Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

 

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Mutual Films Company 2001.

Before watching the movie:

The video game was very popular, possibly even for reasons beyond the audacious character model, so of course Tomb Raider got a movie fairly quickly. I’m not sure why the title of the successful franchise with five years of brand recognition was prefaced with the character’s name for the movie, but I assume if I look it up, I’ll see something about “Lara Croft” being the name known more by the mainstream audience, again because of the character model.

I was surprised to see Daniel Craig’s name in the credits for this 2001 movie, and then I looked up when Casino Royale came out (2006) and shriveled to a skeleton and turned to dust like the villain in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I also found that my impression that Angelina Jolie hasn’t done much lately is very much not true.

It’s also surprising to me that the rebooted Tomb Raider series got a reboot movie before the Uncharted franchise, which I suspect the Tomb Raider reboot owes some of its success to, was able to get its movie out of development hell.

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Someone Like You

Someone Like You. 20th Century Fox 2001.

Before watching the movie:

It is strange to recall that Hugh Jackman used to be known as a romantic lead. For one thing, that was around 20 years ago, but also I can’t remember the last time he was in a romantic role. And that’s not a genre I pay much attention to.

Romantic comedies are almost all basically the same plot, but with a few elements thrown in for flavor. The main added flavor here seems to be “she’s an advice columnist who’s about to be proven wrong.” Which I don’t really have a lot to say about, but I’m interested in seeing how it gets where it’s going.

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Shaolin Soccer

Shaolin Soccer. Star Overseas 2001.

Before watching the movie:

I know there must be a whole range of movies about applying martial arts to unusual activities, but I can’t come up with any others off the top of my head. Jackie Chan has probably made five of them. Maybe the training sequence in The Karate Kid counts?

This is maybe one of the highest-profile ones. I dimly remember being aware of its release, but it at best ranked “vaguely interesting”, which wasn’t nearly enough draw to get me to try to see it.

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Monkeybone

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Monkeybone. 1492 Pictures 2001.

Before watching the movie:

I always conflated this movie with Cool World because of the idea of an artist interacting with a cartoon reality. Until I reread my review of Cool World, I still thought it was also about creator and creation, but the artist only based his work on the already-existing alternate reality.

Also, this is definitely actually aimed at a PG-13 rating. And the animation is claymation, or CG pretending to be claymation, rather than Ralph Bakshi rotoscoped xeroxes. Continue reading

Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde. Metro Goldwyn-Mayer 2001.
Legally Blonde. Metro Goldwyn-Mayer 2001.

Before watching the movie:

So as I’ve heard, this is the story of a brilliant law student using sex appeal to break into Harvard so she can get un-dumped by her boyfriend. And that’s just about all I’ve heard. I seem to recall it managed to get a sequel or two as well as a stage musical, despite the fact that that description doesn’t sound like something that could lend itself to a sequel, but when has that stopped anyone before?

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Swordfish

Swordfish.  Silver Pictures 2001.
Swordfish. Silver Pictures 2001.

Before watching the movie:

This hinges around a digital heist, but the summaries focus on the persuasion required to get the hacker to hack. Even Hollywood hacking can’t sustain a whole film (even The Net is mostly real-world action), so I expect very little of the excitement actually comes from a guy sitting at a laptop typing until the money is stolen.

I have the impression of the mastermind of the heist as a figure not directly involved in the plot aside from hiring people, coercing people, and hiring people to coerce, but there’s one more headliner than I would expect in that notion, so maybe he’s in the middle of it all, giving orders. I know far too little of use for comment beforehand.

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Zoolander

Zoolander. Paramount Pictures 2001.
Zoolander. Paramount Pictures 2001.

Before watching the movie:

I remember all my classmates in middle school going nuts about this movie when it came out. I had no idea what it was other than a funny name and some incessantly repeated, grammatically shaky line about a school. I later learned Zoolander is a fashion model, and he has a rival model, and that’s about it. Apparently there’s an international assassination plot that he gets involved with somehow, but that’s not funny enough for people to talk about, I guess.

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