silly motherfuckers, suicide orcs, Tom Berenger and white phosphorus, oh my

yours truly is writing this a tad early on the grounds that i’m about to get up in order to drive to Minnesota and hang out on an Indian reservation in order to fulfill the terms of my “vacation,” and it occurs to me that during the course of this trip, Internet access may prove to be a daunting task, as i think Minnesota is essential frozen tundra, like on the cover of Fargo. i will also attempt to take photos of awesome Finnish (or Finnish-American) guys and other Minnesota wildlife. anyway, as i haven’t left yet, maybe we should nitpick over some films. some things that really irritate me in films (today, anyway)?

Belly/LOTR
probably i should have found some pictures where Nas is wearing glasses and Tolkien siege fun seemed less effective.

the lack of Africa in the movie Belly
in fairness, it might seem like nitpicking to fuss over this minor, minor issue when a) we’re talking about the movie Belly, which is not exactly a cinematic powerhouse to begin with, and b) we’re talking about the movie Belly. i object to Nas’ stupid glasses, which look retarded and which i am convinced were an attempt to make him look smart; i object Nas’ character in general (at the risk of piling on Nas here) because he’s apparently a criminal who doesn’t commit crimes or have any job, really; i even object to the name of the film. however, what really bothers me here is that Nas won’t shut the fuck up about going to Africa (i think it comes up 13 times in this film), apparently GOES to Africa at the end of the film … and then there’s no shot of Africa. what the hell, man. how fucking expensive could it have possibly been to end the film with just ONE shot of Africa? in retrospect, this movie should have really just been two hours of following around Method Man’s character being ridiculous/awesome. “knowledge born, what the science?” indeed.

unrealistic combat concepts in the LOTR series/Matrix Revolutions
now, i understand that i am trying to relate “realistic combat concepts” to a movie series featuring a cave troll and a shitload of elves, as well as a movie series where Keanu Reeves is the savior of humanity, so i don’t mind your incredulous expressions and general suspicions of my being under the influence of some form of narcotics. however, i think part of what makes fantasy/sci-fi work is having realistic elements we can understand in order to make the fantasy/sci-fi work. here are the key examples i can hit you with: people typically bring siege weapons to sieges, and robot suits where the operators are completely exposed to damage at all times in battles filled with metallic fragmentation don’t make sense. that’s all; you can go back to loving the hell out of dwarven shenanigans now.

Training Day/We Were Soldiers
Ethan Hawke and Mel Gibson are clearly inferior to Denzel Washington and Sam Elliott in this respective films. how the hell would you know what kind of day it is?

Ethan Hawke’s ridiculous ability to take a beating in Training Day
i understand that Ethan Hawke is basically the “hero” here; i understand that this is halfway to an action film; that’s all well and good. it’s not really the “sum total of abuse he takes over the film” that bothers me, anyway, but the fact that he can be beaten with metal furniture AND leap off a balcony onto a car AND be in good shape at the end of the film that does, because Training Day is largely a crazy-ass film (“King Kong ain’t got shit on me!”) grounded in some degree of reality, and as great as Ethan Hawke is, he’s not magical. or, possibly, he’s magical in real life (though if i had spells on my side, i would probably not have appeared in Gattica, among other films), but he clearly wasn’t supposed to be magical in the movie. i think.

slo-mo montages in We Were Soldiers
…or actually, this could be called “slow-motion montages in ANY movie,” because i cannot think of a single time that works well. but this is a pretty egregious example, because otherwise i would totally go to bat for this film all day long. i generally enjoy it, and the combat stuff is done well here. without the montages, the worst i’d have to do is defend the bayonet-charge ending, which i generally do by attributing it to the fact that Mel Gibson’s job seems to be to charge around and spear stuff; if you had no problem with the flag-versus-horse combat of the Patriot, you can’t mind the We Were Soldiers ending. but these montages are TERRIBLE. the telegram one is bad enough, because the whole ‘home front’ concept seems totally tacked onto this film, but the ‘photography’ one during the battle? looks stupid, accomplishes nothing, ruins the flow of the film, makes me angry all day long. get that shit out of here!

conclusion: these things are all way, way more upsetting to me than they should be. but so it goes.

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