Sunday, December 19, 2010

Inching Along. . .

I have 29 more left on the list. PLUS Battlefield Earth. Why do I always overcommit myself?
The next three below were all very. . . blah, it's the best word I can use to describe them.

Desperate Measures, 1998, directed by Barbet Schroeder. Written by David Klass.
starring: Michael Keaton, Andy Garcia.

I'm not putting in an IMDB synopsis because it seems to mess with the HTML and line spacing, and I don't have time for that, so in one line? COP GETS CONVICT TO AGREE TO BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT FOR HIS TERMINALLY ILL SON; THINGS GO WRONG.

This did nothing for me. Keaton is usually good, or at least entertaining, but in this he was just not cast right, I don't think. Andy Garcia is among the long and distinguished list of celebrities I'd like to get in the sack, but even he was lame. It was acted all right and put together fine, film-wise, but nothing ever really grabbed me. It's one of those films you can walk away from (many times) and not really care if you've missed much. Blah.

Lady in the Water, 2006, directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan.
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard.

I'm surprised that I wasn't on board with this; it's about writing and stories, after all. It was just too ridiculous, I think. Again, could walk out for a few minutes and come back not caring at all if I had missed anything. Bad Television Lady, I know. I should have been right up close, taking notes, but I can usually tell within the first few minutes if something is going to be worth my time, and this just seemed like a huge boner kill from the word go. Blah x 2.

The Bodyguard, 1992, directed by Mick Jackson. Written by Lawrence Kasdan.
Starring: Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner.
She was seriously stunning in this.

Ha! This wasn't on the list, was it! But I felt justified in making the executive decision to include it for a few reasons, 1. I kind of like it. 2. Everyone I knew in high school *hated* it, violently. 3. Kevin Costner needs to be on this list, it's just a given. 4. I can sometimes get a little . . . blunt and bitchy when it comes to the things I write about films, and I don't want to stomp on anyone else's preferences or make it look like I'm in any way being elitist or a know it all about all this---I admit, some of the things I like are cheesy and not great. I'm human. Opinions are like . . . well, you know.

First off, did you know that there were two pretty major nods to classic cinema in this?
1. Rachel (Houston) wears a metallic silver faux armor when she gives the impromptu performance at the club, referencing the character of Maria (when she turns into a crazy sex-robot) in the film German film Metropolis; there are actually scenes from the film on screens in the background as Rachel sings, too!
2. Farmer (Costner) takes Rachel to see Yojimbo, (English translation: The Bodyguard) directed by Akira Kurosawa. Akira Kurosawa is probably one of the greatest directors, ever. I obviously didn't catch either of these two items when I first saw the film, but seeing them last night brought a smile to my face.

The love story is cheesy, the action is mostly minimal, but I thought both actors were good in their roles, believable. The bigger issue here is how completely this film brought me back to 1992. I was sixteen then, with horrible skin, a severely moody disposition, and pining always for the same jerk that deflowered me and then cheated with about half the population of Renville County. I was very much someone who was influenced by a Frank Farmerlike bodyguard who might someday show up and carry me away, probably not unlike the next group of girls in the late nineties would later be by Leo's Jack Dawson in Titanic. And while I'm not the biggest fan of Whitney Houston musically, I think the soundtrack was really quite good, I listened to it hours on end during wrestling tournaments in high school. These memories weren't exactly my favorite ones ever, but it's funny how a (shitty) film has the ability to stir them up, isn't it?


Donald said...

I would've suggested the Postman or Waterworld over the Bodyguard. Bodyguard wasn't that bad, it was just mediocre.

I wouldn't put Desperate Measures on this list either. Lord knows it wasn't any good, but I think it was a well intentioned film. I can't blame Keaton and Garcia for wanting to play against type, and the story is actually kind of clever and interesting. It just wasn't very well done. But I think it's maybe worth watching because Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia are fantastic actors. I'll watch Michael Keaton in anything.