Friday, May 19, 2006

Movies I Refuse To Watch

It's big, it's got buzz, everyone is seeing it and talking about it ... and that just makes me dig in my heels. I'm not going. Nope. Won't even rent it when it comes out. So there.

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial was the first such movie; The Passion of the Christ the most recent. Now we have The DaVinci Code. Oh, I was wavering for a bit. Several people at church have pressed me on the issue, saying I really should read the book (it's a United Church, and our chief concern is the comfort-level of our handbaskets). I've read enough of Dan Brown's prose to know I'd be frothing at the mouth by page 90 (reading bad prose to my kids is trial enough -- "'Oh, could we, Mother? Please?' asked Sophia excitedly." Argh). I figured I'd have an easier time digesting 90 minutes of Ron Howard's ham-fisted directing than I would the two or three hours of speed-reading Brown. But, wait: the movie is two and a half hours long! And it's crap.

Meh. I'd rather play Free-Cell.

14 comments:

Cowtown Pattie said...

Now waaiiit a minute, you say you wanna shout? Kick your heels up and shout?

I have been really excited about seeing the movie. I loved the book. Now, true, it might not be "the gospel according to John", but for me it was a fun book, and I ate it up - just like my Agatha Christies and my Arthur Conan Doyles.

Besides, I never thought ol' Dan was trying to invent a new religion, although I will admit the theory that the real Jesus was more human than the King James allows makes sense to me.

But, then again, I'm agnostic, and I revel in anyone who shakes the status quo. Just call me "Rebel Pattie"

*grin*

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm just breathing a huge sigh of relief that this has gotten horrendous reviews .. Hopefully it will fade away very quickly

Whisky Prajer said...

CP - I haven't seen The Gospel of John either (wink wink). I don't think I'm "protesting" (if staying home and watching Deadwood Season 1 constitutes a "protest") the movie on religious grounds - I just dislike being herded into the movie theatre to witness the current Big Thing. It almost always disappoints. A half-dozen titles that were hyped into a big let-down spring immediately to mind: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dick Tracy, Superman, Batman -- hmm, lots of comic book titles. With a little urging I could throw in Sin City, too. My guess is the last movie worth its hype was probably Rosemary's Baby, but that's just a flip of my lip.

rf - I read and enjoyed your "lapsed but clinging Catholic" bit. Nice!

DarkoV said...

I'm with you, WP. Haven't/won't see any of films you listed. Throw in Titanic and any/all non-Pixar illustrated movies as well. And Tom Hanks?!? What's up with that swept back long do? Next thing we'll be seeing is the Prince Valiant do, or, heaven forbid, the return of the mullet. That was a Canadian export, wasn't it?

F.C. Bearded said...

Somebody at Slate quoted Mark Twain, I think, in saying the DVC was one of those books that "once you put it down, you can't pick it up".

Since the book was so much like "24", I'd have thought Kiefer Sutherland more fitting to the lead role?

I don't really want to see the movie, but I don't really have a choice in the matter. She's "counted to three", as was said in a different, far superior movie.

I did, incidentally, read - or part read - two more of his novels. Angels & Demons was the exact same book, but set in the Vatican.

There was another one about digital encryption and NSA and stuff like that, but even my eighth-grade skills recognized that his math was total bollocks.

Whisky Prajer said...

DV - I thought Hanks' "new" do looked anything but. In fact, does he not look more like the pre-"braincloud" Joe we see in Joe Versus The Volcano? Now there's an underhyped movie I could sit through again!

Fcb - when it comes to pot-boilers and conspiracy theories, I have to give props to Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. Even after the translation, I could find no misplaced adverbs, and when I was finished the conspiracy was so tightly woven it left me feeling claustrophobic and paranoid. Not that it would make a good movie. And there are plenty of people who would argue it didn't make a good book, either.

Whisky Prajer said...

I must also add: I am just soooooo grateful I didn't turn up on any of Darko's links!

Trent Reimer said...

Even though I am clearly not in the same artistic league as the rest of you I can attest to feeling the same fear from time to time. But I wonder...

what then is the reason ye literaries (and I, your humble admirer) balk at the popular? Is it a need to be independant? A need to remain above the ignorant masses, that they may be viewed with an appropriate level of disdain? Has experience taught us that what is popular is obviously below the appeasement of thy lofty acumen? Or were we such social rejects that we can't identify with popularity as adults? :)

Whisky Prajer said...

I think the most generous take is we're just trying to avoid disappointment (less generous: "and a waste of time").

Cowtown Pattie said...

I'm in an artistic league?

Nah, I'd never join a club that would have me as a member...

Whisky Prajer said...

Yes, if you're going to include me in any league, it's probably best if you use Sex Pistol Steve Jones' affectionate sobriquet: "Arty farty f***er!"

Anonymous said...

I didn't balk [nor even sniff] at reading DVC at all- and really, once I began reading, it took me like forty chapters to put the damned thing down. So I refute the "literary snob" accusations categorically!

But by the time I did put it down, I'd just been browbeaten by the chapter format - every one being, as I said, an episode of "24": something bad happens, some trap is sprung, hero makes desperate escape only to land in some new place. Where, New Chapter, something bad happens, trap is sprung, hero makes desperate blah-di-blah.

If you want a snot-nosed literary equivalent to DVC that is fawned over by all the mommy's-boy pantywaists, try reading "Quincunx". Except, rather than the hero escaping every chapter, something worse always seems to happen to the heroine. And since it has like seven hundred and fifty chapters, she's a total wreck at the end of it and, really, you feel she deserves everything that happened and more.

Foucalt's Pendulum, on the other hand, is a masterwork.

Scott said...

Trent's question had me scratching my head because, as a longtime comic book dork, my pop-culture enjoyments have always been silly, nerdy and off-to-one-side.

These days, however, I'll be one of millions happily lining up for "X-Men 3", a huge chunk of North America is hooked on the hyper-nerdy "Lost" and the British Television Awards were swept this month by "Doctor Who."

Maybe Dan Brown should put aside his awful prose and concentrate on exploring typos in the Bible -- it seems the Geek shall inherit the Earth!

Whisky Prajer said...

Anon - I'm not sure if your description of Palliser's Big Book makes me want to read it, or leave it alone (although I feel myself leaning toward the latter).

Scott - "Geek", that's good - almost up there with "Blessed are the cheese-makers." Wup - I just Geeked myself, didn't I?