Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Saturday, October 28, 2006


Wake Up and Smell the Bad Movie

When I was young and single--way, way the hell back when--I was basically constantly scanning for cute women. Not in a serial killer kind of way or anything, it was just a very pleasant way to pass the time while walking down the street.

Every once in awhile, I'd spot a female in the distance and think, "Ooo. Nice. Joe likee." (In actuality, my thoughts were nothing like this, but let's go ahead and pretend I was a 70s-era swinger, for the sake of the narrative.) Invariably, when this lady got closer, it would turn out that my first, from-a-distance impression had been wildly inaccurate and that the gal in question was not nearly as reminiscent of Rosario Dawson as she was of Richard Dawson. And I would chide myself for being taken in by a misleading silhouette.

This is kind of how I felt last night when I rewatched X-Men III: The Last Stand.

I don't think I have to reiterate here what a gigantic geek I am, enamored of comic books and They Might Be Giants and other things nerdly. Because of my fondness for this sort of thing, I am generally predisposed to give the benefit of the doubt to more comic book-based films than I would otherwise.

This is not to say that my love of super-heroics blinds me completely. Fantastic Four was a huge bucket of shit. Daredevil should have been taken in for an emergency Affleckectomy and probably should have died on the operating table. The Hulk very nearly killed Ang Lee's credibility. I had a partial lobotomy in the late nineties to remove from my brain any lingering memory of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and both of the Joel Schumacher Bat-flicks.

That said, I've repeatedly gotten my geek on for the Spider-Man movies and the recent Batman and Superman pictures sent me into paroxysms of ecstasy.

I also really liked Bryan Singer's work on the first two X-Films. Though the comics weren't my favorite growing up, I still love the characters. And I thought--Hugh Jackman's Tommy Tune-esque physique aside--that Singer did right by them.

I was disappointed when the job of directing the third one went to Brent Ratner, but I went to see it anyway, trying not to pay attention to the reviews that said the quality had suffered greatly from this change at the helm. And I've got to say that I kind of liked it anyway. It wasn't as good as the first two, and maybe the writing was a bit lacking, but I had a good enough time that I didn't feel like demanding my money back or anything.

So, when Last Stand came out on video, I put in a birthday request for it. I've got the first two and I watch (and enjoy) them from time to time. Last night, there was nothing on the DVR for me to watch in the afternoon when I was doing dishes, so I plopped X3 into the DVD player and gave it a watching.

Ouch. I was so wrong. So very, very wrong. The writing wasn't just not as good as in the first two films, it was awful. Ian McKellen's Magneto picks up and moves the Golden Gate bridge. Why? So that we could see Ian McKellen moving the Golden Gate bridge. And the dialogue. It's like they took a set of Hackneyed Cliche refrigerator magnets, drew them out at random and pasted them into the screenplay. "What have I done?" asks Sir Ian, who probably used his own revulsion at having agreed to a three-picture deal as his motivation to get this drivel out of his mouth. Halle Berry, meanwhile, had become the biggest star in the franchise in the time since she was horribly miscast in the first film. Because of that, they had to pump up her part in this one. What a great idea. Let's give more screen time to the gal who made Catwoman. Just a wretched, wretched movie and I have to wonder how the hell drunk I was when I saw it the first time. Shame. Shame on me.

I'm totally with you on this flaming bucket of shite ... It's hard to pick out just what pissed me off the most about it, but I think it would have to be his shoddy treatment of the Dark Phoenix saga .. just plain sad
Are you telling me that liking TMBG makes me a nerd? Really?

I fele the same way about the movie. I liked it because it was X-Men, but I thought it wasn't as smart as the first two.
Cindy-Lou, the very fact that you refer to them as TMBG means you need to be fitted for a pocket-protector.

Hey, I love them, too. But I've been to their shows. I've seen their fans. We're not a pretty sight.
Wasn't I trying to tell you just last Saturday night at Rudy's Bar that "Last Stand" was a piece of shit?

I believe you tried to make the argument that it "wasn't that bad."

I'm glad you've seen the light.

Now, about "Team America"....
I just recently saw this movie, and dear god, I couldn't be more pissed off. Everything about this movie was not only miscalculated and poorly executed, it's an abomination the likes of Battlefield Earth.

god, I hated this movie. McKellen probably signed the three picture deal assuming Singer would be at the helm for all three, and dear god how I wish he had been.

Thanks for bringing this up, I've been meaning to write about it as well.
jesus, how many god mentions could i throw in there? shows you how bad I thought it was.
Beigey, are you implying that the Lord Our God had something to do with this abomination? Don't you think it more likely that Satan himself guided Brett Ratner's hand?
nah, Satan would definitely make the product a hell of a lot more enticing...
I agree with you entirely about X-Men 3, with which I was phenomenally disappointed. I happen to be of the opinion, however, that Hulk, despite a weak script and an apparent editors' strike, is underrated, more an interesting failure than a credibility-shattering disaster. You can reach me at the coffee shop with the other six supporters.
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