Thursday, August 10, 2006

Movie Reviews

The Descent

We saw the movie "The Descent" the weekend it opened. It's what "scary" movies should be. The story about six Scottish women going down into a cave is enough to carry the movie. My wife became claustrophobic as images of women squeezing through tight crevices were flashed on the giant screen. But then throw in some blood-thirsty cave monsters and it gets even better. The movie was about one minute into the "action" and my wife turned to me and said, "I'm going to throw up."

This movie isn't about the prom king and queen being hacked to pieces at inspiration point by a maniac. It is well-thought-out with a minimum of cheesiness. When the film ended, leaving the theater was like stepping off a roller coaster. Nobody had the slightest inclination to say, "That was dumb." So it won't change your life but if you like GOOD scary movies then go see it. See it in the cold dark theater rather than cozied up in your living room. It's worth it.

The Door in the Floor

I borrowed this movie from the library. It's strange and I can't say that I recommend it. On the surface it appears to be about a woman who becomes an empty shell after her sons die in a car crash. Her husband loses interest in her and pursues other women. Then she spends a summer getting it on with an 18 yr old boy. Then she leaves.

The movie is about a writer who brings a budding writer under his wing, but nothing about this movie pertains to writing. The characters are not likable, there doesn't seem to be much of a point. If you pay close attention, it seems to be a man-bashing movie of sorts. "Random" events all point to the fact that men are jerks and that women are disrespected, degraded and treated poorly in life:

A six year old girl telling her father that his penis looks funny.
An unfunny joke about a ship captain who has to tell a sailor that his mother has died.
Listening to hip hop songs with some lady singing about hos and "lick my back, lick my crack."
A buck naked Mimi Rogers? One of the prettiest OLDER women in Hollywood poses nude for sketches in the film, but just because Tom Cruise used to be on that like stains on your undies doesn't necessarily make it a good career move for her. I think that scene can best be described as "couragous." She is sketched as a heavily-lined face with a prominent graphic vagina.

"The Door in the Floor" is a kids' book written by the main character about a baby in the womb who can't decide if he wants to enter the evil world through the door in the floor. Because he is destined to become a jerk, I guess. I watched the movie at 3 am and the symbols and metaphors of the movie were not clear to me. When it was over, I felt like I had all of the pieces but still had no idea what picture the puzzle meant me to see. See it if you want.

Charly

I saw this Mormon movie on late night television. Go K-Jazz! I missed the beginning. Do you know what? The movie was sort of cute. Kind of like Narnia, except, in this case Narnia is a land where guys drive trucks and spend their days at gun/hunting/boat shows and women spend their time scrapbooking and everyone lives in a cookie-cutter house with a white vinyl fence.

I'm sure Mormons like the movie. It portrays the world as being confined to Mormon rules. Life is simple. Do as is taught in the Book of Mormon and everything will be good. That is the cute part. It would be nice if the world WAS that simple.

The basis of the movie, however, is unrealistic and full of those goofy things Mormons often think and do. For some reason, some outgoing, skinny blond lady comes to Utah from New York and spends every moment she can with some boring, dorky mormon dude. Of course, he hates it. He hates having this stereo-typically hot blond following him everywhere he goes, being spontaneous and fun. He comes right out and tells her she's ruining his life and that she is one of the most annoying people to ever live.

But along the way, she picks up the Book of Mormon and it instantly brainwas... I mean transforms her. While they are sitting in a boat fishing, she hesitantly admits that against her better judgment she has found the Book of Mormon to be indisputably flawless and a document of "truth" in it's purest form. She doesn't want to tell him because that means that he is right and that he has all the answers and that he is a golden god, or he will be someday, as he seems to be bound for God's highest kingdom of heaven. The moment she tells him she is going to be baptised, she is transformed in his mind from the-most-annoying-woman-in-the-world to instant-soulmate.

That was when I laughed outloud. When she said she read the BOM and it was just SO true that she had no choice but to obey what it told her to do. She had no questions, it was just perfect. If it was me, that is when I would toss her in the "crazy" bin. No questions, huh? Nothing like:

So the JEWS sailed to America and procreated to produce all of the Incas and Aztecs and Mayans and Indians? Why do history books all say they came from Asia? If America unpopulated until 600 B.C. than why do we find bodies in America that over 10,000 years old? What is with all of the horses and swords and chariots in America before the Europeans arrived? Why don't any of these enormous battlegrounds that exist in the book ever surface in real life? Polygamy was never denounced by God, Mormons just stopped doing it because they didn't want to be disbanded by the United States government?

Believe anything you want, but ASK QUESTIONS people.

Anyhow, she had no questions and she stopped wearing tanktops and she stopped drinking coffee and her character was suddenly quiet and humble. And boring. She marries the dud, er, dude. It is funny how these movies seem to depict Mormons as the-same-as-everyone-else except they don't drink coffee. I think the film makers should embrace what makes Mormons different and emphasize that. But no.

The guy gets jealous about the girls shady past and the mother gives her son a talk: So long as she is playing by Mormon rules, she is perfect and all is forgiven. If she were to suddenly be un-Mormon again, then she would just cease to be worth noticing in the world.

After they get married and have a baby, she dies of cancer. The dude is mad because he followed all of the rules and he feels like he is being punished. He forgot the tagline that God wrote for the movie: Real Love Stories Have No Ending. Ahhhhhhh. Okay then.

This, I assume, is a reference to being together forever in heaven. Earlier in the movie, he tells her of his generic Mormon belief that families stay together forever in heaven and that is the greatest priority in life. Of course that pat line gets her all hot and bothered. She tells him he is a romantic. He's happy cause Mormon responses have been drilled into his head his whole life, "All things happen for a reason," "tampons and shorts come from Satan's pantry," and "we'll worry about inconsistencies later."

It also seems that many Mormons argue that they are one of the only churches that believes in families being together forever. It's a very big selling point to them. It's not true. In fact, Mormons are one of the only religions I have ever seen to depict a heaven where families ARE NOT together. Mormon heaven has three levels and you have to plan accordingly which level you will go to, depending on which level your favorite friends and family members will be going to.

Ask anyone from anywhere what heaven is like and pretty much the only thing they can agree on is that heaven is where you will be reunited with those who have already past.

It's crap but cute crap.

3 comments:

Native Minnow said...

That does sound typical mormon.

You're not mormon so you're evil, or at the very least not worth my time, oh wait, you're getting baptized, wow, you're the greatest person in the whole world, let's get married.

You forgot to mention that there's no DNA evidence that the people of the Americas came from anywhere other than Asia.

PsychoIntern said...

My wife met the lady who produced the movie Charlie, and she is in some of the scenes...she is a super-skinny, shriveled looking lady who probably thinks she is hot. Anyhow, she was over at our house the other day filling out a police report. She seemed nice enough. I guess she was also involved with the best two years and has a book that will be coming out on the original 12 apostles. She winked at me when she walked into our kitchen. Does that make me cool?

Native Minnow said...

I saw the descent the other night. What an intense movie.



***SPOILER ALERT***
(sort of)



But I've decided that being an evolutionary biologist ruins these kinds of things for me. I'm specifically referring to the line where one of the girls says that the cave monsters are blind and that it's like they're perfectly adapted for living underground, then in the next sentence says that they go up the the surface to hunt.

Um, excuse me, but how would being sightless help them to hunt at the surface? It seems to me that sometimes Hollywood types need to do a little bit more research.