Monday, 22 January 2007

From the sublime to the ridiculous....

We've watched a few really ridiculous movies here lately.

Saturday night we started with Miami Vice. Hmmmm. I was thinking that perhaps if I knew the original TV show at all I would understand and/or appreciate it more. It's pretty awful.

Luckily, we watched it with some friends so we enjoyed predicting all the ultra-predictable moments, then laughing and groaning at the really unbelievable ones. The storyline was muddled and the characters were confusing. The incidental moments dragged on forever while vital pieces of information were skimmed over in an instant. I'm completely baffled as to why there was such hype about this when it was released.


Next, for some more groaning and hilarity, we watched Snakes on a Plane. Yes, mo-fo snakes on the mo-fo plane. Talk about entertaining! I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Seriously, if the filmmakers were aiming for side-splitting hilarity, they succeeded brilliantly.

'Tis indeed a pity that that's apparently not what they were aiming for. The characters are cliched, predictable, unlikable and ridiculous. There are so many characters for whom you actually wish death-by-snake-bite the moment you meet them, and are pleased when your wish not only comes true, but happens in a hilarious moment of insanity.

Actually, there was one moment that was seriously NOT funny - snake poison was sucked from a pustulating wound. We all nearly vomited.

Won't waste anymore time on that piece of craziness except to say how truly bizarre it is that movies like that get made, and marketed so well. The mind boggles.


Yesterday we watched Clerks 2.

I am so disappointed with it. If it weren't for about 10 minutes of revolting, completely unnecessary and totally unfunny action (a sequence involving bestiality), it would be a really great film. In fact, someone should just cut out that whole sequence (well, most of it anyway) and it would be a great film.

Start from the beginning, though. The characters are great, the actors are great. It is, of course, fun to see Jay and Silent Bob again (I haven't seen the orginal Clerks but I know them well from Kevin Smith's other stuff). The plot is simple, believable and meaningful, and the dialogue is funny and real. I was really, really enjoying the film, until that sequence I mentioned just went way too far.

Basically, Dante is leaving the fastfood store where he, Randall, Elias and Becky work. He's moving to Florida to marry Emma. The film covers the journey of him realising he really loves Becky and wants her and a simple life rather than rich Emma and the rich life in Florida. All of which works really well. The awful part comes when Randall throws Dante a goodbye party and hires "Kinky Kelly and the Sexy Stud" - an act involving a person and a mule. It was SO. WRONG. They could have easily cut it shorter; there were plenty of opportunities for it to end sooner; even just talking script and screentime, it was way too much time to devote to a pretty minor event in terms of the character's story. Dante ends up kissing Becky as Emma walks in, shocked by the scene. That could have happened much sooner in the scene and been just as shocking for Emma without having to waste so much time on something appalling.

Anyway, once that sequence has crawled back to the dark hole from which it came, the film ends well and restores itself a little bit of dignity.

I finally understand why Kevin Smith has received so much negativity and so many complaints about Clerks 2. The sad thing is that he's being forced to defend something that not only ruins an otherwise entertaining and skillful film, but was totally unnecessary to plot, character, or atmosphere. What was he thinking?

*mind continues to boggle*

No comments: