Sunday, February 06, 2005

Dumb and Depressing

This is the weekend of crappy movies. Last night we rented the ultra-slow and thinly plotted The Village. Points for ambiance and acting, but the idiot of that village could have seen the twist at the end coming from a mile away.

Then tonight we saw White Noise at the theater, a movie I found disturbing, depressing, and confusing. I went online to read reviews, in the hope that somebody might explain the confusing stuff, and found, of all things, a Maoist review of the film. Unintentionally hilarious. It is so bizarre that it reads like an Onion parody.

Comments about each film... SPOILER WARNING: If you plan to see either of these movies, read no further.

The Village - The super-slow pace of the film tried my patience, but what really irritated me was the premise. Each of the village elders apparently opted into this simple, moralistic, back-to-the-good-old-days lifestyle because a loved one met a violent, tragic end in the real world. I am all for simple, moralistic, back-to-the-good-old-days lifestyles, but why does this necessarily have to have anything to do with the 19th century? Weren't people meeting violent, tragic ends back then, too? I guess it served as the setup for the twist at the end. Big whoop. How about a movie where people adopt simple, moralistic lifestyles in the modern world, don't check out from reality, but instead try to mitigate the horribleness in the rest of the world like, say, William Wilberforce did in his time?

White Noise - Unspeakably depressing. What was the point of the weird ending? It reduced the movie to a cheap thrill, and made the suffering of the characters pointless. And by the end I was still left with many questions. Who were those three ghost/demon characters? What was their motivation? Why didn't Jonathan see his own imminent death in his EVP recordings? How exactly did he die, anyway? Did one of those mean spirits throw him through the hole in the floor or did he just fall? What were all those crunching noises when Jonathan was battling the spirits -- his bones being crushed? How/why did the three spirits influence the creepy construction guy to kidnap and torture people? If they could touch people, then why didn't they just torture and kill people themselves instead of making someone else do it? Why did creepy guy have that big EVP recording set-up in the warehouse? How did the policeman know to show up at that warehouse with a SWAT team after just one brief and mysterious phone call from Jonathan asking him to come to pier-whatever? Why didn't Anna tell Jonathan that she had been murdered? Do Anna and Jonathan get together in the after-life? What about the theological implications? In what realm do the spirits live? Are all dead people there or is it just an intermediate place? What about God and heaven? Do all dead people try to communicate with the living via EVP? If not, why just those few who do? Are some/all accidental deaths and murders supposedly influenced by mean spirits, and most of us just don't realize it?

. If anyone has insights, please share.

Gah, now I remember why I usually stick to Star Trek and Doris Day movies.


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