Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Warning

As the school year is winding down, fewer and fewer of our students are showing up. This is not something we're necessarily discouraging.

The school had a few bucks left to spend, so we hired a bus and took the 18 students who showed up to see The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. We figured a dumb action movie would be a safe bet with a bunch of teenagers.

In responding to one of Splotchy's posts, which was part of his great Two Buck Schmuck series of posts, where he goes to the Lagrange Theater and reviews movies, I categorized a movie as "Amazingly Bad." This movie fell in that category.

Before I tear it apart, let me point out the only two redeeming qualities of the movie. One was a great cameo by Marvel Comics genius Stan Lee, who created The Fantastic Four, Spiderman and a bunch of other great comic book characters, where he's having trouble getting in to the wedding of two of the characters he created. The other was a scene that was a message against torture.

Here is a sampling of the bad.

First, having great special effects mean nothing if you have a crappy script and a story that plods.

Second, if you have a great actor like Andre Braugher in a movie, don't make him a cardboard cut-out of a character. Give him something to work with. The same with Lawrence Fishburne-- he was the voice of the Silver Surfer, who was mute through most of the movie!

Third, have a leading woman you can care about. Jessica Alba has the acting talent of a wombat. I can think of a half dozen women who could have made the role interesting. Even good-looking ones. Good-looking actresses who can actually act.

Fourth, when you have an actor like Michael Chiklis who was a total natural to play the part of The Thing, give him something to work with-- like a decent script. In the comic book, one of my childhood favorites, he got all the great smartass lines. You may have wanted to keep that aspect of the comic book.

Fifth, have a villian who's villianous. Dr. Doom was as threatening as an overserved yuppie in a fern bar.

Oh, and when you had The Thing have a run-in with a bear in the Black Forest of Germany, you may have wanted to have it be a bear that is native to the Black Forest, like a Black Bear. Grizzleys are huge and scary, but they only live in North America.

Here's how much this movie sucked: since it was a school field trip I not only didn't have to pay for it, or use up a Netflix queue slot-- I was actually paid to see it-- and I still felt like it was a waste of my time.

Now I understand why movie critics get so grumpy.


Danielle said...

My eldest son of 6 is utterly impressed of the choice for field trip. Saying-"That's soooooo coooool."

Splotchy said...

Mr. Yen, the fact that you read my own warning about this poo yet still subjected the youth of this nation to its horridness -- have you left no sense of decency, sir?

cheer34 said...

what's a fern bar?

Johnny Yen said...

My students seemed to have enjoyed the movie. I think the fact that I read the comic book, which was well-written, ruined it for m.

I know-- I'm a very bad man.

I'm dating myself there-- fern bar was a euphimism for a yuppie pick-up joint in the eighties-- they were inevitably decorated with fake antiques and filled with ferns.