Saturday, June 28, 2008

major disappointment, that's all that was happening

I have heretofore really liked M. Night Shyamalan's films; I have previously enjoyed the acting of John Leguizamo, Zooey Deschanel, and of course my second husband Mark Wahlberg; I LOVE scary movies, especially when they are more suspenseful than gory; I consider myself a light green girl who believes in the effects of global warming etc. and does her best to leave a gentle footprint on the environment.

In other words - I AM THE PERFECT CANDIDATE FOR APPRECIATING THE HAPPENING. I'm shouting because I looked so forward to it and we had babysitting drama that finally worked out and we went to the expensive fancy theater in the Cobra and I not only didn't like the movie, I kind of really hated it. The more I thought about it, the more appalling I found the entire thing.

My issues (and I own them unashamedly; there is apparently an entire society of viewers who think people like me are complete idiots who missed the whole point but I think they're crazy. You decide; report back):
  1. The characters are quite unlikable, mainly because they might as well be cardboard cut-outs hauled around to different parts of the set. No one made me care. Not even my man (!!!) or the little girl. Who doesn't like adorable little girls? Everyone seemed to be going through a weird & tedious acting exercise (and failing miserably).
  2. The dialogue is ridiculous. Leguizamo's math teacher says something to the effect of "That's the great thing about being a math teacher, you can give people numbers and statistics that help them understand blah blah blah." Seriously? And characters ask questions that don't make sense like "What are you doing?" when it's either obvious what is being done, or the one doing it is clearly not going to say. I frequently felt the urge to backhand anyone who spoke in the movie.
  3. And speaking of speaking, it was like watching somebody's very first play. People in real life don't talk one at a time, in soliloquies, especially when there is some sort of emergency. People don't calmly utter every syllable of every word. Or enunciate precisely, when they shout.
  4. Beating watchers over the head with THE MESSAGE [Take care of the environment, you thoughtless assholes, before the environment takes care of YOU!] is not only the opposite of entertaining them, it's condescending and mean. I GET IT, and I AGREE, but now I hate you.
  5. Mark Wahlberg never took off his shirt. NEVER. And that, my friends, makes the least sense of all.
When my favorite part of a movie is the proper grammar (the main character asks the train conductor why they've stopped and he responds "We've lost contact" and Elliot says, "With whom?" YES!), I feel a tad cheated. Some movies are meant to be instructional, insightful, thoughtful, yeah yeah. I need to know that before I go though, to get in the proper mindset. Otherwise I'll get all snarky and bitchy when I don't see a bare chest.