two movies walk into a bar…

October 24th, 2005

thumbsdown

…and one of them sucks. My wife was out of town this weekend, so I went and saw two movies in the theater all by my lonesome. Only one of them was remotely worth it.

A History of Violence
David “Balls Out Weird” Cronenberg’s new movie is fucking awful, despite having a lot in it’s favor. Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, William Hurt, an interesting premise. The basic idea is that a small town guy might just be a mobster with a hidden past that he has completely given up. Problems start from the first thirty seconds of this movie. And it goes downhill from there. Cronenberg is adept at creepy, but he is unable to leave that behind when he makes a sentimental outing. The result is a “feel good” movie that involves watching people try to breathe after they have had their face shot off/punched in/stabbed/immolated. The dialogue is awful. The acting, though noble I guess, can’t make up for it. The plot starts out badly, then takes a turn for the stunningly bad about halfway through. All in all, this movie isn’t worth the film it is printed on, and if I find someone distributing it via Bittorrent, I will personally turn them in to the RIAA for distributing such a waste of time. Don’t rent it. Don’t Netfilix it. Please god, shoot a puppy before you watch this film.

Stay
Now, I didn’t know much about this movie when I went in, and I think that is for the best. It was engaging from beginning to end. I haven’t liked Ewan McGreggor since Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, but he does a great job here. The film is reminiscent of Memento, in that you are a bit confused through the whole thing, but it is far more tantalizing than frustrating. The ending may seem like a bit of a cop-out, but I don’t know how else such a complex story could have been wrapped up. I don’t think I’ve ever actually gotten goose bumps from a scary scene in a film before. I’ll go see it again, just to wrap my head back around it.

One Response to “two movies walk into a bar…”

  1. Joshua says:

    My feeling about David Cronenberg is that he starts off making a movie and says to himself, “Hey, this is a neat idea! What can I do to make it a little grosser? And… how can I avoid saying interesting things about this interesting idea?”

    viz.:
    Nightbreed: a metaphor about homosexuality and underground subcultures. A little bit about demagoguery among subcultures. The movie culminates in a bunch of guys running around with shotguns blowing things up.

    eXistenz: What if this was all a dream? What if the dream was all a dream?!?!? What if I didn’t care how many times you ask that?

    Naked Lunch: Let’s take a psychotic episode in the life of a fascinating author and make it about humpy butts! (note: I actually like Naked Lunch. I just wish it was a little more literary and a little less anally fixated.)

    Hellraiser: A Lovecraftian story about forbidden knowledge and sacred geometry. But wait! Let’s add blood and immature sexual morality elements until you get Friday the 13th!

    He’s often so close, yet so far.