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Let's start this off by saying what Inception is not.  It is not an M. Night Shyamalan-style movie with "a twist."  If you go in expecting this, and then come out wondering what the big deal was, I think you missed the point -- you are basically told the form of the plot in the first half hour of the movie.  Inception is not trying to shock you with the cheap thrill of a twist, it's telling a compelling story with amazing visuals and an intelligent, unique premise, with some awesome action scenes weaved in there to boot.  Inception is not going to blow your mind like say, Primer, but you aren't likely to forget it half an hour after you leave the theater either.

The basic plot of the movie is relatively straightforward.  Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, the leader of a team of "dream thieves" that infiltrate the dreams of targets to steal their innermost secrets from their subconscious -- this is "extraction."  A Japanese businessman, played by Ken Watanabe, hires him to crack into the mind of a competitor, played by Cillian Murphy, and plant the idea in his mind to break up his father's company -- this is "inception" and it is supposedly impossible, according to Cobb's right hand man Arthur, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The bulk of the movie takes place in dreamspace of one sort or another, where reality is what you make of it.  The way this works gives you some amazing visuals (like the city folding in on itself you can see in the trailers), but the way the "outer world" affects the dreamspace is also really well done, translating reality (like getting dunked in a bathtub) into a fantasy (the building you're in getting destroyed in a flood).  Most visually inspired scenes are created through this effect; it reminded me a lot of The Matrix in terms of visual spectacle (and considering the premise, perhaps that's not surprising).

In order to plant the idea in the target's mind, without his subconscious rejecting it as someone else's idea, Cobb's team must drill down deep enough to obscure the genesis of the idea.  In essence, they must create a triple-layered dream -- a dream within a dream within a dream.  This is what creates some of the best visuals of the movie and allows, as my friend Mike at 1000 Monkeys describes, a Return of the Jedi-style intercutting of action scenes, only each scene is on a different level of the dream and therefore slowed down -- dreamtime is a twentieth as fast as real time, and the effect is compounded -- so what takes only ten seconds in the outer world is over three minutes in the next layer, and so on.

Stitched into this fairly straightforward heist plot is a more personal story for Cobb, whose dead wife haunts his dreams and complicates the whole process.  Again, if you're looking for a twist here, you are looking in the wrong place -- but the drama of Cobb's struggle with his own demons is compelling, and is tightly interwoven with the rest of the movie.

Inception is a movie that really fires on all cylinders for me.  DiCaprio leads an excellent cast of actors, including Nolan veterans Watanabe, Murphy, and Michael Caine, who appears in a small part.  It's hard for me to believe I dismissed DiCaprio after he did Titanic; he may be one of the best actors working these days.  And if, as rumor has it, Inception was a sort of audition for Joseph Gordon-Levitt to be the Riddler in the next Nolanverse Batman movie, he certainly nails it.  After seeing him in Brick and (500) Days of Summer I'm hardly surprised, but his Arthur in this movie is a smart, skilled second to Cobb, and his action scenes are great to watch.  Ellen Page, who plays the newest member of the team and is sort of DiCaprio's protege, is sort of the audience stand-in, being the person that gets the "rules" of dreaming explained to her, and does a good job of showing the growing awareness of the new experience without being simply Ms. Exposition.  Tom Hardy and Dileep Rao, who I don't think I've seen in anything else and round out Cobb's crew, don't get a huge amount to do, but do well with what they get.  Even the bit actors in this movie were good -- a very un-Major League Tom Berenger plays Murphy's "uncle" and one of my favorite character actors, Pete Postlethwaite, plays Murphy's dying father.

The writing is smart and never seems to drag, even when the characters need to give the necessary exposition; Mike complains that the dialogue seemed repetitive, and I never really got that sense.  The character do remind each other of the urgency of the situation at times, but it didn't seem like it was out of place (and helped to reinforce the urgency of the situation to the audience too, obviously).  I thought Nolan did a good job of showing the concepts the characters were talking about through various visual cues, which made it easy to follow what was going on pretty much all the time.

Hans Zimmer's soundtrack also deserves special mention.  I've always really liked his soundtracks, even though they aren't as distinctive as say, Vangelis' Blade Runner score; he definitely has a more generic style that isn't likely to blow your mind even if you really like it.  However, what he did in Inception is pretty cool, and you can read about it in this article; he's basically taken the main theme from music the "thieves" use to warn each other that they are running out of time and slowed it down to use as the theme for his soundtrack, and it works great.  The music really helps to drive the action and keep it flowing during the climax of the movie.  You can sample it at this website, if you want to get a taste of it.

Is Inception going to change the way you think about movies and blow your mind?  No, it's not.  Is it a great movie?  Yes, and it's well worth seeing on the big screen for its visuals, unless you happen to have a 60-inch TV to watch it on when it comes out in Blu-Ray.  I suspect it will end up being the best movie I see this year; it was definitely better than Iron Man 2, and the only other movie I'm super-psyched about seeing in a theater this year is Tron: Legacy, which, while it looks like it will be a lot of fun, will have a hard time topping this.

Iron Man 2

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Last weekend kicked off the big summer movie season I guess, with Iron Man 2 premiering; after how much I enjoyed the last one, I was pretty excited to see what they did with the sequel.  I took the afternoon off on Friday and went to see it at a matinee, which was mostly empty (a situation I'm told changed quickly by Saturday).

The movie picks up six months after the last movie, with the US government trying to get a handle on the Iron Man issue.  Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a competing arms manufacturer, is doing his part to try and bring Stark down (and develop something to compare with Iron Man), and Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) is plotting his revenge, as Stark's father destroyed Vanko's father during the cold war.  Meanwhile, SHIELD is still trying to deal with Stark and the emerging Avenger Initiative as well; Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has a bigger part, as well as Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson.

The big difference between this movie and the original is that while the first Iron Man was more of a character piece, with Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark going through an introspective journey for the first two (or maybe three, depending on how to divide it) acts, Iron Man 2 is, by and large, a more conventional action movie, which is somewhat of a disappointment after three much more interesting superhero movies of the last two years (the original Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and Watchmen).  While there's definitely some good character moments for Robert Downey Jr. in the movie, there's not nearly as much development, and that makes the resolution at the end seem a bit empty to me.  While the dialogue is, for the most part, very good, I think the script is just missing the character scenes that made the first one so good -- Downey's strength is that kind of acting, and if you don't give him that, you're wasting him to some extent.  I think the improv style of the first one probably made it a lot stronger.

I certainly can't fault the acting; all of the principals are top notch, and even with as many characters are crammed into the movie, it did not feel like they'd been wedged in for no reason.  They have a natural presence in the movie, but they also don't get a lot of time to shine.  Aside from Downey, Sam Rockwell does an amazing job portraying Hammer; you can tell that Hammer desperately wants to be Tony Stark, but can't quite pull it off.  Rockwell gets just the right amount of empty swagger to his step.

Rourke also manages to pull of "bruiser Russian physicist," which I'm surprised as anyone actually works.  His opening scenes are very reminiscent of Stark in the cave in the first movie (which I'm sure was intentional) and his opening confrontation with Stark (and the monologue he gives) drips with menace.  Later, however, he managed to portray just the right kind of "focused gearhead" kind of personality coming through his gruff exterior.

The other supporting characters work very well (including director Favreau, whose Happy Hogan gets a bigger part in this movie, but not annoyingly so), but none of them quite measure up to the level of the three principals.  Considering that they may be three of the best actors working today though, that's hardly a slight.  Don Cheadle does an excellent job filling in for Terrence Howard as Rhodey/War Machine, although I think Howard may have had slightly better chemistry with Downey in the first movie.  This could just be a symptom of the movie's action focus rather than character focus though -- there's no good scenes where we get to see the two of them just kicking back together like the scene in the first Iron Man on the plane.  Scarlett Johansson does a fine job as Black Widow, but only really gets two scenes to show her stuff.  She's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm not sure that any other reasonably competent actress couldn't have pulled off the role.

The action scenes were pretty good, though I don't think any of them really knocked my socks off; I think part of the problem was that there was just less investment in them than there was in the first movie, where there was a much stronger personal stake in each of them.  The first confrontation between Vanko and Stark was probably the best, and the finale, while showy and pretty cool to watch, just didn't have the same weight to it.

On a minor note, the soundtrack for Iron Man seems to basically be AC/DC's greatest hits, and I was kind of disappointed that the score, which I actually liked in the first one, seemed to be missing.  I was waiting for the Iron Man theme to start up a few times and I never really heard it (maybe I just missed it though).

Overall, Iron Man 2 is definitely worth seeing; however, be prepared to be at least a little disappointed if you're expecting the same kind of character-focused piece that we had the first time around.  It's not a bad movie to be sure, however, and you'll probably enjoy it just for Downey, Rockwell, and Rourke's performances.  Hopefully, though, Iron Man 3 will be a return to the first movie's strengths.

Star Trekkin'

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So the new Star Trek movie came out Friday -- it's getting praised pretty highly almost everywhere I've seen, from regular critics to RPGnet and various other geek circles.  I saw it Friday, and after taking the weekend to digest the movie, I'm going to have to go ever so slightly against the grain.

First off, let me start by saying that this is a good movie, well worth seeing, and even if you're not a Star Trek fan, you'll like it as a straight up action movie.  The acting is really good (more about this later), the dialogue is well-written, and the special effects are also excellent.  The problem, for me, is that while the movie works as an action movie, it just doesn't seem very "Star Trekky" to me.

The problem comes in when I look at the other Trek movies I really like -- Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country.  They aren't action movies.  There's some exciting action sequences, but the best parts of the movie don't really have much to do with that.  Most of the movie is quieter and more contemplative; the action is used to punctuate the movie's acts, but the whole movie is not just one action sequence after another.

In contrast, the new movie gives you almost no time to breathe between action sequences, starting right out of the gate.  Even events of literally earthshattering importance don't seem to get more than 2-3 minutes thought before plunging into yet another effects-driven spectacular.  That's not inherently bad in a movie, but it left me feeling a little empty, and wanting a movie that was a little more substantial at heart like the above two.  On the other hand, I think this was probably a better choice than the one made when they filmed Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which was a movie with pretty much no action sequences what so ever.

But enough about my caveats; this is a good movie, and there's little doubt about that, it seems.  The actors in this movie have probably the toughest job in Hollywood here; nearly every single one of the principal cast is playing an iconic role made famous by another actor who is largely famous for that exact role.  And yet, they manage, by and large, to pull it off and do it well, while giving their own spin on things and not simply being a retread of the previous actor.

Chris Pine, as Kirk, has probably the toughest job, and wisely seems to have decided he cannot be William Shatner and doesn't even try.  His Kirk is still brash, still sleeps with green chicks, and punches aliens in the face, but there's none of the trademark Shatner delivery, which is probably for the best -- as I heard somewhere before, "everyone who does a William Shatner impression is really just doing an impression of Kevin Pollak doing a William Shatner impression."  His relationship with Spock develops well over the course of the movie, though as I said above, there's not a lot of overt character development put in there.

Zachary Quinto, as Spock, does a good job, made even more difficult by the fact that Leonard Nimoy is also in the movie, playing an older version of the character.  He shows the clash of cultures in his character, and did a good job of emulating the heart of Nimoy's Spock without just mimicing him.  This version of Spock seems a little more human and runs with his suppressed emotions a little closer to the surface, possibly a reflection of the fact that he's supposed to be younger in this movie.  The biggest problem with Spock is that he just doesn't have time to react to the momentous events in the film for the most part.

The third part of the original series' triumvirate, McCoy, is portrayed by Karl Urban, and of the new actors, Urban is the one who tries the hardest to emulate the previous actor, DeForest Kelley.  To his credit, he does it excellently and as Squaremans says, he steals every scene he's in.  It's surprising to see someone who I know mostly from his roles in Lord of the Rings in a role which is largely comedic, but he is really good and I think if Kelley was alive he would be happy to see him reprising the role.

Eric Bana, as the movie's villian, doesn't really get a lot of development; he does a good job with what he has, but his character, Nero, doesn't really compare to Montalban's Khan or Plummer's General Chang because you don't really get to know him.  He and his ship seem more like a force of nature than an antagonist, which I think also hurts the movie.  He gets a tiny bit of development in an explosive bit of exposition, but if you blink you'll miss it, and there's no real interaction where he's not simply being the villian.  It's too bad; Bana is a good actor (you only need to see him in Black Hawk Down or Munich to see that), but the script doesn't give him much to do other than sit in his throne and look menacing.

The rest of the cast is also well-assembled -- Simon Pegg, as Scotty, is probably the big standout, who plays the ship's engineer as much more frenetic than James Doohan, but I think that shortchanges John Cho and Anton Yelchin, who do good jobs as Sulu and Chekov respectively.  Cho does a good job carrying through the character's athleticism and the few wry bits of humor he gets to throw out, and Yelchin does a good job as a young wunderkind who seems excited just to be on a starship.  The only one that sort of came off bland to me was Zoe Saldana as Uhura; despite the fact that I think she gets the most screen time after the top three crewmembers, I just didn't feel like she got the chance to make the character her own.  Whether this was a problem with her acting, or the writing, I just can't tell.

Usually, I have a much longer, spoilerific review beyond the cut, and I'll have that here, but honestly, the story here is not the big draw of this Star Trek movie.  If you want to see what I think of the story though, feel free to peek behind the cut.
Last Friday marked the debut of Watchmen, the eagerly anticipated film adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel.  It's been years in the making -- various incarnations of the project have been in the works since 1987 -- and as one of the most respected parts of the comic "canon," so to speak, the bar was set pretty high.  I've seen it twice now, and I feel like I have a fairly good handle on my feelings about it at this point.

When I saw the first trailers for the movie with The Dark Knight, I was extremely optimistic.  From a visual standpoint, the movie looked perfect, and this is largely borne out by the final product.  You can easily take stills from the film and compare them with panels from the comic; here's one such example.  The actors, by and large, look right for their parts, though Matthew Goode is a bit slight for Ozymandius.  That's only a very small part of what is important about Watchmen though, and as a result I was prepared for the movie to possibly end up as an ambitious failure.

What Zack Snyder has given us is not a failure, but it isn't quite as good as I and probably many others would have hoped.  Yes, visually, it is stunning -- the fact that Dave Gibbons, the artist on the original graphic novel, was brought in to help with the production design no doubt had a great effect on the movie.  Sets look like they were plucked out of the pages and it looks and feels very much like a New York of the 1980s.  Even the writing, while subtly altered in many places, is largely lifted from the graphic novel.  Unlike a lot of film adaptations, I feel like Snyder was at least trying to be as true to the original material as he could -- the closest comparison I can make is to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies; even if you don't like what he's done, it's hard to say he was just doing it to cash in on an established property.  It's not a Starship Troopers-esque rape of all that is good and holy.

On the other hand, while it seems like all the parts of the movie have been well crafted, the greater whole of the movie itself seems a bit rough around the edges.  Part of this, I think, is due to the fact that Snyder is trying to squeeze an incredibly dense twelve-part comic series into a 165 minute movie.  In a comic book or novel, it's relatively easy to refer back to a previous panel or spend time absorbing the small details that are embedded on the page -- a film can't really do that, though Snyder's signature slow-motion shots allow for a small amount of that sort of thing (for those of you worried it goes over the top, I did not find it really that distracting and didn't think he went overboard like some people thought he did with 300).  At times, it seems like the movement of the plot slows to a crawl -- such as during the Comedian's funeral, when all the other characters are flashing back on their interactions with him in the past.

There's other problems though; while the alternate history is illustrated beautifully in an opening credit sequence (probably the most "visionary" part of the movie), it's still hard for some people to grasp, and the fact that none of the characters in the movie are exactly household names like Batman or Spiderman means that the above problem is compounded.  Hence we get some conservative critics being shocked and appalled at the fact that these "superheroes" are all pretty messed up people, and the violence and sex in the movie gives it a well-deserved R-rating.  People who take their kids to this movie will regret it -- and if you're squeamish about people being pulverized into a bloody mess in a graphic fashion or seeing sex scenes that can come off as tasteful Skinemax soft core, you probably won't really like the movie either.

When the movie gets things right, though, it really gets them right.  Jackie Earle Haley is the spitting image of Alan Moore's Rorshach in nearly every way; his voice, presence, and appearance feels ripped straight from the page; he probably won't get another Oscar nomination for this part, but you could certainly make the case he deserves it.  Only slightly less impressive are Patrick Wilson as the Nite Owl II and Jeffery Dean Morgan as the Comedian.  Wilson manages to bring across Dan Dreiberg's frustration and impotence (literal and figurative) with aplomb; his relationship with Rorshach in the movie seems much stronger than it did in the comic, and that gives Rorshach's pathos an extra layer.  Morgan's Comedian gets across both the menace and the emptiness within; the only place his performance seemed a little weak to me was his conversation with Dr. Manhattan in Vietnam, where I felt like it was missing something.  In contrast, nearly every other scene he appears he's really good, and people who are saying he's a "Robert Downey Jr. lookalike" are really not giving him enough credit.

Speaking of Dr. Manhattan, Billy Crudup does an admirable job with a difficult part; while I was watching I felt like there was something just a bit "not right" about Manhattan, though it's hard to place why.  The CGI is good, but as always it's not quite right, and maybe that was it. Maybe it was because some of the line readings seemed a little off; Manhattan's "miracles" monologue on Mars with Laurie doesn't have quite the impact it does in the comic with Crudup's detached tone.  It's hard to tell, however, if this is intentional or not; certainly Manhattan is supposed to feel detached from humanity and strange -- the man, after all, is a god in all but name.  If it is intentional, it's remarkably subtle compared to some of Snyder's other choices.  And yes, you see a lot of his penis.

Matthew Goode as Ozymandius and Malin Ackerman as Silk Spectre II, however, don't really live up to the rest of the cast.  While neither is horrible, compared to the rest of the main cast they fall a little flat, and Ozymandius' part doesn't come across as layered and ambiguous as it is in the graphic novel.  Ackerman misses out on some of the characterization she gets in the comic; in particular, the pressure her mother placed on her to follow in her footsteps was not as well fleshed out.  Even so, her chemistry with both Manhattan and the Nite Owl seems off at various points of the movie, and the film suffers slightly for it.

The rest of the supporting cast does a very good job; it's always good to see Matt Frewer getting work, and Carla Gugino as the first Silk Spectre and Stephen McHattie as the first Night Owl are both good in their roles, what there is of them.  The actors playing Nixon, Kissinger, and other real-life figures worked a bit less for me, but that's a problem you almost always run into with playing well-known real life figures.  They are serviceable enough, anyway.  Unfortunately, the movie, at least the theatrical cut, does get rid of most of the small characters, like the newsstand owner and the taxi driver, that give the finale some of its impact in the comic.

The big question for the movie for many people was about the ending -- it has been changed from the graphic novel, but, in my opinion, the ending is still in the same spirit as the original, and in my mind the important parts of the antagonist's plan at the end is kept largely intact.  The important revelation -- 35 minutes worth -- is there, though the line delivery falls a bit flat for me, and the ending confrontation between Rorshach and Dr. Manhattan is a much more emotional than in the comic.  Whether this is more or less effective, I'm not sure; in the comic, this underlines Rorshach's resignation and Manhattan's detachment, while in the movie, it gives Manhattan a bit of humanity and makes Rorshach a bit more sympathetic.  I'll leave it to you to decide which is better.

Overall, I certainly can't say I'm perfectly happy with the movie; I found The Dark Knight to be a much more compelling film when it comes to comic book movies, but as an adaptation of Watchmen I feel pretty confident saying that it is about as good as we're likely to get.  It's clear that the director and the writers tried to tread a very fine line between strictly sticking to the story and images of the comic and making a movie accessible to more than just die-hard fans, and sometimes that doesn't quite succeed at doing either particularly well.  In this case, I don't think it's failed in that way -- it's a good movie and a good adaptation, and I am now eagerly anticipating the extended cut on DVD -- but it certainly didn't meet the admittedly high expectations I had going in.  It is still well worth seeing, however, and if it gets more people to read the book, that's always a good thing.
So over the last few weeks I've been watching a fair bit of movies and TV simply because I have to spend about 4 hours a day lying in bed doing nothing.  In addition to watching all of the commentaries and extra features in my Freaks and Geeks boxed set (which, by the way, is well worth it -- I'm still horribly disappointed I never caught it when it was first airing and that it got canceled), I upped my Netflix subscription to two movies at a time to try and fill the hours.

The first bunch of DVDs I got were the third season of Forever Knight.  I'm more than willing to admit that the first two seasons of the show were a lot cheesier than I remembered (though I don't really regret having them on DVD), but the third season really struck me as a very Silk Stalkings-ified version of the show when I saw the first few episodes on USA (and promptly gave up on it, after staying up at weird hours to watch the second season).  I figured I might as well watch to see if it was as bad as I thought (and see the last episode, which I had never seen).  On the whole, it ended up being probably a little better than what I expected, but I think it was definitely still a big step down from the first two seasons, which had quite a few episodes that were far better than the usual late night syndicated junk.  Probably the worst change was the loss of John Kapelos and Deborah Duchene (Schanke and Janette) for Lisa Ryder and Ben Bass, something that always struck me as kind of a lowest-common-denominator move.  And the last episode was....well, really pretty disappointing and a definite downer.

That was followed, however, by probably the best find I've come across in quite a while, No Maps For These Territories, a documentary that's basically an hour and a half discussion with William Gibson on his writing, information age society, futurism, and a variety of other topics while he rides around in the back of a limo.  If you are a big Gibson fan (and I am), you will probably enjoy it; if you aren't that interested in William Gibson, there's no reason for you to see this movie (well, duh).  He talks about almost every aspect of his life, and his discussion of Neuromancer was especially interesting for me, going a long way towards explaining why it is so different from most of his other books.  I'll probably end up buying this one actually, simply because I didn't get enough time to really digest the movie or the associated extras (including more interview snippets that didn't make it into the body of the movie itself).  The only thing I can say is that the movie is made in such a way that it is a little more "artistic" than it had to be for me, since I was mostly interested in what he was saying and not the visuals of the movie.

The next on this list is Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone.  Honestly, if I hadn't been told that this was his first movie as a director, I would never have known.  Almost every aspect of the movie is done in a way that really shows a good eye for the camera and for getting the actors to really bring their characters to life.  I suspect that the fact that the movie takes place (and was shot in) Affleck's hometown of Boston helped contribute to this in the same way it did with Good Will Hunting; many of the people in this movie are simply residents of the Boston neighborhood where it was being shot.  The plot is well-written, and while I may agree slightly with Chesnut, who said it seemed a little convoluted for his tastes, I did not feel like the "twists" were just thrown in to be twists -- each one highlighted the moral choices the characters had to make.  Really, without them, the movie would not have been worth making because those twists are in the movie to highlight the central point.  I highly recommend seeing this movie, though I will say it will probably not leave you with a good feeling at the end.

Michael Clayton is a movie that probably won't leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end either, but it too is a good movie.  Unlike Gone Baby Gone, though, this film feels a bit more formulaic and not nearly as authentic (but maybe it wasn't trying to be).  The performances, by George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, and Tilda Swinton most notably, were as good as I'd expect from actors of that caliber, and the writing for each scene was well done, but the plot that holds it all together, as Chesnut wrote in his capsule review, seems kind of like Another Lawyer Movie.  Still worth watching, though, and I think the actors and writers probably deserved their Oscar nominations, but on the other hand, I am glad that it didn't win the Best Picture Oscar, though so far I've only seen one of the other nominees.

Last for this installment was The Golden Compass, which I just watched the other night.  Obviously made as a Narnia-like attempt to cash in on the Lord of the Rings' success (which doesn't necessarily make it bad), this suffers from the fact that it feels like half of a movie and there was no guarantee the other half was going to get made.  The film's climax seems like should be about where the Mines of Moria scene was in Fellowship, but instead it ends with the film's real conflict hanging in the wind.  That being said, I didn't think the movie was really bad, it just felt like it fell short of what it was trying to be.  The CGI, which was a large part of the movie, was competently done, and for the most part looked real, and I liked the sort of Victorian steampunk style aesthetic.  It sounds like the sequel is still going to be made (largely due to its strength overseas, it sounds like), so maybe I'll like it more with the next part.  I was disappointed by how bare-bones the DVD is though; there's no commentary, no deleted scenes (and I know there were quite a few), no behind the scenes stuff.  For a movie like this, you'd think there'd at least be a little of that on the DVD, but maybe with the perceived failure of the movie at the box office no one wanted to put any money into it. 

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