Friday, April 29, 2005

Star Wars Countdown

[EDIT (05/20/2005): removed countdown timer since the event has passed]

Check my sidebar ----->
I've added a countdown timer for Episode III!

My friend, Doug, got me a ticket for a midnight show so that we can say that we were among the first to see the last 'Star Wars' film. We, along with a bunch of other people from Doug's church, did the same thing for Episodes I & II. Should be fun! Fanboys (and girls, believe it or not) dressed up as their favorite characters, cheering, clapping, booing, hissing, it's quite the experience!

Of course, I'll have thoughts (and hopefully pictures) to post here after seeing the film in 19 days, 11 hours, 2 minutes, and 45 seconds, make that 40 seconds, 39, 38, 37, well... just watch the countdown timer.

Thanks to a guy I don't know, but fellow Star Wars fan, Kunj for the code template I used for the countdown timer. He offered it freely here. Check out his site (linked above) which offers mainly science/tech news stories and links.

Films Recently Watched:

Léon (1994) dir. by Luc Besson
I don't know why, but I had an immediate connection with this film. It can't be the subject matter. The story is about a professional hitman (played by Jean Reno) or "cleaner" who takes a young girl (played by Natalie Portman) under his wing and teaches her his craft so she can exact revenge on the men who killed her parents. Don't have any experience there.

Portman's performance in this film (her first) is stunning. She not only nails her own scenes, but also manages believable on-screen chemistry opposite the male lead, Reno. That's not just the Star Wars fanboy in me rooting for Queen Amadila, either! At least, I don't think so.

Anyway, if you haven't seen this, I recommend it. There is also a slightly extended cut of the film available which I have not yet seen, but I've heard that it only improves on the shorter version. In the U.S., the film was released with the title, The Professional. The extended cut is titled, "Leon: The Professional."

The Last Samurai (2003) dir. by Edward Zwick
I tried to like this film, but just couldn't. Apart from perhaps a few historical inaccuracies etc., there's nothing wrong with the film. I just didn't have the immediate 'connection' with this one like I had with The Professional (mentioned above). Tom Cruise gives an adequate performance, but is in the shadow of Ken Watanabe every time they're on screen together.

Karate Kid (1984) dir. by John G. Avildsen
It was a thrill to watch this one again. For me, it hasn't lost anything in its 20+ years. Watching this when I was 10-12, I remember developing early notions about romance, strength, honor, etc. from this film. Maybe that's what's wrong with me?

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