Friday, July 22, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #10
Before I begin, there was a little confusion over this feature last time it aired here in the Bucket, so I think for the benefit of newer Bucketeers (and a little re-focus for myself), a little primer wouldn't hurt. From now on, the post title will be a link to the first-ever MIHNIoS post that explains all this nonsense in great, excruciating, bleeding-eyeball detail.
Just to be clear, though, just because I Have No Intention Of Seeing these films does not mean that I automatically assume they all suck. Some of them I'd quite like to see in the theater, actually, but can't because I have small children. Incidentally, my kids are also the reason I don't get nearly as much sleep, sex or disposable income as I'd like, but I haven't figured out how to turn those frustrations into gimmicky blogpost regular features yet.
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #10
starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Michael Clark Duncan and (because he is contractually obligated to be in every other film produced in Hollywood) Steve Buscemi.
directed by Michael "KA-FUCKING-BOOM!" Bay
It's very trendy these days to make fun of Michael Bay. For some reason, his brand of raw, kinetic, populist movie (as opposed to film) entertainment is looked down upon by a whole class of sniveling, effete, self-important, pompous windbags who hate everything that is liked by more than two people at a time.
I am one of those people.
I will say in my defense that I didn't arrive at this opinion based on what other people told me to think. I've actually seen several Michael Bay films (he actually hasn't made that many). I actually liked the first Bad Boys and The Rock was fun if you didn't think about it too hard.
But then I saw Armageddon and it struck me like a bolt out of the blue: wow... this movie is really, really awful. To this day I have not seen Pearl Harbor mostly because of the advertising posters. Pouty-faced Ben Affleck and pouty-faced Kate Beckinsale and strainy-faced Josh Hartnett... the whole thing just oozed forced earnestness that I knew would burn a hole right through my stomach.
Just so the magnitude of repellant-ness is fully appreciated, understand I refused to see a movie that has Kate Beckinsale in it.
The last nail in the coffin, though, was this past week when I saw Bad Boys II on HBO.
I just... I... the words don't... I mean it was so... It was bad. It was really, really terrible. It was crass, it was vulgar, it was (and this is the worst part) dead boring.
Plus, do girls ever get to do anything in Michael Bay movies? Gabrielle Union was supposedly a DEA agent in Bad Boys II but still ended up being the hot-hot, under-dressed damsel-in-distress. Every other Bay film: total sausagefest.
The thing about The Island now is that it's supposed to "mean something". In interviews he's given, I've noticed two things: 1) Michael Bay is a big baby with a Wang Chung haircut and 2) The Island is an important movie we all must see because it touches on all kinds of relevant social issues like cloning and... um... cloning. Plus there's some kick-ass space-motorcycle chases.
Right now, the main challenger to Michael Bay for the Hollywood Big N' Loud Craptastic crown is Roland Emmerich, the man responsible for Godzilla (the Matthew Broderick version) and Independence Day. His most recent film was also supposed to be "relevant", the ridiculous The Day After Tomorrow. You know, the one where Jake Gyllenhaal gets chased by killer CGI freezer-burn because, you know, the government killed the environment.
I started to freak out a little bit when I heard about The Island because I started thinking "holy shit, were all those Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich movies supposed to teach me something?" I spent many hours pondering the deeper meaning of Armageddon but all I could come away with was the fact that I don't really care for that Ben Affleck. So yeah, I guess it did teach me something.
And the message of Independence Day was so obvious: never, ever trust foreigners. Also: President of the USA + fighter planes = good. Mission accomplished, Mr. Emmerich.
The Island does have a couple of actors that I like immensely (Ewan McGregor, Sean Bean). The appeal of and acclaim for Scarlett Johansson, frankly, confuses me somewhat, but I've never seen Lost In Translation, so maybe I'm missing something. Her acting style always brings to mind a block of wood; firm, taut, young, supple, creamy wood.
But I've been told specifically by Mr. Bay that she keeps her clothes on, so that'll cost 'em one Hot Babysitter at least.
The reviews I've seen are decidedly mixed, which for Mr. Bay constitutes an absolute rave.
But another demerit for the hair.
And so the final tally:
One (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.
But I hear the explosions explode real good.