Friday, February 4, 2011

Last Two on the List:

I had this horrible nightmare the other night that I went around asking everyone I knew what they thought the worst film ever made was, and that I said that I'd watch them just for the sake of torture. OH WAIT. THIS REALLY HAPPENED. I hope this proves just how much I'm willing to sacrifice for the "art" of being a Television Lady. . . I know, I know. I asked for it. But I'm extremely happy it's over.

The Wicker Man, 2006, directed and written by Neil LaBute.
starring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn.

"A sheriff investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small island discovers there's a larger mystery to solve among the island's secretive, neo-pagan community." (IMDB).

I may have enjoyed this had it actually been a story with an ending. Masks were creepy and almost a little reminiscent of Pierre Tremond (Twin Peaks), and Badalamenti did the score, it wasn't a complete waste, but there *had* to have been a better way to end it. Did the original end this way too? Thumbs down. And don't dye Nic Cage's hair so dark or cake so much makeup on him next time; he's a man, he's going to get hotter with age. Let him.

Nights in Rodanthe, 2008, directed by George C. Wolf. Written by Ann Peacock.
starring: Diane Lane, Richard Gere.

"A doctor who is traveling to see his estranged son sparks with an unhappily married woman at a North Carolina inn." (IMDB).

Ugh. Shut it off after nineteen minutes. I know I said I wouldn't do that, but this was truly awful. Horrible dialogue, no matter who it was between. What a goddamned mess.
I can't decide who I wanted to punch more. . .

So what has all this taught me? Nothing I didn't already know, but I still found it a useful project. Films really can't recover from bad dialogue, it's the one thing that will sink a picture every time. That and Cameron Diaz. I've looked back on some of the previous entries, and it may seem as though I unfairly hate on chick flicks and I'd like to take a minute to address that. I know that I'm not a normal female. The media events I dig focus on power (Harry Potter, Spartacus), cleverness/ability (Kill Bill, Jackie Brown) and a special kind of depth and emotion (LOST, Toy Story 3). For me to accept sentimentality in something, I have to know, enjoy, and believe the character. These kind of things are lacking in literally *every* chick flick I watched, and I really can't believe that this the best that can be done. It's not taste, either, it's more than that. Don't tell me it's society, don't tell me we're still enslaved by men: these are stories, the task falls on the writers. WRITE SOMETHING BETTER.

Jack Nicholson's character in As Good As It Gets is a writer. When female fan asks him on his way to the elevator how he manages to write women so well, he says this: I think of a man. And then take away reason and accountability.

Something to think about.


Jess B. said...

Two comments:
1-Wicker Man. I unfortunately went and saw this opening night. I was so excited for it. And I pretty much had the same reaction that you did. It could have been good! Yet, it sorely missed the mark all because of the ending.
2-I have the same reaction towards chick flicks. It isn't because I am anti-romance. I am just anti un-inspirational, dumbed-down romance. Whenever I come across them (they are far and few between, but they do exist!), I rather enjoy them. As for now, they will just be filler movies to me.

Donald said...

I hated the original Wicker Man, so I skipped this one. Your review doesn't make me want to change my mind.

That second movie has the worst title I've ever heard.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

There are probably some good chick flicks out there, it's just that they're all independent films that nobody sees.