Transporter -- 04/27/03

We watched The Transporter last night.

Originally we had hoped to see the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at URI.. Nancy had gone to see it with her students (the entire 8th grade from her school) this past week and thought that the URI theatre department had done a marvelous job with this production and she thought she'd like to see it again. (Last year she had gone with her students to see Our Town -- which is one of my favorite plays -- but she felt it was too emotionally stressful to see a second time, so I saw that with Jennifer.) I had wanted to see A Midsummer Night's Dream but hadn't paid much attention to dates -- it was ending its run on Saturday night. So Nancy called the box office Friday evening to find out if they had any seats available for the Saturday performance. She got a recorded message about box office business hours -- so she left a voice message. When we had not heard anything by five o'clock or so on Saturday we decided to rent a movie. Naturally, around seven p.m. we got a call from the URI box office saying they had lots of seats available -- but this was for an eight o'clock show and I was in the midst of preparing dinner -- so we declined.

It's not a great movie -- but it was entertaining. Reviews (according to a summary on Yahoo) ranged from poor ("...a silly slugfest...") to fairly good ("...could be the best martial-arts film in what has been an admittedly weak year.") -- we thoroughly enjoyed perhaps the first third of the film and sat through the rest of it somewhat amused by the over-the-top choreographed fight scenes and the outrageous (but brainless) action.

The best part of the movie for me was the wild car chase scene that occurs just a few minutes into the film. Jason Statham (of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) is a former special forces operative who has retired to become a transporter, a driver who will provide transportation for anyone or anything -- in this scene, being the getaway driver for a group of bank robber. As he drove out of a parking ramp on his way to the pickup point I recognized the setting, Promenade des Anglais in Nice, the city of Nice on one side of the road, Mediterranean beaches on the other. I've spent three weeks in Nice on a couple of business trips so I was intrigued to see this marvelously orchestrated high speed multi-vehicle car chase on streets that I had driven on. (And by an interesting coincidence -- the movie's setting had been a surprise to me -- I had made pizza for dinner. Those of you who have read my entries from Nice will recall that I love the pizzas there and tend to eat them night after night.)

This was not an American film -- although 20th Century Fox distributed it -- the director was Corey Yuen, director (and sometimes actor) of a long line of martial-arts films -- it was filmed in France with a multi-national cast -- and the script is credited to Luc Besson (who has been called the French equivalent of Steven Spielberg, directed La Femme Nikita and both wrote and directed The Fifth Element) and to Robert Mark Kamen (also credited with writing The Fifth Element. Why do I mention the writers? Because of things like a scene where the amount of irony and humor depend upon the audience catching an extended allusion to Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past -- with the police inspector (Francois Berleand) in our hero's kitchen eating a freshly baked madeliene and discussing memory. And someone (Corey Yuen? Luc Besson?) has stuck in a number of bits that seem to be salutes to other films (the crop duster sequence in North by Northwest, the truck sequence in Indiana Jones, etc.) Still, much of the film consists of improbable -- or downright impossible -- martial arts fight sequences and the plot fades away to nothingness. But we did get our $3.50 worth of amusement value out of it.

I'd complained in my Friday entry about a sinus headache. It had woken me up a little past three in the morning on Friday and I could not get back to sleep from the pain. I went to bed relatively early on Friday night, loaded down with decongestant.

I woke up around three-thirty Saturday morning when our cell phones beeped -- they were both plugged into rechargers and they beep when you unplug them from the charger -- or, in this case, when the power failed, apparently came back for a few seconds and then they beeped again a few seonds later when it went out again. And, having woken up, I could not get back to sleep. Eventually I gave up and came downstairs. Can't watch tv or read a book... no power. Can't surf the Internet... no power. There's coffee left in the coffee pot... can't use the microwave to heat it up. Can eat a dish of cereal by candlelight. Power finally came back on about ten minutes to five. I have no idea what caused the outage, but it must have been more than just our neighborhood because Jennifer said they lost power at work and that's about five miles away in a different town.

So I was tired last night... finished watching the movie a bit past ten... did spend an extra ten or fifteen minutes watching the feature about the making of the movie on the DVD, went to bed, read for a few minutes but was already drifting in and out of sleep shortly after eleven, vaguely recall Nancy calling Sean on his cell phone reminding him that his under-age-18 license doesn't allow him to drive past one a.m., took off my glasses and turned out my light, even more vaguely remember Sean stopping at our room to tell Nancy he was home.

And then I woke up around quarter to five in the morning, wide awake, so I came downstairs and read a book while I ate breakfast, surfed the Internet a bit, waiting for the Sunday paper to be delivered. The paper finally did arrive, I've read about half of it (that is, of those sections I read... for example, I rarely even open the sports pages), I'm typing this sentence at 9:30 a.m., and I think as soon as I post this to Geocities, I pour myself a cup of coffee and spend another half an hour or so with the paper. *yawn* And I am feeling a bit sleepy now....

Historical note -- this is probably an overdose, but here's a list of entries from Nice
May 2000: Flying to the Cote d'Azur -- 05/14/00 and A week on the Cote d'Azur -- 05/23/00.
December 2001 (my time does fly!): Flying to France -- 12/08/01; A note from Nice -- 12/12/01; Another note from Nice -- 12/14/01; Musee Matisse -- 12/15/01; But I was only going one way -- 12/16/01; and Coming home for the holidays -- 12/20/01

previous entry

next entry

To list of entries for 2003

To Home (Index) page