Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sitting in the dark of the theater

I've come to sort of cherish the cynical things that youngish men say, alongside their friends, as a running commentary to the commercials and previews at the movie theater. During the previews before the late Indiana Jones movie, there was one for a Canadian film by Paul Gross, the title of which I cannot remember except to say it looked French, and could not be immediately pronounced, leading me to suspect the movie will flounder with regards to box office, and the usual voice-over for the preview said, "It was a time of love"...shots of two lovers on scenic cliff with flowers, richly saturated with colour, then the voice said, "It was a time of war"...shots of, well, war; and immediately one man a few seats to my left said loudly and rudely, "It was a time of shitty and boring movies!"

With respect to the subject matter of the film being previewed, which is apparently about Canadian soldiers who gave their lives during the war, and which I may take the time to see, the comment rung true. The same cynicism was exhibited towards the next preview for some Angelina Jole movie with all latest newest oldest special effects and sex: I believe the words were, "What a waste of time".

The same cynicism was also shown at the ending of the movie we were all there to see: Indiana Jones and Crystal Skull Something or Other. I don't know where all this talk comes from of late, how the Indiana Jones movie is not supposed to be "serious", or it's supposed to be a "popcorn flick", so like, don't be so critical dude. Because the thing is, the whole Indiana Jones franchise got started from the fact that Raiders of the Lost Ark was a great whopping deal more than a popcorn flick. No, it did not "take itself seriously", indeed, Spielberg intentionally set out to a make an entertaining B movie. But somewhere between having one heck of a meaty good story and the actual shoot, the movie turned out to not only transcend its genre, but to set the stage for all action flicks to follow. And it also happened to envelope its viewers, who were, at various points in the movie, forgetful to eat their popcorn.

People want real story. The latest Indiana Jones has no real story. Yeah, there are some sequences in which I did get lost, and gleefully so, but by the end...nope, nada: an emptiness which is the accompaniment of having the faculty for receiving story open, and not being fed. You won't be able to enjoy even a "popcorn flick" if the story hasn't been seen to.

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