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noddin0ff
08-23-2005, 09:20 AM
I just re-watched this for the umpteenth time last night after a hiatus of several years. I couldn't find previous comments on this DVD with the search feature. Every time I load it back up, I'm impressed at how much I still enjoy this film. Three Kings came out in 1999 and stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze as the "Three Kings" (four if you're counting) on a quest for stolen Kuwaiti gold in the immediate after math of the first Gulf War.

There are several reasons why I particularly like this film. One reason is because, in my mind, it was the movie where Clooney, Wahlberg, and Ice Cube all first demonstrated their ability to be commanding screen presences. Prior to seeing it in the theater I had grave misgivings that this front line could really amount to anything. I was prepared to watch a cinematic train wreck as three careers got laughed out of tinsel town. However, they all surprised me with their abilities in this movie. In fact, I would say that this movie really put these guys on the mega-movie map, dispelling forever visions of Marky Mark in Kalvin Kleins, I'm-too-cute-to-act Dr. Ross, and no more just-another-Rapper Ice Cube.

I also like this flick because of its ability to push every button a little, and to hit it with a mix of adrenaline, ambiguity, humor, humanity, intelligence, and rock and roll. The bad guys are sympathetic; the good guys are bandits.

It's also very funny. Every time I see it, I wonder why more action movies plots aren't set in motion with lines like "Walter, just stand outside so Chief can translate my Iraqi ass map... okay". Or why, "Yeah, it's all cow." never became some sort of catchphrase for "I'm OK."

It's an action flick where every bullet counts. Just about every act of violence has some meaning. It's not the hail-of-destruction, curtain-of-bullets kind of movie, although there is plenty of things that go boom. That's not to say that every act is burdened with conscience either, Ice Cube bring down a chopper with a Nerf football. But, when one of the more action filled scenes results in a big tanker truck blowing up in a small hungry village, and flooding the dry dirt with a rushing wave of milk...for a moment you want to both laugh and cry.

If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching. The movie uses a lot of distortion effects, so to some extent, it's kind of pointless to comment of video quality. I really enjoyed the cinemaphotography, however. It puts you in the action, makes you a passive observer, makes you part of the family, takes you inside where bullets go...with out making you feel you're being led there. The sound track is terrific. Many anthem's for fun and good times with lyrics that hint at the movies moral themes. 'Can't Do Nuttin' For Ya Man' (Public Enemy) stood out for me this time watching.

Last of all, it's a war movie that, to me, doesn't really dwell on the horrors of war. Or the glories for that matter. There's enough 'war is bad' and 'American's are good' movies out there. This one's something a little different.

And, as you can imagine, since we're again at war over there, the movie has some topical relevance. Itís a timely look back; an interesting compare and contrast exercise. The movie also does something that still is lacking in our current media affairs, which is to attempt to put a human face on the ordinary Iraqi civilians whose lives we affect every time our nation acts.

L.J.
08-24-2005, 02:33 PM
I just re-watched this for the umpteenth time last night after a hiatus of several years. I couldn't find previous comments on this DVD with the search feature. Every time I load it back up, I'm impressed at how much I still enjoy this film. Three Kings came out in 1999 and stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze as the "Three Kings" (four if you're counting) on a quest for stolen Kuwaiti gold in the immediate after math of the first Gulf War.

There are several reasons why I particularly like this film. One reason is because, in my mind, it was the movie where Clooney, Wahlberg, and Ice Cube all first demonstrated their ability to be commanding screen presences. Prior to seeing it in the theater I had grave misgivings that this front line could really amount to anything. I was prepared to watch a cinematic train wreck as three careers got laughed out of tinsel town. However, they all surprised me with their abilities in this movie. In fact, I would say that this movie really put these guys on the mega-movie map, dispelling forever visions of Marky Mark in Kalvin Kleins, I'm-too-cute-to-act Dr. Ross, and no more just-another-Rapper Ice Cube.

I also like this flick because of its ability to push every button a little, and to hit it with a mix of adrenaline, ambiguity, humor, humanity, intelligence, and rock and roll. The bad guys are sympathetic; the good guys are bandits.

It's also very funny. Every time I see it, I wonder why more action movies plots aren't set in motion with lines like "Walter, just stand outside so Chief can translate my Iraqi ass map... okay". Or why, "Yeah, it's all cow." never became some sort of catchphrase for "I'm OK."

It's an action flick where every bullet counts. Just about every act of violence has some meaning. It's not the hail-of-destruction, curtain-of-bullets kind of movie, although there is plenty of things that go boom. That's not to say that every act is burdened with conscience either, Ice Cube bring down a chopper with a Nerf football. But, when one of the more action filled scenes results in a big tanker truck blowing up in a small hungry village, and flooding the dry dirt with a rushing wave of milk...for a moment you want to both laugh and cry.

If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching. The movie uses a lot of distortion effects, so to some extent, it's kind of pointless to comment of video quality. I really enjoyed the cinemaphotography, however. It puts you in the action, makes you a passive observer, makes you part of the family, takes you inside where bullets go...with out making you feel you're being led there. The sound track is terrific. Many anthem's for fun and good times with lyrics that hint at the movies moral themes. 'Can't Do Nuttin' For Ya Man' (Public Enemy) stood out for me this time watching.

Last of all, it's a war movie that, to me, doesn't really dwell on the horrors of war. Or the glories for that matter. There's enough 'war is bad' and 'American's are good' movies out there. This one's something a little different.

And, as you can imagine, since we're again at war over there, the movie has some topical relevance. Itís a timely look back; an interesting compare and contrast exercise. The movie also does something that still is lacking in our current media affairs, which is to attempt to put a human face on the ordinary Iraqi civilians whose lives we affect every time our nation acts.



Its been a couple of years. I'm gonna have to rent that one this week.

Kam
08-25-2005, 05:39 AM
great review, am with you dead on. the really cool effect was the whole gunshot explanations and visuals. especially when what's his name gets a collapsed lung. in other, less talented, hands, that would have been a distraction to go zooming through someone's body and see it from the inside out, but the way they pulled it off was thoroughly engaging and added to the suspense of the situation, it actually drew you in even more rather than pull you out. a great example of spfx aiding in storytelling and not distracting from it.

peace
k2