn't get it all.  Some screenwriter didn't seem to understand the word "capacity".

To say this film is confusing is an understatement.  With so many parties interested in the data, it's tough to keep them all straight.  I also wish there was some kind of point to it all, but I didn't really see one.

Also starring Dina Meyer, Ice-T (last seen in "3,000 Miles to Graceland"), Henry Rollins (last seen in "Bad Boys II"), Dolph Lundgren (last seen in "Rocky IV"), Udo Kier.

RATING: 2 out of 10 scalpels