Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blitz (And Some Thoughts On Actor Name Action Movies)

I'm suffering from a particularly intense NaNo hangover this year, probably because I've been writing intensely nearly every day for about three months. I have a book and a half written now, but am feeling more than a little burnt out. On December 1, I peeked open my little eyes and looked out at the world and wasn't quite sure how I got here. I've had other stressors, too, like my ongoing battle with healthcare.gov, but for the last few days I haven't really known what to do with myself. I know I need a little time away from writing, but it felt like it had been so long, I found myself wondering - what do normal people do for fun? I feel like I'm in a sort of suspended state - a combination of malaise and maybe something akin to shock: Where am I? What's happening? How did I get here? What am I supposed to do now? Why don't I want to do anything?

IMDB    Netflix
I admit I've been self medicating with action movies and baking. Thoroughly cleaning the kitchen for the first time since probably October and baking something for fun was nearly as cathartic as getting to eat what I baked, and I find that action movies never fail to improve my mood. Coconut Oil Brownies in hand, I set on a quest to watch all the Jason Statham movies on Netflix that I hadn't already seen. First up was Safe, which was A Jason Statham movie - Statham playing an honorable killer, a plot that was more like a net loosely holding together action sequences and slightly too many characters, Nothing too unusual.

But last night I watched Blitz. I got a little teasing from Muscles on his way to bed for my Stathamithon, and went into the movie with the expectation of watching a lot of people get the tar beaten out of them for an hour and a half, and not really much more than that. But I actually ended up really enjoying the movie. Now, I'm not saying the movie is a masterpiece, or even that it's particularly noteworthy. But it was one of those great movie experiences where I magically recognize basically every actor in the entire movie including all the walk-ons an bit parts (Thanks, Lionsgate UK!), which is something I really enjoy, and the whole movie was very British which, again, something I really enjoy. I won't say it was like Snatch or Lock Stock, because it lacks the twisty elegance of Guy Ritchie's film making and storytelling, but it was much more like Statham's early work, which I appreciate.

But maybe my favorite part was watching the dynamic between Jason Statham and Aidan Gillen (henceforth: Littlefinger). I love Littlefinger in Game of Thrones but hadn't actually seen him in anything else (Dark Knight Rises doesn't count!), and it was cool to see him amp up the creepiness in this movie - and to see this lithe, svelte, intelligent-but-crazy guy pinned against Statham's brute force musclehead. I honestly wish the movie had given them a little more time to play against each other, but was really just pleased to see Statham across from something other than a musclier-head.

Statham is certainly one of those actors that you go to for consistency: you go into a Stathamn movie expecting to find Statham playing Statham in much the same way, I would argue, you go to see a Bruce Willis movie to see Bruce Willis play Bruce Willis, or a Jason Momoa movie/show to see him grunt and punch things, or a Karl Urban movie to watch him hack and shoot his way through a sf/f world. Muscles would go so far as to argue that none of them (especially Statham, who is actually an MMA guy apparently) are really actors at all, just stunt men with enough personality to carry a movie. And certainly that's part of the appeal for me: I like the down-on-his-luck badass-with-a-heart of-gold-character that Willis and Statham deliver with such consistency, and it's nice to be able to pick a movie and know more or less for sure what you're getting.

Even so, it's refreshing to get a little twist on the expected, and Blitz was a nice little surprise that, combined with a rather excellent brownie and a tall glass of milk, did wonders to lift my spirits and help drag me out of my post NaNo funk.

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