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Showing results for tags 'Michael Peña'.
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I feel like I just watched the love child of "Do the Right Thing" and "Pulp Fiction." On hallucinogens, because for whatever reason, I could *swear* I remember the story line about Sgt. John Ryan (Matt Dillon) helping his father (Bruce Kirby) off the toilet, but that's forty minutes into the movie, and I remember *nothing* else up to that point; yet, I remember this scene so vividly that ... how could I *not* have seen this film before? This scene isn't exactly a highlight that they'd put on YouTube. "Crash" would make a fine episode of a television series; to win an award signifying "Best Motion Picture" of the entire year? Boy, that's a real stretch - it is hit-you-over-your-head obvious (not the plot; the presentation), in a terribly condescending way. All these different train wrecks have departed towns such as "Meanville," "Nastyland," etc., and they're each taking the express lane to "Luv Station." Meh, like I said - a fine television episode; not best picture material by any means. Although I love the message of this film, it resonates the same with me as Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature - just as some serious author or poet who spent a lifetime honing their craft got cheated out of a literary award, a more serious, less contrived film got cheated out of the Academy Award for Best Picture - that's not to say that Dylan is "bad" at literature, or that Crash is a "bad" movie; just that neither perform - *in these particular categories* - at these (theoretically) most prestigious levels of accolades. An interesting sidenote: Although "Crash" was released in 2004, it didn't qualify for the 2005 Academy Awards because it didn't play for at least one week in Los Angeles. Aug 12, 2015 - "Paul Haggis: Crash Didn't Deserve Best Picture Oscar" by Ben Child on theguardian.com
I would normally never watch a film such as "The Martian," (an implausible Hollywood blockbuster about a crazy thing), but a trusted friend saw it, and told me I might like it more than I'd think (actually, the exact words were, "The Martian was not a great film. But my expectations were very low, and it surpassed them. It was amusing escapism on a day when I really needed some"), so given that I like to remain at least somewhat in touch with popular culture, why not? Plus, I've liked Matt Damon ever since "Good Will Hunting," - an underachieving film that has an interesting premise, sort of like Patrick Swayze in "Roadhouse" (a black-belt "cooler" who drives a Mercedes 560SEC and has a degree in Philosophy?) Plus, sometimes you have to just enjoy cheap (actually, not-so-cheap) escapism for its own sake, you know what I mean? Some of these tidbits I got from, or was inspired by, Amazon X-Ray, so instead of citing each of them, I'll give a global citation here. I mention Amazon X-Ray in greater detail here. In the opening credits, the title "THE MARTIAN" slowly fades away, but the bottom part of the "T" in Martian lingers on the screen by itself for about one second, forming an "I." This is both similar to what happened in Alien (the letters fading), and obviously a foreshadowing of what is about to occur in the movie. The spaceship in The Martian is named Hermes, the Greek God of Scarves and Neckties, and also the Protector of Travelers. The Roman equivalent of Hermes is Mercury. The Latin name for Mark (Mark Watney is Matt Damon's character) is Marcus, which means, "of Mars." I have to admit that when Watney pulled the object out from inside of him (which I think might have been some vague tribute to the infamous scene in Ridley Scott's "Alien"), and was sitting in the chair, staring at the ceiling, with his predicament slowly dawning on him, and he said, "Fuck," I laughed out loud. So far (I'm writing this as I watch), I like the comic relief in this movie, e.g., when Mark threw up his arms in triumph while working with hydrazine. In the preview for The Martian, which I first saw many months before it was released, they used the eye-rolling line, "I'm going to have to science the shit out of this." That was so off-putting to me that it, alone, made me not want to see the film. In context of the movie, it was *still* an eye-rolling line - horrible - but not *as* bad as it was in the trailer, stripped of all context and previous events. These people know what they're doing: This line might have lost my demographic as a potential audience, but it probably gained ten-times as many people in other demographics. Okay, I'm an hour into this movie, with about eighty minutes remaining. I am predicting - but do not know - that Mark will be saved, because ... how can he *not* be? Hollywood is a mega-business, and a tragic ending would be bad for business (and it would have surely leaked out very early on). In an indie art film? Sure, but not here. No way. Just once, I'd love to see an ending like Tosca in a Hollywood nine-figure blockbuster, where the lead character drops dead right before the final curtain falls. It would make for better suspense going forward. As a final thought, I can see how watching The Martian would make the life of someone who is trapped in a prison, or a wheelchair, or a dungeon, or some other place of absolute solitude a little more bearable, giving them just an extra ounce of hope, knowing (or even fantasizing) that as long as you're still breathing, nothing is impossible. When I first saw the trailer for The Martian, I never dreamed that I would actually watch it, much less like it, but I liked The Martian a lot more than I thought I would.