WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Two (Plus One) Movies I Couldn’t Finish

Too boringThe subject of this review, as you may have guessed, started out as a pair of movies that I’ll probably never see the conclusion to. But then luckily, or unluckily, I happened to almost watch another one before I could sit down to put this together.

I know some people who have to finish a book once they get started. Even if the writing is bad, even if there are enough typos to give your English teacher a coronary, they keep reading. It’s their duty. I don’t have that problem. Books have been given away after the first chapter, and in the case of the movies below, turned off after the first 30 minutes – or less.

It’s hard to keep watching certain movies long enough to have anything to review. It’s usually not about the plot, as I’ll explain later. Poor dialogue sinks a movie faster than an elephant jogging along quicksand.

At times I’m torn between saying something bad about a movie and following Thumper’s advice in Bambi and saying “nothing at all”.

I aim to write a review per week, and when I’m in full movie mode watching a month’s worth is easier than saying my 2x tables. But along the way I bounce into a few that would test even a scientist’s multiplication skills.

I appreciate that it costs a lot to make a box office movie. Any box office movie. With that in mind, I’m sometimes left wondering who gave the go-ahead for some of these films to get made.The Lightning Thief

I’ll start with the youngest cast first. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Sigh. I’m probably even more severely disappointed that I couldn’t watch this because I’m fascinated by Greek mythology and will watch or read just about any story it’s featured in.

(Heavier sigh.) I tried. Even after I started getting dirty looks from my husband every five minutes when something corny happened, I didn’t get up to turn it off. I wanted to see the special effects in a big fight scene, or something from the previews… anything fabulous. It started feeling like a country cousin to Harry Potter long before I got to any of that, so I quit, much to hubby's relief.

After that, it took me a while to watch John Travolta’s latest action flick, From Paris with Love. A friend who saw it said it was “just OK, not great,” and I was actually considering whether to save it for the big screen, based on the action-packed previews.

The Repo MenThat didn’t happen soon enough, so I sat down at home one evening and decided the time had come. Ouch! For starters, there’s a major case of poor chemistry between Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Travolta, who’s unconvincing as an over-the-top agent out to find the source of the cocaine that killed the secretary of state’s niece. That storyline should have been warning enough.

Travolta’s usual wit was lost on horrible dialogue that was so unnatural it felt like just watching someone acting. After a few too many shoot-‘em-up scenes, a corny love connection, and Travolta dodging his one millionth round of bullets, all in 36 minutes, I wasn’t sure whether this was intended to be a comedy or an action flick. I gave up on guessing.

After watching, and thoroughly enjoying Daybreakers (see past review), I’m a little more open minded to non-realistic storylines. With good acting and great dialogue, you never know.

Take this one: It’s the future, and someone has solved the problem of humans having to wait in line for replacement organs. A company is manufacturing parts, and of course charging appropriately for such lifesaving technology.

It’s a legitimate “what if”. Plausible. So The Repo Men got made, attracting a cast including Jude Law, Forrest Whittaker, and Liev Shcreiber, who’s among my favourite actors.

(Another sigh.) I tried. But Law and Whittaker bringing comedy to DIY autopsies just didn’t work. The people who made this movie took a legitimate premise that could have been really interesting, and mixed it up with two shakes of bad action comedy.

Since I was riding my exercise bike, with nothing else lined up to watch, it took me longer than it should have to turn this one off. But 30 minutes later, it was gone.


The Green Zone saved the day for me this week. Although sighing may be a good workout for my lungs, I'm hoping the good movie spell lasts.

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3 Comments In This Article   

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So very true

#3 KeepingItReal » 2010-04-22 01:48

Your comments about Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was spot on. The previews for these movies are better than the movie itself huh? I think some of these reality shows are doing much better than the movies and thats why all of a sudden a greater interest/emphasis is being placed on these so-called reality shows.

I also think that the creators of movies these days depend way too much on computer graphics to the extent that not much talent is needed by the actors themselves...jmo!
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#2 buss » 2010-04-13 06:57

go see Clash of the Titans!! thought is was okay - some people say it was worth the proverbial SIGH!!!
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#1 Not Kosher » 2010-04-04 14:44

I cant believe you didnt like From Paris with Love? It was entertaining, I agree the dialogue was a bit shaky, but I like over the top action scene. But then what would you expect from a Asian cinema and anime fan.
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