Sunday, March 29, 2009

Never judge a film by it's poster

There have been many films that have surprised me lately. I just love it when you settle down to watch a film and it exceeds all your expectations and you are left entertained and above all have enjoyed the experience of watching it, no matter what the type of film is. Recently 'Body of Lies' was just such a film. It appeared to be just another action movie but it was so much more. Conversely I feel cheated to my very core when I want so very much to enjoy a film, when it's pedigree, it's trailer and everything else lead me to expect it to be good and then the film falls far short of anything resembling what it promised.

I find this most often with so-called 'Blockbuster' films. The ones with the huge budgets, the 'A' list stars and all the CGI wizardry. Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull left me cold as the film lurched from improbable event to improbable event, ending in a bizarre alien tornado that barely seemed to be credible and taking in angry jungle animals along the way. It wasn't just the over reliance on CGI effects at the expense of plot, but rather that each turn of the plot relied on something that seemd merely a lazy plot device to progress things. And we were being asked to not just suspend disbelief but to swallow it wholesale. Needless to say I choked.

I'm not just getting at poor old Indy here either. Other films that have had a similar effect on me are, the last two Pirates of the Caribbean films, and Quantum of Solace. As a sequel to the wonderful Casino Royale (IMHO) this was just a total let down. The baddie was weak, as was the Bond girl, the plot barely hung together, the characters were two dimensional and the action sequences were impossible to follow. Eugh. I could just imagine the Producers meeting, akin to the ones on the adverts for a well known mobile phone company:

"Bond is back and this time he has to be bigger and badder"
"I have the perfect idea. Let's have chases on land, sea and in the air! And this time we'll have all that close up shaky camera action too".
"But what about the plot? We don't seem to have much of one here."
"We'll throw in a few huge explosions, some pretty girls and lots of CGI. No-one will notice"

The Producers high five and 'do lunch' while for me at least, the new Bond is completely ruined.

I like films with a well written script and a well thought out plot that hangs together, even if it involves aliens, monsters or heroes. I like real stunts done by talented stunt men. I don't mind CGI when it is used as part of the film, and not almost as an actor itself. Most of all, I do not like to be decieved about what I am going to watch. I do not like to come away from having spent my £7.20 on a ticket feeling like the film makers think their audience are very stupid indeed. I do not appreciate it at all.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

The Tour Manager wanted to go out last night to celebrate our anniversary (today; 12 years and I haven't killed him or been successful at throwing him out. Not bad. Not bad at all!), but all he could think of to do was go to a movie.

I said I'd rather stay in and have a Family Movie Night.

So. We did.

'cause, you know, I feel the same way.

David said...

ouch! I feel cheated at $9.00 US so I wait and go on "tight-wad Tuesday when it is only $5.

Thanks for visiting me and always being thoughtful in the comments

yes susan, 12 years deserves more than a movie

rashbre said...

Its a good coincidence that you picked one of those orange ads to go with your post. I was thinking about those cinema ads as I read the first part.

The way the (tongue-in-cheek) orange marketeers subvert the films that are being suggested is very typical of your 'high five' quote.

craziequeen said...

Tanya sent me to say we were right - the ending of Marley and Me cheated us.

I checked out the book - it has a totally different ending... definitely more upbeat than the sadsack film ending....


R. Sherman said...

For my money, there will never be another Bond after Connery, although, I thought "For Your Eyes Only" was Roger Moore's best effort. I do love Judi Dench as "M," though.


Sleepypete said...

Definitely agree with you on Quantum of Solace (and the two Pirates sequels).

Casino Royale was outstanding, it was one of those films I actually saw twice in the cinema and also thought it worthy of buying early on dvd ... Quantum of Solace was a big let down, probably because it was being compared to Casino Royale. Back to the older Bonds it appears ...

My opinion of the 2nd Pirates film was so low I flat refused to see Pirates 3 in the cinema :-)

nancy (aka moneycoach) said...

I just moved to waaaaay northern canada and indoor activities like films are now much more important! Tx for the heads up about good and not - I'll add Body of Lies to my list.

ps - netchick sent me.

Marina said...

It's getting to the point for me that I don't even want to go to the movies anymore. I end up terribly disappointed because of the money I spent on the crap I thought would be good. Now, I just wait for movies to come out on DVD. Somehow, it makes me feel better, yet still cheated.

Dianne said...

I don't see that many movies in the theater anymore
besides the ridiculous prices the crowds are so annoying
babies at 'R' movies
teens everywhere
nothing ever cleaned
the multi-plex by me keeps splitting the rooms and making more theaters - eventually we'll all be sitting in closets ;)

love the Swayze clip - Hollywood at work ;)

Mar said...

Sorry about that, BK...
It's been raining since Saturday, so I am hoping for sunny weather for this coming weekend.

utenzi said...

You're quite right, BK. So many of those blockbuster type sequels are lousy. I guess they're trying to play it safe so hard that there's no room left for a film.

Niall said...

I thought Quantum Of Solace was dire beyond opposite to what I believe cinema to be about. cinema should touch the soul..rend the soul, cleanse and heal the soul...lift the heart and give a reason to love life and each other. I have not even contemplated seeing the Indy film....this is the reason love the alternative movie scene coming from France , Italy etc....and why Amelie is my favourite movie!