Monday, July 17, 2006

Movies that I love to hate

Everytime a movie has great expectations either one of two things happen. Either the movie truly deserves all the praise thrust upon it, or it turns about to be a big, underacheiving, Michigan State Football season letdown. This summer's Superman Returns was the latter of those for me this summer. So was Pirates of the Caribbean.

However, some people loved both those movies. And I just don't get it. So I put forth now, a list of movies that some people can't get enough of, that I just can't stand. Sadly, Howard the Duck is not on the list.

Signs- First off, I am not a big M. Night fan. But, I have seen all of his movies, so he must be one hell of a marketer. I for one am hoping that his newest movie tanks like Tank Girl (though I love Paul Giamatti). But Signs to me was one long, boring, non-scary, let's be afriad of things we don't see, then when we do see it, it looks like a 5 year old's drawing of an anorexic martian, movie. And don't get me started on how WATER kills them. Hmm, maybe do some research then you idiot Aliens, cause Earth is like two-thirds water. You're a sophisticated race of super-smart life forms, yet you can't pick up an Encyclopedia Britainaca?? Use your incredibly large brain!

The Blair Witch Project- Color me as one of the people that was taken in by the media frenzy that surrounded this movie. Also color me as one of the people that demanded their $6.50 back. If I wanted to watch amatuer made video I would've gone to U of M for their student film fest. This movie gave me a headache while watching it, the characters were dumb as the rocks they were treading on, and contrary to popular belief the overuse of the "F" word does not substitute for a script. As for the scariness of the movie? Non-existant. The only thing remotely scary was the acting involved. It somehow doesn't shock me that none of these actors from the Blair Witch have ever been heard of again. Maybe that blurry thing killed them.

Shrek 2, Shark Tale or any other animated movie that uses pop culture references as a substitute for jokes or plot- I liked the original Shrek. I thought it was very character driven for an animated movie, with characters that had real emotions. But the second one was just plain drivel. Re-using plot points and coming up with jokes about Starbucks, and Baskin Robbins, and Bob Barker. Do you really think that Donkey watches CBS at 11 a.m.? As for Shark Tale, any preview that has a Christina Aguilera version of "Car Wash" in it, is reason enough to land on this list.

Remember the Titans- But, Robbie, I love this movie!! The black kids and white kids don't like each other at first. But then through the time they share together, they learn that they're the same and all become bestest friends forever. What about the black coach and the white coach who don't get along? Cue the precocious tough, little, white girl to solve their problems. Has someone been killed yet?? No?? Then bring on the car accident and obligatory listening to the game from the hospital bed sequence. And do they win on the last play?? Of course they do, but not with a Hail Mary. With a 60 yard running play?? And Denzel's supposed to be a GOOD coach? Even Lloyd Carr couldn't mess things up that bad. Thank you Disney.

Brokeback Mountain- Another movie that was ruined by the hype leading up to it. I was really looking forward to BM (haha! BM) this winter when it came to the theater. It's my favorite genre of movie. No, not gay love stories. But tragic character-driven movies, like Monster's Ball or In the Bedroom. But to me, this one landed with a momentous shrug of the shoulders. I mean, it was all good enough. The acting, the cinematography, the music, Anne Hathaway's rack. But something was missing. With all the pre-release press on TV shows and Entertainment magazines, it was like the climb up on an extremely steep rollercoaster a mile high, only to be dropped down like you're riding that Kiddie train that tours around the park.

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure I've offended some of you. Because when you insult a movie that someone really likes, it's like saying their sister's a whore. When really they just have no taste in movies.



Blogger AsaJubus said...

I think you expect too much when you are watching movies. It is almost as if you want every movie to be (__insert favorite movie__), instead of expecting the movie to be "Howard the Duck."

Hype is an unfortunate thing to overcome - I felt the same about Brokeback. I thought it was a good, well made movie and I enjoyed it, but it was not one of the best ever.

"Signs" was one I actually liked. I loved "Sixth Sense" but didn't get "Unbreakable," so I was ambivalent about "Signs." When I saw it, I was pleasantly surprised. If I was a MNSAL (M. Night Shymalan Ass Licker), I would have wet my pants in anticipation and been disappointed with the result.

What did you think about "40 Year Old Virgin?" I didn't get it. I gave it a 5/10 on IMDB, but I would have given it a 4.5 if I could have. Steve Carell was funny as was Paul Rudd, but I thought the script was REALLY uneven and the film had no identity. It seemed like it flipped between a movie for 20-somethings and 40-somethings, but it never picked an audience and played to it. It was also too long for the genre - although I did like the totally random ending. What are your thoughts?


Blogger Unky Rob said...

Well, professor, I am a movie lover, and hopefully my next column will prove that I am not, as some would say, "a movie snob". As for 40YOV, i loved it, though agree with your points. But I love most everything Carell, Apatow, Rudd, or Rogen is involved with.


Blogger snell said...

Well, I've got just a couple of points:

*I actually liked Shrek 2 better than 1. Yes, there were too many pop culture references, but I found those far more palatable then Shrek 1's constant Disney Bashing. You got your kajillion dollar golden parachute, Katzenberg, now get over it. Irony of ironies: Shrek 1's spending so much time satirizing Disney's merchandising when Shrek itself was hardly a stranger at Toys 'R' Us...

*Brokeback was good, but really, what message are we trying to espouse here? If the lovers were straight instead of gay, this movie becomes Same Time Next Year without the laughs. Is Ang Lee's point really that long-term infidelity is OK if you're gay? If this movie were about a man and a woman who broke up families and ruined lives because they couldn't get over their first love, the characters would be called "selfish" and "immature" instead of "tragic" and "oppressed." I'm just sayin'...

*Signs is clearly M. Night's weakest...but I do have to give the man credit for having the sack to make his movie a stealth vehicle for proselytizing Christianity. And doing it in a less savage way than say, Mel Gibson. And I do think he's a fabulous director...just maybe not so much script-wise (although I fail to understand the savage recption of The Village...)


Blogger Unky Rob said...

Agree with you on Village. It's actually my 2nd favorite of his films, behind Unbreakable. I can't really count Sixth Sense, since my cousin ruined it for me before I saw it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah...yes he did, but it wasn't this cousin,

I enjoyed Shrek 2, and your Remember the Titans bit made me laugh out loud. Keep on writing Rob.

Less than a month till Snakes on a Plane!!!!



Anonymous status said...

On M. Night, why do critics simultaneously bash his recent work and still get mad that Hollywood can't produce anything besides popular franchise pictures? You'd think some people would appreciate that at least someone creates massively popular movies that rely very little on special effects, are based on original stories and characters, and keep drawing in the crowds...

I also think his movies are extremely watchable even if you know the twists - knowing the village's secret, etc. doesn't ruin the drama or suspense.



Post a Comment

<< Home