Review of Movie Previews- and How disappointed I was in Ironman and etc.
.... so, I have gotten to the point where I made a momentous decision. I am no longer going to trust movie trailers. You know, the nifty previews that come on sandwiched between Burger King commercials and J.G. Wentworth's, "It's MY money and I want it NOW" lawyer ads... the little preview of excitement and adventure (or drama and heartache) that leads you to think you have an idea of what the movie is about, and if it's done the job it set out to do, will then lead you to say, "Hey, I want to see that!"
I realize that to other, so called "normal" people, this might not seem momentous. They however, don't understand the trusting innocence that I used to possess. They have no idea of the sweet, expectant naivety which has been shattered forever within my soul. They cannot know the pain I feel, the deep sense of betrayal, and the extreme reluctance with which I turn from the world of movie previews. It aches, I tell you. It aches.
Back in the olden days, when I was a kid, yadda yadda, I could trust a movie preview. If it looked like a love story, and had some pretty actress everyone knew in it, it would be one, and the only twist would be whether or not the young lady in question would die before the wedding, tragically, or in childbirth afterward, even more tragically. If it showed Clint Eastwood squinting through smoke, then by god, you knew it would be a tough-ass movie, and there wouldn't be any crying, or feelings (except for those deeply buried with his wife, and released only in the guise of rage, when he finally takes that first fateful drink of whiskey and gets out his guns). Now, though, you can only guess at the movie when you see the previews, and that old saying, "They show all the good parts in the preview", is alarmingly proving to be true more often than not. I tell you, it makes me feel old and nostalgic.
I recently turned thirty five and I have to say, I'm feeling old...er. Note that I did not say "old". I said oldER. I have a suspicion that I'm not ever going to feel "old", not under the definition as I understand it, with the cats and dusty old house and toaster-cozy-knitting. I really thing I'm going to be one of those ninety-three year old women who rides a bicycle. With playing cards stuck in the spokes to make that snap-snap-snap sound. And a basket on the front, into which I will lovingly carry my 32nd pappillion (because I will never be without one of these dogs, ever.) And a wheezy, bulby-looking horn that I will squeeze at kids who run in front of me. Oh, and incidentally, I plan to cheerfully carry around a shovel on my shoulder, everywhere I go, and I will be too old to ask me what the shovel's for, but everyone will wonder. I'm not sure why it is that when people reach a certain age that it becomes rude to ask them questions, but through careful observation, I have discovered this to be quite true. I will be either the Shovel Lady or the Bike Bitch, depending on who is doing the talking, and those who call me Shovel Lady will love me and those who call me Bike Bitch will long for the day I am finally planted.
...oops, got off track there. So. I am good at imagining the future.
What I am apparently not as good at is imagining the movie I am going to see, based on the preview. And the point I was heading toward is that I am getting pickier and more critical as I get older. I am more loathe to waste two hours of my life than ever. (I will keep you updated on any other sure signs of aging as I notice and document them. And provided they are not too gross, like wrinkled nipples or something.)
Ironman- What I expected from the preview: Guy gets caught by weasley little terrorist bastards, and is going to be forced to build them a nuclear bomb that they plan to blow up the president with, but since he is a genius weapons builder, he instead builds IRONMAN, a terrorist butt-kicking metal dude. He then , I dunno, saves the United States or the whole gol durn world, with his fabulous metal brand of heroism.
What I got- the first half of the movie was everything I'd hoped for. But then, as if halfway through filming, the folks making the movie realized that they were straying too far from the tried and true, instead of ironman hunting down terrorists among the sand dunes, they veered abruptly into F.T.- Familiar Territory.
Ironman's creator dude has an old family friend, who he trusts with his life, who has been like a father to him. Of course, in F.T. the father figure must secretly be evil and behind a plot to destroy our hero. Not only does this turn out to be the case, but the old guy makes a Bigger, BETTER Ironman, and our hero, weakened (of course), must now battle the former father-figure, both of them in their ironman suits. Sigh. All too familiar.
The most baffling and supremely annoying part of this F.T. swerve of the plot is that the old guy, once in the suit, starts roaring. I'm not kidding. Yes, he laughs evilly as he starts to kick Hero-guy's butt, and this is indeed familiar F.T., throwing out taunts that are designed to crunch hero's widdle heart.
Such as... "Hahahaha... you thought I cared about you? YOU? You fooooool! All I cared about was getting your money!"
And the ever popular, "I almost succeeded, if it weren't for your damned meddling!"
And of course, "MWAH HAHAHAHA!"
Yes, all expected. What wasn't, and wasn't even fricking explainable, was that he started roaring. We the audience assume that he is using sophisticated controls within the gigantic, two ton Ironman suit to control the creature. We assume he doesn't have to either lift heavy parts himself, causing him to roar in exertion, and we also assume he doesn't have to become part werewolf to operate the thing.
So why was he roaring (yes, the verb, making an animal-like sound) while they fought?
Clang! Bash! Clunk!
"You little bastard! you never appreciated what you had!"
Boom! Smash! Clang!
"I'll teach you to obey your elders- gggrrrrraaaarrrr!"
..... and so on, and so forth.
This is a man who is comfortable wearing a nicely tailored three-piece suit while holding press conferences because he's CEO of a huge weapons/defense company corporation.
So why, when they battled, did he roar? That was just too much Familiarity for me.
I am, however, a loyal fan of Robert Downey Jr. and count him among my Top Five Actors. So if my movie ticket in any way benefited the furthering of his magnificent (I hope) future career, it was worth it.
For a GOOD R.D. Jr. movie, see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Don't even get me started on the previews and how little they had to do with the actual plot of the movies in cases such as Hancock (Again, good for the beginning and then spiraling into a disgusting and totally incomprehensible love story plotline), or The Happening (what was happening was total retardedness and some over the top environmentalist's wet dream).
I did enjoy Wanted. Not like to buy it, or ever watch it again, but it was just fine. I expected nothing other than fast-paced action and lots of shooting. I got it, in spades. Plus Angeline Jolie is just so fun to look at. The main character was about as smart as a toenail, and I was wanting to hit him over the head with the obviousness of what he was doing wrong, but that's ok. I didn't expect a great story, just a lotta stuff going on.
Next on the list- Get Smart. A movie I have waited for since the holidays, and that I am dearly, prayfully hoping will be funny and good. I don't quite trust Steve Carell after Evan Almighty (Hi-yuk... derk derk derk) and Dan In Real Life (Loser loser loser stupid pathetic self-pitying jerk. I actually walked OUT of this one, so I don't know if he ended up stealing his brother's girlfriend, who he supposedly fell in love with after talking to her for a mere hour in a book shop, or not... UGH, what a slimy crawly unloyal ass of a sibling... but hey, maybe that's how "Real Life" works and I'm just out of it.)
And yet, his scene in Bruce Almighty will go on for years reaping forgiveness from me for movies I don't like. Heeeheeee peee peee my pants. One of my favorite EVER scenes.
Here's crossing the fingers that this one, while perhaps not inducing urination, will give me a chuckle or two.
Be careful out there.