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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Romeo Must Die

Author Topic: Romeo Must Die
Scott Magie
Film Handler

Posts: 73
From: St. Albans, VT USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 03-29-2000 09:05 PM      Profile for Scott Magie   Email Scott Magie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Someone please tell me how being good at martial arts somehow empowers a person to break any physical law of the universe at any given moment? The filmmakers should've looked to the Matrix for more than just technical inspiration. The Matrix had a REASON for its gravity-defying SFX... a little something called PLOT! How many times are we going to hear people in Hollywood TALKING about wanting SFX to be in service of plot?
And what's with the bone's-eye-view of the fights? Did someone watch Three Kings and say, "Hey we could do that!" Again, at least Three Kings gave a REASON (lame as it may have been!) for using this technique.

Don't let my specific nit-pickings lead you to believe that the REST of this movie was any good. These two ridiculous trifles merely exemplify the hokey waste of time that this movie was! It never found a pace or a mood or a style. It just borrowed scenes and characters from other far-superior films.
Is it trying to be Jackie Chan? Or Romeo & Juliet? Or Jerry Maguire? Or The Matrix? Or West Side Story? Just kidding about that last one, but wouldn't it have been funny to see Aaliyah bust out into an R&B version of "I feel pretty!"?

...And I really WANTED to like this one!

Scott A. Magie
"Anybody wanna peanut?"

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Juan Mendez
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: Houston, Texas, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 04-13-2000 09:46 AM      Profile for Juan Mendez     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps you went in think ing this movie was going to have some kind of really electrifying plot. This movie was pure eye candy, bottom line. I agree that the plot was comprised of plots from other movies, but what is original these days. The action sequences were some of the best I have seen, Russell Wong and Jet Li are some of the premier martial artists. If you went in this movie expecting a story that had merit, then you really must have not watched the trailer.

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Scott Magie
Film Handler

Posts: 73
From: St. Albans, VT USA
Registered: Mar 2000

 - posted 04-13-2000 09:37 PM      Profile for Scott Magie   Email Scott Magie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How can you base a story on Shakespeare and not have a plot? Going in, I thought the problem would be the BALANCE of eye-candy and plot, which ROMEO + JULIET was able to do brilliantly, but I didn't expect the plot to look like one of the lesser episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger with a bit of laughable Jackie Chan romance thrown in. I agree that the martial arts were impressive. I bow to Jet Li (mostly in hopes that he won't beat me up). But just like special effects or any other SINGLE ELEMENT of film-making, choreography and martial artistry are not enough to make a film. Cinematography, acting, direction, editing, sound, story... none of these elements can hold a movie up on it's own, but combine even just 3 or 4 of these elements in a semi-creative way and I'll watch it for 2 hours and be content. I'm really not that picky.

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Michael Barry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 584
From: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Registered: Nov 1999

 - posted 05-04-2000 11:19 AM      Profile for Michael Barry   Email Michael Barry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good formula fun. It's an attempt at taking itself a little more seriously than the usual Jackie Chan fare, but at the same time retaining a sense of humour and toungue-in-cheek nonsense. It's fluff, but well-directed fluff by former cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak (The Verdict, Lethal Weapon 4) who displays a skill for action set pieces and excellent compositions when blocking dialogue scenes.

Sidney Lumet talks about working with AB as a cinematographer on his films in his book 'Making Movies', and how AB used to ride a bicycle to work each day. I wonder if this had anything to do with this film's hero, who casually does his prison break scene by riding out on a push bike? I couldn't help but giggle, because there must be something in it. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it.

I screened this last night before heading out to meet some friends to see GLADIATOR. I couldn't help but see the obvious parallels - basically the same story with identical plot/character resolutions! I preferred ROMEO because it's not afraid to call a spade a spade unlike the overlong and humourless/kitschy GLADIATOR. In other words, both films fall into the usual drug/cop/gangster genre, ie. "You killed my brother/father/mother/family/all of the above. Now prepare to die", but only ROMEO wears this badge with unashamed pride. It's also 3/4 of an hour shorter, which is a definite bonus.

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