Saturday, October 03, 2009

"I Loved It!", "I Hated It!"

A couple weeks ago, my wife and her friend went to Matt Damon's new movie "The Informant!". I told her that the reviews for it were excellent and she was able to convince her friend to go along with her. I returned from work one afternoon and listened as she told me that "it was terrible...but you might like it". I seriously doubted it was terrible, not with a Tomatometer reading over 70%, not from the director of Erin Brockovich and Ocean's 11 (as well as its sequels).

I finally had the opportunity to see it yesterday afternoon and found it to be very good; I chuckled a great deal as the story unfolded. One of the most amusing things was when Damon (as the narrator) would make statements to himself that had nothing to do with what was onscreen. Here is one of my favorites:

Mark Whitacre: Polar bears cover their noses before they pounce on a seal. How do polar bears know their noses are black? Did they look in the water one day, see their reflection and say, "Man, I'd be invisible if it wasn't for that thing."

I was mystified at how others could say that it wasn't good. It's like we literally saw different movies. My wife and her friend also didn't care for "(500) Days of Summer" which I absolutely adored.

Could it be they were expecting a standard romantic comedy while I knew it had an unconventional narrative and didn't necessarily end happily? I've been a fan for more than a decade of quirky, offbeat films while others may prefer the cookie-cutter pleasures of action movies and chick flicks.

That's why when someone says "That was an awesome movie!", it might help to know what their five favorite movies of all-time are. If "Transformers" is on their list, steer clear. At least I would, as that person's taste doesn't match up at all with my own. Call me crazy, but I like to see something unique when I go to the movie theatre, not the same ol' formulaic garbage.

BTW, in a nod to "Team America", when I went up to the box-office attendant yesterday, all I said was "Matt Damon" in the exact same way that it is said in these scenes.


Dave said...

I think sometimes it just depends on the frame of mind we're in when we watch a film. I remember years ago going to the cinema to watch Natural Born Killers with my wife and we hated it and walked out half way through. Years later I saw it again on TV and loved it that much I went out and bought it on DVD.

I now consider that film to be in my top five along with Shawshank Redemption, The Usual Suspects, Leon and American Beauty.

So Thomas, if that is my top five am I to be trusted with film recommendations?

Rocketstar said...

So Thomas, what are your top five, it's a tough question

Thomas said...

Dave, I agree that it's possible to dislike a good movie if one is not in the proper mood.

Comedies don't generally work for me if they're too slapstick, the same for rom-coms because how many times can one watch as two people can't stand each other in the beginning, but by the end, fall in love.

Do you know anyone who wound up with someone whom they despised upon initially meeting? Possible, but much less likely than what the movie industry wants us to believe.

Based on your top 5 list, I'd say that if you recommended a movie, I'd most likely dig it (not least because American Beauty is also on my Top 5 list). I've not seen The Usual Suspects, probably because I know which character winds up being the puppeteer.

Rocket, my Top 5 are American Beauty, Titanic, Borat, Lord of the Rings, and The Empire Strikes Back.

Dave said...

Speaking of recommendations: since you mentioned The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the other day I watched it last night... fantastic film it had me up way past my bedtime (I didn't realise how long it was) and held me for all of its two and a half hours. I just couldn't leave it.

Sarah said...

everyone needs to see the usual suspects!!

i also hated the informant though. ugh. two hours of my life i'll never get back.

Rocketstar said...

American Beauty, Titanic, Borat, Lord of the Rings, and The Empire Strikes Back.
-- Good list, all great films.

I'd have to say with not enough thought and in no order- Goodfella's, American Beauty, Raiders Series, Star Wars series and Pulp Fiction and Raising Arizona and damn that's already more than 5....

Dave said...

Its funny how once you start trying to think of your favourite films you keep thinking of more and more and more. I think my top five with some thought having now taken place is (in no order)...

American Beauty, Seven, Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Usual Suspects, Matrix, Dr Strangelove, Leon, Taxi Driver, WALL-E, The Alien films, Terminator films, Das Boot, 2001, Full Metal Jacket, The Green Mile, Die Hard, Cool Hand Luke, Star Trek (2009 version), Donnie Darko, Sixth Sense, The Bourne Triloy, Snatch, Twelve Monkeys and many many more.

...and yea yea I know thats more than 5 but I tried my best damn it!!

Narkissos said...

haven't seen the informant yet, much to see, so little time!
liked titanic, but not worth being in top 5 list, sorry tom! dicaprio showed the best of his acting prowess in blood diamond eh! even the plot is way better......:)
got so many favourites! aww ain’t fair.......
shawshank redemption, glory, dead man walking, out of Africa, devil’s own, green mile, notebook, saving private ryan, usual suspects, all quiet on the western front, silence of the lambs, Hannibal......not fair at all.......:(