Monday, June 14, 2010

stray thoughts on bad movies: The A Team

Two in one month!

1. In one early scene, a character makes a huge deal about Fate and how Fate brought these two people together and how you can't ignore Fate,...and then Fate is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN, because the writers apparently couldn't come up with a better way to explain how two people meet at the beginning of a story.

2. B.A. Baracus isn't just a magical black man; he has a magical black van that materializes in the desert when the white guys need rescuing, and then is promptly destroyed for a cheap emotional beat as soon as they no longer need it.

3. In two separate scenes, fake dramatic tension is created by the characters' inexplicable refusal to simply move laterally out of harm's way. Nothing is preventing them from moving laterally except the movie's need for them to almost die so that we will have a reason in Hell to care about what happens to them.

4. Movies like these (dubbed "radtarded" by AS) often find me rooting for the villain because, due to poor plotting, he is usually the smartest person on screen. His victories come from considerable effort on his part and not from things magically occurring to his benefit. Heroes are much more likely to get undeservedly lucky because the movie needs them to succeed, but no one could be bothered to figure out why exactly they would.

5. This movie had eleven writers.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

stray thoughts on bad movies: Sex and the City 2

1. Opening lines of narration: "Once upon a time, there was an island, some Dutch, some Indians, and some beads." This is an unpromising, albeit accurate, preview of the movie's ear for global politics and race relations.

2. The Prestons' Great Recession Horror Story is to have moved from the palatial penthouse suite into a more modestly mansion-like apartment twelve floors down. The camera shots are designed to show us the thrifty narrowness of their fifty bajillion damask-draped rooms. Not for the last time, I find myself thinking this is sort of what Versailles looked like, before the pitchforks and beheadings. Of course, they still keep Carrie's old apartment, which essentially functions as her (second) giant walk-in closet. Like ya do.

3. This is a movie about Americans traveling in the Middle East, and not once does a single person utter the word "war." Apparently the “New Middle East” is actually an alternate dimension lacking in shoulder-mounted, surface-to-air, anti-aircraft missile launchers, IEDs, and armed conflict in general.

4. Speaking of explosives, every time we see shots of those four white cars driving in caravan through the desert, I hope that one of them will blow up and this will turn into an entirely different kind of movie. Maybe the kidnappers will send Big a ridiculous beplumed shoe or atrocious hat as proof of life.

5. Remind me when I’m married to occasionally cheat on my husband, so that he’ll buy me jewelry intended to serve as a kind of gaudy choke chain for reminding me that I’m married.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

on contempt for prose

A few of my favorite things:

(1) The Venn Diagram

(2) The Flowchart

(3) The Russia-is-fucking-cold-DUH*

*Apparently, no one showed this one to Hitler.**

**Not that I'm complaining!