Thursday, May 10, 2007

Calling all the movies: the bad, the worse and the comparatively worthy

It all started with “Mr and Mrs Smith”, I think, that almost uncanny ability of mine to pick bad movies. “Mr and Mrs Smith” was the one movie I truly wanted to see when it was on circuit. I didn’t want to see Star Wars 3 (or 6, depending how you’re counting) that was also making the rounds at the time, but I did want to see Brad Pitt and Angelina. Basically, I fell for the advertising that promised a clever and witty thriller. Housewife-turn-spy is a fantasy that appeals to many women, and has been successfully implemented in “True Lies” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight”

For reasons varying from “not enough money to pay the babysitter twice as much as the tickets would cost” to “deadlines at work” and “deadline for a short story competition”, we only got to see the movie on DVD. And what a good thing that turned out to be: not only was it cheaper to stay at home, but also it enabled us to switch on the movie’s subtitles in order to understand the (mediocre) dialogue shouted amidst all the gory (mediocre) action. But even the dialogue didn’t help the (mediocre) plot.

That was in 2005. In 2006, I really wanted to see “Basic Instinct 2” and “Pink Panther” and “The Da Vinci Code”. “The Da Vinci Code” was so bad we stopped watching it twice, only to carry on in the vague hope of a clever twist at the end (there was a twist, but it wasn’t a clever one). If there was an Oscar for the absolutely worst movie of the year, I’d nominate this one.

“Pink Panther” was not as good as the Pink Panthers of the 20th century, too slapstick and with no finesse, but boy, was it better than “The Da Vinci Code”.... And we’re yet to see “Basic Instinct 2”, though I remember mentioning on this blog a year ago that it wasn’t a patch on the original.

Then there was an Australian movie (I forget the title - and good riddance) about a mathematician who predicted the stock market using fuzzy logic. That’s kind of like jacking up a car using cotton wool, but what I mainly had against that movie was that a kid died in it. A definite no-no ever since I’m a parent.

So, what have I seen that was actually not a waste of time (the precious time that I need to make writing deadlines of 1 June 2007 and 1 July 2007 and 31 August 2007)? Well, “Children of Men” - a SF movie - was very good, both the acting and the plot. Not exceptionally blow-you-off-your-feet clever or unexpected or thought-provoking, but good.

“Serendipity” - another SF movie - was also ok. Not having seen the series, I can only comment on the movie as a stand-alone. Good acting and a satisfying twist.

The irony is, I don’t even like SF.

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