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AIR BUD (1998)

Directed by: Charles Martin Smith

Written by: Paul Tamasy & Aaron Mendelsohn

You tell me what is more unbelievable:

A) That there has been five sequels and seven spin off films from this?

or

B) One of the writers, Paul Tamasy, would wind up co-writing the movie The Fighter and be nominated for an Oscar?

Either way it’s pretty damn shocking.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #307

AIR BUD (1998)

Directed by: Charles Martin Smith

Written by: Paul Tamasy & Aaron Mendelsohn

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PI (1998)

Directed and Written by: Darren Aronofsky

Music by: Clint Mansell

Starring: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis

Pi is a very ambitious and weird film. For his first film this certainly fits into Darren Aronofsky’s wheelhouse. A loner who is too obsessed with a goal, in this case finding the mathematical formula to predict the stock market, and doesn’t realize his life is going to hell. This movie has a student film quality to it and yet you can see where Aronofsky was going to take us in his career. Unique camera angles, trippy visuals, and one hell of a soundtrack. The latter is thanks to Clint Mansell who has been a mainstay for all of Aronofsky’s films and his electronic style has been influential for today’s composers.

In general I think Pi moves a bit too slow for me. I like the discussions about math or religion but in between is filled with some pretentiousness. He’s trying a bit too hard to showcase his talents and because of that the film starts to drag. Still, it’s an impressive first start for Aronofsky and the whole world would definitely remember his name with his next effort in Requiem for a Dream.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #306
PI (1998)
Directed and Written by: Darren Aronofsky
Music by: Clint Mansell
Starring: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis

OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #306

PI (1998)

Directed and Written by: Darren Aronofsky

Music by: Clint Mansell

Starring: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis

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BATMAN & MR. FREEZE: SUBZERO (1998)

Directed by: Boyd Kirkland

Written by: Boyd Kirkland & Randy Rogel

Starring: Kevin Conroy, Michael Ansara, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Bob Hastings, Tress MacNeille

This might be a bit of a cheat because this was not released in theaters unlike the Mask of the Phantasm film. However, like the majority of the Bruce Timm era projects, this is a fantastic film with a great story and performances. A lot of it has to do with Michael Ansara, who voices Mr. Freeze, and we all know how his performance rejuvenated the character. This film, along with the critically acclaimed episode of the animated series in “Heart of Ice”, showcases how much emotion Ansara brings to the character. Mr. Freeze in general is a tragic character and Ansara certainly brings the right amount of tragedy in his line reading. Maybe not the best of the DCAU, Timmverse films but still a fun movie none the less.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #305

BATMAN & MR. FREEZE: SUBZERO (1998)

Directed by: Boyd Kirkland

Written by: Boyd Kirkland & Randy Rogel

Starring: Kevin Conroy, Michael Ansara, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Bob Hastings, Tress MacNeille

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BLADE (1998)

Directed by: Stephen Norrington

Written by: David S. Goyer

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Traci Lords

If it wasn’t for the surprise success of Blade, then we wouldn’t have The Avengers. Nor would we have this Renaissance of comic book movies in general. Yet I bet a good chunk of the movie going audience, that aren’t comic book fans, have no idea this is the case. New Line, and more importantly Marvel, did not see this success coming so now they had to quickly go into sequel mode. Right after this Marvel went out and help create the X-Men and Spider-Man franchises and they are STILL going strong. Eventually they would wind up going to be their own movie studio and you know the rest of the history.

In general this is a very fun movie even though it isn’t perfect. Just a total popcorn flick that is filled with cheesy dialogue and truly awful CGI. Seriously, that final sequence involving Stephen Dorf is laughably bad. But Wesley Snipes, Donal Logue, and Kris Kristofferson evoke this badassery (or in the case of Logue sheer dumbassery) that sort of makes you ignore the flaws. It is hard not to see why this got two sequels especially with the next film topping some of the more mediocre offerings of Marvel films. Anyways, try to remember the next time you see this movie that we wouldn’t be having Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man or Tom Hiddleston as Loki if it wasn’t for Wesley ‘Crazy Motherfucker’ Snipes.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #304

BLADE (1998)

Directed by: Stephen Norrington

Written by: David S. Goyer

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Traci Lords

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RUSH HOUR (1998)

Directed by: Brett Ratner

Written by: Ross LaManna & Jim Kouf

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Penn, Philip Baker Hall

Is this your first experience when it comes to the filmography of Jackie Chan? It was for me and I was impressed at the fluidity of his movements in each fight scene. He makes every move so effortless and the imagination that comes from using the scenery is impressive. The clip above shows how he can use a chair, a rug, and a table to his advantage in a variety of ways. Of course if you watch the bloopers you know it isn’t that effortless and it takes Jackie Chan a lot of tries to get it to work. That and if you know anything about martial arts films he isn’t solely the only actor/performer that can be this creative and athletic. Still, hard not to be impressed when you’re a nine year old and Power Rangers is your jam at the time.

Gotta also mention that Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are shockingly entertaining together. There are some legitimately good laughs here, and in the sequel (but not the third film), and while Tucker’s shtick of being loud gets a bit old he can still gel well with his co-star. It’s interesting how Tucker sort of disappeared once he was done with this franchise in 2007 and then made a comeback with Silver Linings Playbook. Meanwhile, Chan has kept his mark on pop culture by still working on various b-films and even stepping outside the box into full fledged drama to stay current.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #303

RUSH HOUR (1998)

Directed by: Brett Ratner

Written by: Ross LaManna & Jim Kouf

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Penn, Philip Baker Hall