Monday, November 5, 2007

American Gangster: Easily the Second Best Denzel/Russell Crowe Film

I say the second best just because Virtuosity was so so awful and of its time that I have, bizarrely fond memories of it. First of all I loved American Gangster but with that cast, director and my months of anticipation for it even if it had been mediocre I probably wouldn't be able to admit that to myself. But I did really enjoy it and I'm pretty sure it was amazing and hopefully it will still be as good after I get past the afterglow period and I can look at it more analytically.
Anyway in all my looking forward to American Gangster and how with that cast it couldn't suck, the fact that they had teamed up before had totally slipped my mine. I haven't seen the movie for at least a decade (the fact I can now remember quite clearly things I did a decade ago really makes me feel old) but what I remember about it is Denzel was a cop, maybe kicked off the force or either traumatized by maybe the death of his wife who is called to capture Russell Crowe's "Sid 6.0" a computer generated virtual reality composite of all these notorious serial killers that was used as probably a training tool but somehow broke free into the real world.
I'm assuming that at the end (I kind of want to see how much of a dork I am and figure out what happens) but I think at the end maybe Sid 6.0 is trapped in some electrical thing where he is shorted out, I'm not sure exactly. What I do remember is Denzel's "action hero coup de grace line" where he says in an accent I can't place- kind of Bostonish0 "Game Over." I still say that line so much and I am the only one of my friends who has any idea what it means or where it's from.
But in the mid 90s all I remember was the prevalence of virtual reality based shows around like 94 or 95. I remember watching, a Might Morphin Power Rangers inspired show called " VR Troopers ( i think the theme was something like " We are V-R troopers are a dream (Virtual Reality)" and also I think it was a show on Fox that couldn't have lasted more than a season but I think it was really hyped called VR5.
I'm not sure exactly where I was or would be going with all of this besides maybe (to show you how much of a dork I am) to wonder whatever happened to virtual reality. Have we moved past that? [UPDATE: Apparently researchers at Duke (dear ol') are using a virtual reality game to help treat addiction- though I suspect it may be counter productive if one is addicted to videogames.]

[OK Fact Check to see how much I actually remembered.
Virtuosity: It was Sid 6.7 but Denzel's character was traumatized by the death of his family. I totally remember these quotes though. I don't know if that's awesome or pathetic. I really think this was the first in Denzel's long long line of all playing cops/authority figures- though that may just be in the mind of my friends and I. Minus a few of them and all.
VR Troopers.
VR5:It was actually titled VR.5 and it lasted for only two months-wow. A plot synopsis because I had no idea:
The show starred Lori Singer as Sydney Bloom, a telephone engineer and daughter of Dr Joseph Bloom, played by David McCallum, inventor of an advanced virtual reality system.
When inside the virtual reality system the visual look of the show was changed by digitally altering the colours, this effect took four weeks for each episode and contributed to the cost of the show which was up to $1.5 million per episode.
The show used what appeared to be mistakes in technology and continuity as clues to what was actually happening.

And because technology and the internet are amazing things here is a scene from VR.5

how did that not stay on the air?
the opening to VR Troopers

and the opening scene to Virtuosity

Oh that was awesome. Denzel said the line! and good ol' Costas Mandylor, does he still act? and more importantly how did I live before youtube?

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