The pictures above–being my friends, David Lowery and Yen Tan at the Cosmic Cup and me and Yen on a trolley, respectively–were actually taken several days before seeing these films last night. But I just thought they were cool and decided to post them.
David, Yen and I did catch two films last night, however. Of course, being the sneaky fools we are, we only paid for one. Tee hee. For some reason, David thought it would be humorous for the three of us to all watch Enchanted together. I’m not sure if that should be embarrassing, but how about the fact that all three of us actually enjoyed it? Anyway, here’s the breakdown:
Let me first preface that I have a predisposition for enjoying Disney animated films. I’m not sure if its the child in me, or the fairy-tale stories, or what; but for whatever reason, I have a rather large soft spot for them. Enchanted is no different and has not swayed me from my position a bit. It left me wanting so much more. At first I was concerned with how the transition from animation to live action would really look like on screen, but my fears soon faded away the first time I saw Amy Adams pop out of a sewer in a giant wedding dress. How marvelous and enchanting she truly is, I thought; and how animated! How absolutely animated she is! It’s really as if the cartoon has come to life–as if the New York City backdrop is just that, a fabricated, foreign backdrop. And then she started talking… And her voice, her facial expressions, everything: completely animated. After the film, David and Yen told me I absolutely had to see Junebug, and I certainly will after this performance. She shined the entire time on screen and she sold me. I actually believed she was really from some fairy-tale, animated world where dreams come true and everyone lives happily ever after. I loved her so much, I’m not even going to mention the other performances other than to say they were adequate and took nothing away from the film. I’ll also note that the Central Park musical number is to die for.
I will, however, take a brief look at the story as well. I know what you’re thinking: some cheese ball romantic-comedy mush that’s over-the-top and kid stuff, right? Well, think again. This story is all grown up, philosophically and realistically. I really liked the existential observations the characters made, being in this odd conundrum. Both they and we learn something about love and fairy-tales; about reality and fantasy; but above all, we learn that it’s ultimately a compromise between the two that finds us all true genuine happiness, forever… and ever.
There’s always certain characteristics in a Stephen King adaptation that never seem to change. For one thing, you can always count on a decent story and on top of that, you typically develop some emotional concern for the protagonists along the way. The Mist doesn’t veer from those characteristics. And, while I haven’t actually read Stephen King’s novella, I’m sure I would enjoy it after seeing the film adaptation. As a whole, however, I really didn’t like the film at all. I really thought the screenplay was amateur and hokey, when it clearly wasn’t trying to be. The film really wanted to be intelligent and even eminent, I think. I mean, the underlying morals and lessons are all too important and certainly a bit urgent, given the world we live in currently. But with the dialogue so badly written, I really can’t give it the benefit of the doubt.
At first I thought it was the acting, but after some deliberation, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s completely the fault of the writers. The circumstances and logical conclusion the characters come to in certain key instances really seem flawed and misguided. There’s nothing more irritating than watching characters in films who are clearly supposed to be logical and reasonable, make illogical and unreasonable decisions, even though the film seems to think they made the right decisions. I’m not sure if any of that really makes any sense, but the bottom line is there’s a fine line between creating a character who makes mistakes and a character who makes mistakes but those mistakes are totally ignored by all other characters, circumstances in the film and the film itself.
And for those of you who have seen it–or if you haven’t, take a second look at this after you have–I suppose you think I’m mostly talking about the ending. But I’m not because the ending works. It doesn’t matter what I would do or you would do, or what the right thing to do is done. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is whether what was actually done is believable, or not. In this case, the ending was believable. I believed all the characters involved in the final climatic scene were truly to that point. Would I have made that decision? Probably not. But the fact that they did didn’t brush me the wrong way whatsoever. It was a shock and I was certainly surprised, but it worked really well and I think without that final scene, the film would have been a complete flop. So, I suppose it goes without saying, if the mistakes and/or illogical or unreasonable decisions are ignored, the film simply doesn’t work (and there are a lot of points in the film that I feel didn’t work for this very reason); but on the other hand, if the mistakes are acknowledged, then the film generally works because of it. By and large, this film just didn’t work for me.