Saturday, July 31, 2004

"The Village"

Jason and I watched "The Village" last night. I know that it's getting a lot of mixed reviews, but we thought it was fantastic. Although, not to toot my own horn, but I had the ending figured out the first time I ever heard the plotline. But I must have been the only one, because there was a collective gasp in the theater when the classic M. Night moment occurs. I was so excited that I had been right that I started poking Jason in the ribs. He didn't like that too much. He switched between a dumbfounded look from the movie, to a very irritated look because of my rib-poking.

We talked about the movie the entire drive home (thirty minutes for us pathetic small town folk) which is always the sign of a good movie, in my opinion. Every time I see an M. Night Shymalan movie, it reminds me of the reason that movies were invented: to tell a story, to entertain, to share a truth. Granted, his movies have their faults. Sometimes his dialogue is a little uneven. Sometimes he doesn't know where to end a scene. "Unbreakable" was a little too dark, in my opinion. But he's got the Big Three going on. I love that he dreams up these stories himself and sees them all the way through. When I watch his movies, I can feel his love for story-telling and movie-making. I think that he realizes that, although it's his vision, the movie is for the audience. It's not for his political agenda, or that the studio will reach their 1 billion dollar goal for the year, or to create obtuse art for obtuse art's sake. I think that the great creators realize this and embrace it.

The great can basically hand pick them out of any medium. I would give it to Steven Spielberg. He's had a few misses, but most of his movies speak from the heart. Charles Schultz (Peanuts), Gary Larson (The Far Side) and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) still resonate in the world of cartooning. Some may argue concerning their work from their later "druggie days," but I think that the Beatles had something that cannot be duplicated. And I know that I am going to catch heat for this one...but I believe Eminem has it. I know that, yes, everything that I have listed is very mainstream. But maybe it's mainstream for a reason. Maybe they each strike a chord with most of us.

The great ones are few and far between. It's like I said under my ComicCon observations. 90% of any industry is crap.

Anyway, I used to go see every movie under the sun, during high school and college. But I've grown weary of paying $7.50 ($9.50 in California!) to see a movie and leaving feeling slightly underappreciated as a movie-goer. I've become pickier in my praise, and even my attendance. "The Village" was the last on my list of summer movies to see. Ellen's Summer Movie List included "Shrek 2" (frankly, could've waited for video, but better than most sequels), "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (pretty good, but I'm so Harry loyal, I would've seen it even if all the reviewers said that it sucked), "Spiderman 2" (twice, it was so good) and "Bourne Supremacy" (superb, as well).

So, that's it, I'm done. Maybe I'll catch back up when the Christmas movies come out.


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