So when it comes to movies, I have great resources here in town to catch a deep, well layered foreign film, or just some full on popcorn thriller. Unfortunately I encountered two movies this past year that gives me pause on my movie selection process.
My first encounter was with the movie The Happening. It was by far one of thee worst movies of 2008. I was really looking forward to do this, I really like "end of the world" scenario movies. Usually a bad movie is bad because of a couple faults that lie in the script, the acting, the editing, music selection, or the premise. But The Happening failed on every level.
- The Script - M. Night Shyamalan put this together based on a couple of movies from the 70's. He claimed this was his "B-movie". This felt more like a D though Z movie.
- The Acting - A cast featuring Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, and John Leguizamo should at best be considered a decent acting base. They have all performed well in various other movies. But their performances, both collective AND individual, were an abomination upon the very craft they are paid to do.
- The editing - This was a total hack job. Scene transitions were abrupt and awkward. But they fit with Shyamalan's "B-movie" theme.
- Music selection - There was no music that would have helped create the mood and atmosphere. They may have been better off with no sound all together.
- The Premise - (SPOILER ALERT) okay so the idea of something causing people to kill themselves is interesting enough. But when you find out its because of (SPOILER) the plants, well the whole movie is finished for you half way through it.
Though if you were one of the few who did see it, a Columbia, MO-based group did a fantastic re-enactment called "The Crappening". Well see for yourself:
Now I wish someone would do a spoof for my second worst movie of 2008, The Spirit. This would be in the category of "Holy-Shit-This-is-so-fucking-bad-my-future-children-are-mad!" Visually speaking fine, especially if you enjoyed 300 or Sin City. But Frank Miller dropped a big ol' egg with this one. Sometimes you can tell where the effort is going in a movie. Obviously it was the visuals. But what destroyed this movie was the acting and the storyboard. In fact it looked like the just cut in live shots of the storyboard, complete with the frames.
Look I know this is based on the graphic novel, BUT I'm sure there is more to the story than what was put on the silver screen. And to have it portrayed by loud and stale performances by Samuel L. Jackson AND Scarlett Johanssen. There is even a performance by Dan Lauria, who we all know as "Kevin's dad" from The Wonder Years. But that guy is just fucked no matter what. I don't care if he plays Queen Elizabeth on some BBC special presentation, he will ALWAYS be Kevin Arnold's dad. ALWAYS. Sorry Dan Lauria.
I attended this movie with my pal, Justin, and forty five minutes into the movie, he and I just looked at each other as if to say "What the fuck are we watching?" We talked about leaving for another half hour, and we decided to stick it out and see how this ridiculous trainwreck of a cinema was going to end. And you guessed, they left room for a sequel. God forbid you should see this movie in the first place let alone its sequel.
For now I'm going to keep a distance from the theater. Unless anybody has any better choices, and they want to take me out... I ain't payin' for awhile.