It Was Gravity Killed the Beast

December 8th, 2007

Kristin’s schedule takes her out of the house a lot of the time so my Netlfix queue has changed from anime to feature films. In telling you what I think about them, I’m introducing a new movie-reviewing criterion: the moment when I wanted to stop watching (but didn’t). So far I’ve seen:

Apocalypto: I don’t see what the anthropological fuss is about. I think it’s assumed that a work of fiction is fictive, otherwise it would be a documentary. I was disappointed by how un-epic the film was. It pretty much throws in the audience’s face that the movie is about government excess leading to the fall of the empire. Except, we never see that. The movie is actually about this guy who loses his village to the empire and kills the people who were directly responsible. Imagine if Star Wars had Luke lose his family, go to the Death Star, and then… kills the stormtroopers who killed his aunt and uncle. Very underwhelming indeed.

Moment I wanted to stop watching: Ten minutes into the film after I realize that it showing every tiny piece of the hero’s village life. Seriously, setup is very unnecessary in a film. In contrast, let’s look at a masterpiece: The Seven Samurai’s premise is that a village is attacked by bandits and desperately hires some samurai for protection. The opening scene? The village decides to hire samurai for protection. I don’t need to know how they make breakfast.

King Kong (Jack Black edition): One of the top three movies that address the issue of gorillas fighting dinosaurs. It’s also a very unnecessary remake. What King Kong does have going for it is that the action scenes are very well done. Unlike virtually ever other action movie I’ve seen in the last ten years, I can tell exactly what is going on in a fight between five individuals.

Moment I wanted to stop watching: Five minutes in when Jack Black shows up. I forgot he was in it, and he is intensely annoying.

Live Free or Die Hard: The first Die Hard is unique because it took a pseudo-realistic take on action movies. Glass shards hurt. The enemy’s liberated clothes don’t fit the hero. The sequels have strayed from that gimmick, and now it’s just another Bourne movie. This movie also suffers from too much setup. It should start with John McClane picking up the hacker. Seeing the crazy evil hacker group first takes the realism right out of the film in minute one. And seriously, these hackers have a computer secretly rigged with plastic explosives? Trust me, anyone who likes computers enough to be a hacker knows exactly what is inside their machine, especially brown bricks labeled C4.

Moment I wanted to stop watching: Five minutes in when John McClane’s daughter is being forcibly felt up by some dude. Why am I watching this?


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