While watching the excellent indie thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed, I kept thinking of that line from the end of Star Wars as the bloated X-wing pilot (whom I'm starting to resemble) barrels down the Death Star canyon to launch his proton torpedoes, and utters…"Almost there…almost there…" That's right, big guy. Day 100 - almost there.
I also thought – as I sat through the model of moviemaking efficiency that is Alice Creed - that a) playing a woman kidnapped by two hard-looking gents, Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia) is at the absolute peak of her abilities; and b) there are enough surprising yet plausible twists here to put this in the rarified atmosphere of gems such as The Usual Suspects. Actors Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan have been well-cast as Arterton's complicated kidnappers. But the actress is the real find. She's able to play beautiful, vulnerable, tough, scared and smart all at once in a tightly wound, crackerjack potboiler.
The plot is simple enough. Two thugs snatch Ms. Creed off the street, tie her up, gag her, put a hood over her head, and throw her into a room in the middle of nowhere. They demand a ransom from her father, and then…well then, I'll leave the rest for you to discover. The less you know about the story from that point on, the better. The entire film is an ingenious, intense exercise in genre thrills, and if you appreciate good, well-scripted kidnapping thrillers, then your summer movie has just arrived.
As for me, I will be looking to depart the summer movie season in three short days. I will then sleep for two days, and take a nice, long vacation. People ask – will you be glad not to have to sit in a movie theater every day? But actually, I may even see a couple movies in theaters on my vacation. As sick as that sounds, I'll be relieved to just watch a movie, and then go for a surf, or talk to friends, or just stare into space.
One more random note – I saw a story on the Internet today from a couple months back about an unofficial holiday called "Cheer Up Keanu Reeves Day." You might have heard about it already, but basically, it evolved after Keanu was snapped sitting on a bench in New York by himself, looking forlorn and eating a sandwich (ever notice how people can look really lonely when they're eating a sandwich alone? Weird…) Anyways, at the end of the story the writer mentioned seven reasons why Keanu shouldn't feel so down…including the fact that he seems like a genuinely nice guy, he's contributed millions to cancer research, he cares for his sister who has been sick for a long time, he bought presents for all of the crew on The Matrix and – arguments aside about his acting ability – he is a decent dude who often plays the reluctant underdog in movies. I mean, really, would you want to see Ben Affleck play Neo?
At the beginning of my blog journey, there was a lot of advice given on how to write it, what to write, how to make it funny, entertaining, etc. etc. In the end, though, much like Reeves as an actor, I can't pretend to be some great writer or the most snarky or the wittiest or whatever. But also, maybe like Reeves, it's better to just strive to be who I am. Honestly and earnestly, I am just someone who loves watching movies, and hopefully, others out there who love movies will continue to be inspired to watch even more, and find things they love and are passionate about in them. What does that have to do with Day 97's movie? Nothing, or maybe something. Either way, I highly recommend watching The Disappearance of Alice Creed.