8:00 PM, 12th April, 2003
A man (Damon) is rescued from the ocean by the crew of a fishing boat. He has amnesia but later discovers that he is a CIA assassin named Jason Bourne and that the CIA now wants him dead. With only his secret-agent skills, a bag full of money, and the help of a young drifter, Marie (Potente), he attempts to discover the truth about his life.
Though he's not the next big action hero, Damon demonstrates his range of acting skill, as he has a bookworm look to him yet is convincing in his portrayal of a secret-agent action hero. As with most action films, this is ideally viewed on the big screen for its full impact. It excels over others in the genre by exuding a certain intelligence and class. My main criticism is that the romance between Jason and Marie develops too quickly given their circumstances and the reluctance of Jason to trust those around him. Unlike with some of the recent Bond films, you won't feel like you just wasted two hours of your life watching a heap of commercials linked together by a wafer-thin storyline and a whole bunch of improbable action sequences. If this film is advertising anything, it must be travel to Europe, because the chase sequences occur in a number of European cities, all of which look like they'd be worth a visit.
10:00 PM, 12th April, 2003
Based on a Michael Connelly novel, Blood Work is a thriller in which retired FBI profiler Terry McCaleb resumes his work on a murder case after an analysis of his own blood after a heart transplant provides what may be some pivotal clues. Eastwood is a decent director, but as an actor, he is regrettably typecast. One can't fault his performance, and his character is a world away from Dirty Harry, but the feeling that Eastwood is perhaps too well suited to the role permeates the film, and blunts his ability to surprise us. Screenwriter Brian Helgeland's track record (The Postman, Payback, A Knight's Tale) doesn't inspire a lot of hope for Blood Work, but, inexplicably, the last novel Helgeland adapted was LA Confidential. Blood Work falls somewhere in between that inspired work and the contrived mess of some of Helgeland's recent films. The complexity of Connelly's plot hasn't been sacrificed, but it's not always as involving as it should be. That seems to be the trend with a lot of thrillers these days, but Blood Work is cerebral and sincere enough to stand out.