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‘Traffik’(1989) vs. ‘Traffic’(2000)

‘Traffik’(1989) ‘Traffic’(2000)

After watching the British version of ‘ Traffik ‘ alongside a broadcast of 2000′s Steven Soderbergh remake , both courtesy of the Sundance Channel, I think I like the original more, even though Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle aren’t in it. The Brits are less black-and-white about the subject – the criminals aren’t all resident aliens, and fewer prominent characters live in the suburbs. Many are ‘respectable’ natural-born citizens, and international monetary policy (read IMF) is as culpable in the propagation of the drug trade as the well-to-do professionals of Southern California. Interesting, isn’t it, how Soderbergh moved the incidence of drug use and propagation out of the ‘Heartland’ of America into those ‘blue’ Gore margins. But we all know who’s catalyzing crystal-meth in Iowa – and his name don’t end with ‘Rodriguez’… [Read more →]

‘Aeon Flux’ (2005)

‘Æon Flux’ (2005) Charlize Theron has her Oscar. Now she has her ‘Catwoman’. “– David Frese , KANSAS CITY STAR

The MTVidiots have gone out of their way to empty a high-concept animatrix into an empty-headed star vehicle. Now it’s official — if you’re a woman and you’ve just gotten your first Oscar™ and your agency, William Morris or whomever, is trying to package you into some comic book movie, run, run away. It can’t end well. Ever.

Well, possibly, if you’re producing the thing yourself, and you’re working directly with the creator, as Charlize happens to be with Brian Bendis on ‘ Jinx ‘, but by taking ‘Aeon Flux’ away from Peter Chung and re-branding the thing, they’ve murdered the property.

At another time, they might have been able to do some justice to ‘Aeon Flux’, but not after we’ve all come to expect competent fight-choreography and a DP wo can frame and capture it all on film. Director Karyn Kusama (‘ Girlfight ‘) fails here on both counts. She’s ruined hereself by not doing the necessary preparation for a film of this sort, as well as not paying adequate attention to the script. [Read more →]