DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Attack Cat: The New <i>The Island</i>

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The New The Island

Went to a screening tonight of The Island.

Not the old The Island with Michael Caine,
but rather the new The Island with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.

For a Michael Bay film, it doesn't suck nearly as much as you might think it would. There's some totally decent action and he's cast enough good actors that you can suspend your disbelief... up to a point. There is also enough ridiculous stuff, for example, our heroes falling off of a 70 story building and surviving, that you kind want to punch Bay in the throat.

Solid performances by McGregor, Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean and the guy who played Neelix on Star Trek: Voyager make this film work. Ewan's usually the bright spot in anything he's in as is Steve Buscemi, who seems like he might be playing Mr. Pink's non-criminal brother... in the future. Some fun action scenes, highlighted by a freeway chase in the Los Angeles of the future, round it out. That freeway chase is not so much a chase as it is a demolition derby. Nice to see the CGI used sparingly and some actual cars gittin' blowed up real good.

Things that are super annoying about this film: How about egregious use of product placement? Within a couple minutes of the start of this film, we see Ewan go to his closet of the future only to find that apparently the only clothes he owns are made by Puma. Redmond, Washington must have dumped a few bucks into Bay's budget, because we also see Xbox is the gaming platform of the future and that all information kiosks are run by MSN. I could easily name off a half dozen other blatant product placements... but that's just what they want me to do, isn't it?

At the end of the day, guys who love the ladies, and I guess the ladies who love the ladies, go to this film for one reason: Scarlett Johansson.

She's one of those stunning beauties that is rare even in the movies. In some ways she reminds me of the young Lauren Bacall circa To Have and Have Not.
Though at 17 years old, Bacall played a far more mature character in that film than Johansson does in The Island (technically her character, Jordan Two Delta, is only four years old), they do seem to be cut from a similar mold. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be Bacall in To Have and Have Not and Johansson in Lost In Translation. They were both about the same age when they shot those films, but I don't think you'd guess it without being told.

They both have absolutely stunning features -- those eyes, those lips, that hair -- but they don't look anything like one another. The one thing they share is that voice. Though one doesn't sound like the other, they both have that slightly deeper and a bit huskier than your average dainty lady voice. They don't have pretty voices, they have sexy voices. Regardless of what they say, it's the way that they say it that carries a promise of untold and unimagined adventures behind closed doors.

Phew... got myself a little worked up there. I guess my point is, if you want to see a film that goes well with popcorn and a soda, check out The Island.

The one with Michael Caine is pretty fun too.

* * *

In other The Island news... Based on the trailers, most movie fans who've seen Logan's Run will think that The Island is just a loose reworking of the 1976 sci-fi classic. Well, you'd be right, to a point, so now check out this piece at The Agony Booth about the similarities between the new The Island and the 1979 TV movie Parts: The Clonus Horror.

Do they think they can fool us by remaking things we've never heard of?

"I'll take 'Things You'll Rarely Find in Hollywood' for $500, Alex."

"A fresh story you haven't seen
before told in an compelling
fashion, featuring interesting &
engaging characters."

"What is 'a new idea'?"

* * *

Tomorrow: Comic-Con


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