Personally, a good movie is one that takes me beyond the screen, either to a far far away place or to one that I had been before. It creates a connection between space, time and being. Movies like Mission Impossible and 007 series often take viewers beyond, with a grand scheme of the world at large and with an abundance of actions, gadgets and heart-throbbing music. That's the success formula in the past, present and possibly future as well.
Again, I am being drawn into the theater for all that (and hopefully, more). I am not dissappointed. Actually, I was so busy with Christmas and shopping that I didn't go into the cinema for the last 3 weeks or so. Hence, I missed all the openings of the few movies I wanted to catch before the year ended. 2011 was actually not a bad year for movies, especially some of the Chinese movies I went for.
So, I skipped the long weekends as there would be too many movie goers in the theater. Just earlier today, I went for the 3 movies I had on my list of must-see (yes, all within a day). The first one I went for was the movie by Jet Li. Why the first? Well, it's in 3D and it's the only Chinese movie. It's also one that entails strategic planning, ie. cost factor. Screened at 11.35 am at a neighborhood theater, I decided to save some money since the first show is the cheapest in Hong Kong (that's the norm here) and it is usually cheaper by 30-50%! Not a bad deal at all. Another reason? Well, the name itself. The movie Flying Swords of Dragon Gate essentially prepares me for the upcoming Year of Dragon (which begins on Jan. 23) as far as I'm concerned. It's hard to explain, just take it that it's my "twisted" mind making a choice that only makes sense to me and not the public at large ;-)
Now, back to this movie, Ghost Protocol. They say leave the best for the last and I had a feeling it could be it. So, after the 2nd movie of the day, We bought a Zoo, here comes Tom Cruise. I didn't actually know the storyline until a Canadian friend and I was discussing about the so called End of the World in 2012 prophecy on Boxing Day. She claims herself to be a scientist although one can argue about that lengthily. That's not what's important here. I was just alerting her that most countries may not essentially want a nuclear war and ends the world knowingly. Just that all these nuclear missiles in existence (God knows where!) may just be hijacked by terrorists and ended up in their hands to disrupt world peace and order. That was what I thought probable, I explained to her. Then she blurted out that's exactly the story in Ghost Protocol. Boy, am I glad I'm NOT the only one who thinks so (among my friend I probably am though; they think I'm nuts)! It's good to know :)
So, with that spoiler, I went into the theater just to be entertained. I'm glad to say that like a book, one knows in just the first few pages if it's going to be good or not. In fact, the opening scene in Budapest already did it for me. It took me back to the days I was in Budapest as a tourist. And it further enhances my desire to travel and be on the road again this year when the scene goes to Dubai, Moscow and Mumbai. Terrorists or not, Sharrie the Travel Queen comes!!!
The tallest building in the world has often been associated with such movies. There was a time it was shot in Shanghai too. So, yes, it took viewers to places where some of them couldn't have reached on their own. In that way, this kind of movies is value for money, don't you think? In addition, the gadgets, the glitz and glamour, the speed... they all remind me of a car race or luxury car commercial! So, it's a 2 hour or so steroid (in a good way) for all of us.
Last but not least? The happy ending and the feeling that we have all saved the world (along on the ride) make it a worthy time spent at the theater, don't you agree? And, hence, we live to see another day, another year and another adventure!