No, this isn't the long-winded follow-up to my post about Charmin Basic. Sorry to disappoint!
Today I want to spend a brief two thousand words reflecting upon a movie I saw this weekend. A little $45 million moving picture called "Super 8". I don't have a TV as you know, so I am highly capable of avoiding any/all trailers; but I have to assume between JJ Abrams and Steven Speilberg, this film has been more than jammed down your throats by now.
I'm guessing I won't be able to express my disappointment without a slight spoiler or two, so if you're planning to see this and want to be of a pure mind going into it, please just go about your rumpusing without reading further.
Difficult to choose which element of this film was most painful of the overall experience. For starters, I take huge issues with the script, written by JJ Abrams. This film proves that once you've reached a certain status in Hollywood, you can pretty much produce every script idea that you half-assedly conceptualize while hungover on the crapper.
Super 8 features two character plots involving strained relationships between child and father. The first is between the main boy character and his police deputy dad, who apparently hasn't displayed emotion, let alone given his son a hug since before mom died in a car accident. The other is between the main girl character and her alcoholic, short-tempered, overbearing deadbeat dad. Both father-figures are pretty unlikable from the start.
Now I don't mind some depth established in my characters, but at least have the dialogue to back up the heavy emotions that would accompany a lifetime of worthless fathering. Instead, when the son confronts his deputy dad, he says, "Just because mom died, doesn't mean you know me." The fuck is that? Again in this scene, the dad chooses to walk away from his son, sans hug 'course.
However, all it takes is an alien monster on the loose and the children's lives directly threatened, for both dads to find ways to sober up and act concerned for the last thirty minutes of the movie. And at the "climax" of the film, when the alien monster is very abruptly taking his ball and going home, deputy dad shows up and gives his son a monster hug, and with conviction says, "I got you. I got you."
Really? Really, dad? You didn't "get" him for the past 12 years, but let's forget about that because you've had a bad day, almost let your son get killed, and probably need a hug more than the boy. Arrrgh. If I were the son, I'd probably knee dad in the nutsack at that point. Especially considering the boy just risked his life confronting the monster face-to-face, and saved the girl's life and the entire town in the process...without even the slightest of help or guidance from dear old dad.
Same with drunk dad and his daughter. There's a guy who should have been carefully disemboweled by the monster. But no, he stays alive and everyone forgives everyone because JJ Abrams couldn't have spent more than 19 minutes writing the entire ending of this film, and wrapping it up in a neat little box with a lazy ribbon on top.
The ending! MERCY. Talk about a cheap and easy way out. After spending the whole film establishing that the government-created monster has no ability to sympathize with humans because of the abusive treatment it received at Area 51, how do you suppose the monster is quelled from his killing ways? With a face-to-face pep talk from a 12 year-old boy who the monster initially wants to eat. Duhhhh.
The boy gently, lovingly tells him, "You can go." The monster looks him in the eyes, and basically indicates with his alien eyes, "derrrr OK if you say so!" before dropping him on the ground and quickly throwing together a sort of fantastical spaceship to transport himself...somewhere else. Blarrrrrgh!
Alright. I'll stop there. If only I had a notepad with me in the theater, I would have written down all the memorable shitty lines and transcribed them here. There were a-many. Alas, I was ill-prepared. Have to say, I don't often seek out blockbusters like this, and Super 8 reminded me why. Next time, I'm definitely bringing a notepad.
What is the big-budget/big-name blockbuster that has pissed you off the most?