Monday, March 14, 2011

Wet Floor: It's Called A Cliché

It's been a very slow season since the Oscars. Not a huge surprise. This seems to be the trend every year. Studios give up on these months between the awards films and the summer blockbusters... but there's no real excuse for this. If you release interesting/good movies people will come out to see them. That's assuming studios actually have interesting/good movies to show. Which lately doesn't seem to be the case.

Battle: Los Angeles
The most interesting scene in the entire flick.
What a mess! My roommate aptly described it as Battle: Two Blocks in Santa Monica. This movie could have had epic presence and high concept. But it really just failed. No... it didn't fail. As military propaganda it thoroughly succeeded. And yeah, I respect our Marines, but they're still people. (Spoiler Alert) And they didn't already have breakfast! You don't go through what these people went through and not take a break for an hour to eat. They're gonna die. They're gonna go back out and get themselves killed because they haven't rested up. (End Spoiler) That's just an example of annoying moments in the film... the most prominent one in my mind at this moment. But this thing is riddled with cliché after cliché. And the utter lack of action or purpose is sadly apparent from the outset. The coolest events are glazed over in news reels and then we're stuck... with this movie.
Genre: Mediocre Sci-Fi/Same Old War Film.

The Adjustment Bureau
An accurate depiction of what happens in the movie.
Dark City Light. If you like Dark City (and I love Dark City, the director's cut specifically) you will likely hate this movie. The sad fact is, this movie doesn't even hint at interesting concepts... in fact, it's not even Sci-Fi. Though the PK Dick credit sure wants you to think it is. Biggest complaint here, there's no mystery. Everything turns out to be exactly what you'd expect someone to come up with who is writing a "high concept" script for the first time. It's not the performances here... it's the writing. The stakes are low and the ideas are completely missing.
Genre: Lame Religious Fantasy.

Maybe the worst thing ever. This movie isn't even trying to get you into the theatre by its own merit. It's hoping you liked Taken just enough to come out one more time and see something completely unrelated but for the leading Actor. It's a veritable who's who of bad performances and poorly planned plot turns... that aren't really plot turns. (Spolier Alert) If he was really a secret agent that lost his memory but for his false identity... that he had also been memorizing for a year... so they could get into a conference and blow it up... which they apparently didn't need to do after pulling the files from a computer... which is what they needed to do in the first place... Ugh. And characters die in the most ridiculous ways. (End Spoiler) Suffice to say, I hate this movie.
Genre: Anti-Spy Thriller.

I did however love Rango! Everything about this movie seemed to be aimed at people like me. It's another Scott Pilgrim situation where a very specific group was bound to find every little thing a pure delight, while many others may be left in the dust wondering what they just saw. It was intended to be a film for kids, though it seems to connect with Nickelodeon's tradition of not talking down to the young of age (ex. Rocko's Modern Life, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Invader Zim, etc.) which makes me love it all the more. Far too often kids are subjected to pointless, wacky movies that don't improve their minds or activate their imaginations. And when you're young, all you have is your imagination... the kids that don't have one become boring adults with no flair for life or recognition of how strange the world really can be. If more movies like this came out I think we'd see a rise in grades from elementary schools to middle... and maybe even above. That's just a theory, but I believe in it personally. Interesting movies, like Rango, inspire further consciousness.
Genre: Psychological Western For People Of All Ages.

So, with only one out of four in the green, this season's a bit of a bore. But Jane Eyre looks quite promising and one can only hope the summer will step it up after a decidedly weak season last year. It does look promising.

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