Hated Movies

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Here’s the thing: I don’t know if this little “quirk” is endemic to geeks in general or if it’s just me. I hope that my friends and fellow geeks do the same thing, but this might be one of those times where I make a bizarre observational gag about something that everyone can relate to, only to find that it’s just my warped head and everyone looks at me like I’m just a tiny bit sick in the head.

There are films that I completely, utterly and eternally hate. Everyone has those films that they watch and despise and, I guess for most people, that’s where it ends.With me, however, I will re-watch the hated movie again just to remind myself of why I hate it so much. A few years later I’ll watch it again. Even though I know that it’s shit I will load up the DVD player, plug in a USB stick or watch it on the telly. If I see a film that I particularly hate in the schedules and it’s on late or I’m at work I’ll set it to record so I can vent my venom in my free time.

Sparking this particular post was Terminator Salvation, which was on a few days ago. Utterly, utterly, shit movie. Beyond bad. I’d struggle to find a single redeeming feature. It’s got a stupid fucking plot, bad acting, terrible writing, too many quotes from the originals, a CGI Ah-nolt, shit casting and bastard mother-fucking Terminator bikes! But the main problem I have? The thing that truly revolts me about this movie? How come, in a film called “Terminator“, no one dies? In the first couple of films people were getting blown to shit all over the place. Here the Terminators look like they’ve been given intense training by the Stormtroopers from the Star Wars movies – they can’t hit shit!

I summed it up in this Tweet:

quote

I lasted about 5 minutes after that Tweet before I had to turn it off. The only alternative was to put my foot through the telly. But I already knew that I hated the movie! I watched it knowing that I would end up ranting about it. Twitter and Facebook are great tools for the whole social networking thing, and created purely for bitching about things that annoy you.

 

 

There are others that I watch, knowing that I am going to get the same result. I’ve tried to watch the first Twilight movie at least three or four times. I get a little further each time and if things go as they have done I’ll have watched the entire movie by about 2023. The furthest I have gotten is to the ‘sparkly’ bit, which caused me to scream at the telly-box and spend the next week muttering “vampires do not sparkle!” How the ever loving fuck did this film spawn a best-selling series (other than the fact there wasn’t a Harry Potter movie out that year)?

This trailer is well worth watching, if you tend to skip this sort of thing.

 

 

When I think about it there are plenty of films that I watch which I hate: The Star Wars prequels; Transformers: Revenge of the FallenSuperman IV: The Quest for Peace; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; Catwoman. All of them (and more) are terrible movies and, if they’re on the telly I’ll sit my arse down and shout at the screen for a couple of hours.

So… why do I do it? Why do I voluntarily put myself through the agony that is Aliens Vs Predator? I could be watching Serenity or Memento. I could be re-watching Fringe or plowing my way through Breaking Bad. Instead I verbally abuse an empty room, curse George Lucas and wonder how Keanu Reeves continues to have a career.

 

 

The first Matrix movie was a lot of fun, but the sequels make as much sense as a fight between a Womble and a Vampire. The thing that makes me feel dirty is that, after watching the above trailer, I know that I am now going to watch the movie again. I own the DVD. It’s there, waiting for me. Even though I know the fight between Neo and 500 Agent Smith’s looks like something out of Shrek I will pour myself a glass of wine and slowly shake my head for the running time.

Do I do it because I want to learn how to NOT make a movie? Do I do it so that I can appreciate the good films out there? Is it a storytelling exercise where I am learning how structure, plot and theme can go wrong? I haven’t got a clue but I know that, after writing this little blog post, I’ve got a months worth of bad films to get through and no option but to watch them.

New Addition to the Family…

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The one thing that’s been missing from my life was finally fixed a couple of weeks ago. After 8 months of living on my own, it finally seemed like the right time to make that commitment again.

I bought an X Box.

It’s been on “The List” (shit I WANT for the house, but have to justify the expense since I don’t really NEED it) since I moved in here, but whenever I had any spare money it was always on the month with birthdays or Christmas so it always got pushed to the back. At the end of January I decided that enough was enough and took the plunge.

My son, Joseph, has his own X Box at House #1 and, although he frequently brought it with him, it was a bit annoying for everyone concerned (apart from me) to keep lugging it back and forth.

I am not a Gamer, really. “Geek” covers such a multitude that one person couldn’t possibly do everything under the banner. It’s like saying you play “all sport”. It’s just not gonna happen. I like some games, but I’m not hardcore. It’s a rare occasion when I will buy a new game for myself, preferring to head to the pre-owned section when the fancy takes me. This usually means I am way behind the curve on what’s cool. The kids love games, obviously, but for me the X Box is my portal to watching the movies and tv shows that I have on my hard drive without having to burn them to disc or watch them on the laptop. The USB is a wonderful thing.

After wandering around Oldham checking out the prices I ended up in GAME. Since I work in retail and know how vocal people can be when they get bad service I’d like to point out that the guys there are excellent. Friendly, not pushy and smiling. I explained what I wanted, the guy helped me out, didn’t rip me off and I had a decent chat as well. I might not spend much money on games, but you can guarantee that I’ll be heading back there when I want to pick something up. He even managed to talk me into filling out an online questionnaire when I got back home!

So I bought the X Box and Joseph brought up all (which amounts to about half a dozen) of my games. He was happy just to have something new to play with, even though it’s the same as the old thing that he played with. However… it quickly became apparent that my daughter, Grace, didn’t have a lot of choice in the games that I own. She likes the Arkham games (well, she likes the running about bits, not the fighting – she’s only 6 so she gets her big brother to do that stuff) but hasn’t shown much interest in Aliens Vs Predator or Dead Rising.

I ended up buying Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes for them both, because A) Lego is cool; B) Lego games are awesome to play and C) they bought me Lego Superman and Wonder Woman keyrings for Christmas so I thought it was a nice circular thing.

Grace: Happy as a Klingon with a tasty Rokeg Blood Pie and a nice pint of Chech’tluth.

Joseph: “Lego games are for kids”. This is despite the fact that he loves playing with Lego. And he’s only 11.

It took a grand total of about 10 minutes of Grace playing the game before Joseph started paying attention to what was happening on the telly. Grace loves playing computer games, but she’s not exactly brilliant at them, particularly if there’s any form of problem solving involved. You could see Joseph gradually start to twitch more and more as he watched her play (it really IS a good game) and he really can’t stand it when he thinks that he knows what to do and Grace keeps running about, not really doing much, and bursting into fits of giggles whenever the character bursts into pieces. On Lego Indiana Jones she once spent a good 15 minutes repeatedly throwing Indy off a cliff as if it was the funniest thing she’d ever seen.

Eventually the ‘advice’ started. “Do this…” or “go over there…” or “you need to pull the lever and the gate’ll open”. It was quite entertaining to watch. Grace can only take so much advice and, in the end, launched the controller at Joseph’s head with a “YOU DO IT THEN!”. It also became apparent that Joseph didn’t really know what he was talking about, but he was methodical about not knowing what he was doing. They basically both had the same result.

It reminded me of the time I bought them Soul Caliber – Grace used to whup Joseph’s arse time after time because she was just smacking the buttons however she wanted, while Joseph was trying to do proper combinations. Some of the special moves she came out with were amazing. “How’d you do that?”; “Dunno”, and she would win 90% of the time. Poor lad, being beaten by the sister half his age.

Two weeks down the line and Joseph has admitted defeat. He’s started the game on his profile and is adamant that he’s going to get past Grace as quickly as possible. They help each other out, of course, but Grace’s version of ‘helping’ frequently involves pushing Joseph off a building.

Man of Steel trailer

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Is it going to be good? Is it going to be shit? Am I going to walk out of the cinema as I did after Superman Returns really WANTING to like the film but just finding that I couldn’t? I’ll have to wait until June 2014 to find out but the trailer gives me enough to rant about.

Superman has been my favourite comic book character for as long as I can remember. This probably explains why I have my kids names in Kryptonian on my forearms. Christopher Reeve IS Superman for me. I loved the first three seasons of Lois & Clark. I think that the DC Animated versions of the character are great and I tried my best to get along with Smallville but in the end I have to admit that I didn’t really like it that much.

The one thing that strikes me about Superman is that he’s an icon – an ideal. I don’t mean in the real world; I’m talking about the world of DC Comics. Batman is not an icon – he’s a guy that hides in the shadows dishing out justice. He wears a mask and the outfit to hide from the world. Superman is the opposite of this (it’s why the two characters work so well together when they team up). He doesn’t hide from the people, nor wear a mask. His costume is made up of bright, primary colours so that he can be seen instantly – it makes him a target for his enemies and draws the attention away from innocent civilians. People tend to ask why no one spots that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person. If you wear a mask they think that you’re hiding your identity. With Superman the assumption would be that he would be “on the job” 24 hours a day.

The Christopher Nolan Batman movies have a lot to answer for in this trailer. Batman is a sombre, depressed character. Superman is not. After watching the trailer countless times it’s about the only thing that continues to niggle at me. The costume is too dark – the same complaint I had with Superman Returns. I can live with the new detail on the costume – in this world of Hi-Def, 3D Imax screens plain blue and red just ain’t gonna cut it. But why does it have to be such a dark blue?

To be honest he just looks… so… depressed. I understand this is a modern take on the character, which is what’s needed, but why does ‘modern’ mean dark and moody? The new interpretation of Pa Kent looks interesting, the special effects look awesome and I am oh so glad that there doesn’t appear to be a sign of Lex Luthor.

Quite why they’re doing ANOTHER origin story is a bit beyond me, but it’s worked for Nolan in the past. I have my reservations on what tone the film’s going to have but, like the first “depressed emo” trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man I have high hopes that the actual film will be completely different to this.

However: Where the fuck is Mild Mannered Reporter Clark Kent in this trailer?

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