Thursday, February 4, 2010

What You Should Have Seen #3

Again, I haven’t seen the original movie that this remake is based on. I’m not that big on “classic” movies, or really almost all movies that are older than I am. But I digs me some sci-fi with good graphics, and Jennifer Connelly is pretty darn easy to look at, so here we go.

Okay, really? The first time an extra-terrestrial intelligence makes contact with humanity and we shoot it right off the bat? That seems like a pretty stupid thing to do.

I like Jennifer Connelly, and not just because she’s pretty; I think she’s a good actress. I can take or leave Keanu Reeves. The only movie I’ve seen where I thought he acted well was Street Kings; everything else has been extremely generic and unremarkable. I like Kyle Chandler. As coach of the Dylan Panthers, he’s the glue that holds the NBC show “Friday Night Lights” together. I think Cathy Bates is a good actress, but I think she’s best as a low-key character, such as in Dolores Claiborne. And hey! There’s “Prison Break’s” T-Bag! And you really can’t go wrong with John Cleese. So the cast, while not necessarily superstar, is by no means lacking in talent.

I loved the use of the nano-bots. It’s a common comic book tool, and I’d like to see it used in more movies. I’m somewhat surprised that they haven’t been utilized in the Terminator mythos. Time travel is possible, but not microscopic robot bugs? C’mon.

I generally tend to dislike grand-effect sci-fi movies that attempt to teach the viewers a lesson. I don’t necessarily mind an underlying message being present, but does the writer/creator/producer/whatever expect a science fiction movie to really change someone’s world view? I really disliked the how “The Happening” tried to shove basically the same message down our collective throat.

I especially dislike it when a snot-nosed little punk kid changes his attitude toward something thereby changing the course of the invading force of inevitable calamity. Having kids of my own, though, I now see that they actually do change opinions on various whims. But adults can’t change like that. There’s a lifetime of bad habits hard-wired into them, and it’s just not that easy. Which is why I sometimes want to see a follow-up to movies like this (Independence Day is top on my list) where we see how humanity deals with the aftermath, and in this movie’s case, if anything was learned. That’s one thing I DID like about “The Happening;” we got to see that, no, apparently we didn’t learn a damn thing.

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