Friday, May 30, 2014

Film Friday: Fun With Dick and Jane (2005)

Continuing with Judd Apatow from Wednesday: he sucks. He’s an awful writer with no wit, no sense of storytelling, and most importantly, no grasp of how anything in the world actually works, which keeps his jokes from scoring meaningful hits. Well, Judd wrote the screenplay for Jim Carrey’s Fun With Dick and Jane, and let me show you just how bad Judd is by sitting with Judd and teaching him what’s wrong with his screenplay by doing a filmtopsy.

Before we start, the idea behind the film is that Dick Harper (Jim Carrey) and Jane Harper (Tea Leoni) are a yuppie couple who find themselves broke when Dick’s company, Globodyne, goes broke overnight. Unable to pay their bills, the couple turn to crime. This is a remake of a 1977 film and it has potential. Let’s see if Judd can exploit it.

Ok, I see you open with a generic Jim Carrey introduction. This feels like a rip-off of The Truman Show, but I know Carrey likes that, so I can’t blame you. Ok, now we switch to see his wife “Jane,” who is Tea Leoni. We’re seeing her at work as a travel agent. Huh. Judd, you have her on the phone with a client who is calling from the airport and he’s angry that he’s trying to board a flight to Russia for a vacation but he doesn’t have a passport and she didn’t tell him he needed one. Ok, look, when you travel to Russia or China or most places overseas, you need to get a Visa before you can book the flight. To get the Visa you need to present your passport at their embassy. So this couldn’t happen... not even close. Don’t whine, Judd. Yes, I know that not everything in a comedy needs to make sense, but Judd... some of it does.

On the plus side, I’m happy to see that both characters drank coffee without a hint of there being feces or human ejaculate in it. Nice restraint. One thing though, they are supposed to be a married couple and yet there wasn’t a single moment in their interactions which made them feel like more than acquaintances. Humans tend to show that they care about each other in their interactions. No, Judd, I’m not kidding.

Moving on. Ok, so here’s your idea. Jim gets promoted to VP of communications. Within minutes, they send him onto television, hand him some talking points right as the camera starts rolling, and then he gets sneak attacked by the journalist demanding to know why the CEO (Alec Baldwin) has sold 100% of his stock over the past year. As he fails to have an answer, we see the stock price fall from 140 to 0. There’s the set up.
//scratches head

Oh boy, Judd. First, a large company like this will have many qualified spokesmen and lawyers who are ready to deny this. And if they can’t, then they decline the interview. No company would send Carrey as an unknowing sheep to get them slaughtered. Secondly, the markets automatically halt trading in stocks that fall too much, so you can’t get to zero. Third, all insider stock sales are reported. So if the CEO sold 100% of his stock over the past year, as you claim, then this would have been well known both inside and outside the company, so how in the world could everyone inside the company be caught by surprise by that? Forth, skipping ahead, you say later that the CEO’s “plot” was to crash the company so he could “sell his stock.” That’s nonsense Judd. He can sell at any time. Crashing the stock only hurts the value of his shares as he tries to sell them. What you really meant was that he sold the company’s stock short... only, CEO’s can’t get away with that. Did you not know any of this? You didn’t? Seriously?

Ok, continuing, Jim goes home to discover that his wife has quit her job. Now you may not know this, but married couples tend to alert each other before they make monumental life decisions like this.

Let’s see, the next morning, their check bounces to the landscapers and they “repo” the lawn. Why would their check bounce? Most people have more than 0.5 days of savings, especially if they have contracted landscaping, which typically is paid in advance or after 30 days. So that’s cute, but that’s not going to happen either. Now his electricity and water get shut off. Again, that won’t happen. They can’t cut you off the moment a check bounces. Also, with them having no money, there are poverty programs that let them get it for free.

So now they’re selling all their stuff so they can keep the maid? Why? Why doesn’t Tea go get her job back? You don’t know? Ok. You do know that being a travel agent isn’t that hard and she could probably get a dozen other similar jobs, right? You didn’t know that. I see. So instead, you’ve got her deciding to become a human test dummy for a make-up company and getting paid $14. That’s, uh, stupid.
At least Jim is trying to get another job. Whoa! Why are they engaging in a foot race to get to an interview? Corporate jobs aren’t handed out first come first serve. You know that right? Oh, you’ve never applied for a job. I see. Ah, and it wasn’t even a real interview, they just wanted to mock him. Yeah, um, that can’t happen. Why not? Go ask a lawyer. Heck, go ask someone who has a job, they’ll tell you.

So now Jim is day labor and he’s standing among the Mexicans at Home Depot. And he gets punched... of course. Oh, and here comes INS, this is going to be obnoxious. Yeah, as I guessed, the guy who looks 100% white and nothing like the Mexicans around him and who speaks English without a Mexican accent can’t prove he’s an American. Oh, and they are letting some other Mexican go because he stole Carrey’s license and Carrey can’t convince them to compare the picture on the license to himself. Yeah, that’s retarded. Oh, even better, instant deportation... no arrest, no detention, no judge, no appeal, just dumped on the other side of the border. Yeah, that’s not how any of this works.

//looks at watch

Judd, we’re 47 minutes into this turd and you have yet to achieve the premise. You should have hit the premise about 10 minutes in, don’t you have even the slightest sense of timing? Ah hah! Wait! Here it comes. We can see the wheels turning inside his brain. Ok, now you’ve got Jim doing Jim. Ha ha, he desecrates a grave. Ha ha, a dog peeing. AND... WTF?! He steals grass to replace the grass he lost. That’s the idea?

Oh, that was just a head fake. Yeah, this movie needed a pointless head fake to slow it down. We’re now an hour in and he’s being evicted – final notice, 24 hours, and we see the wheels turning. One problem though, this can’t happen. The law doesn’t even come close to allowing this. You typically get 90 days in pro-bank states and 6 months in pro-borrower states, and that’s after three notices. I take it you didn’t know that either. Have you been living in your parent’s garage or something? Oh, you have.

At least he’ll start robbing banks now. Finally, let the humor begin!

Uh... he’s robbing a 7-11... a 7-11 which every human on earth knows has only $20 to rob. Yeah, yeah, brain freeze from the slurpee (at least there’s no human ejaculate in it), can’t get the gun out of his pocket, ends in disaster. When does the funny start? Now he robs an ATM and the guy he’s robbing knows him. Still not funny... just very, very predictable.

Hmm. Now his wife tells him “maybe you’re not badass.” So it takes his wife challenging his masculinity before he finds the courage to perform a “real” robbery. Welcome to the world of Judd Apatow. Of course, now that he’s done it, his wife can’t control herself and they have sex in the car. Yeah, you need help Judd.
Next robbery is a coffee-shop. Naturally, they grab a coffee and “low-fat” muffins to go. Saw that coming. Ouch... a montage: they’re wearing costumes so you can squeeze in cultural references, Jim is doing Jim in each scene, oh goodie a cross-dressing scene, why are these scenes stretching on to the point of being painful? Now Jim, in an unbelievable costume, walks into a bank and pretends to be “the vault inspector” and walks right into the vault. There’s no bank in the world where that would work except maybe a cartoon bank.

Oh hey, a twist. Another Globodyne couple is doing the same thing and they just happen to pick now to rob the bank. That’s almost interesting! Nice work Judd. That’s the first almost interesting moment in this film... after an hour and ten minutes of nonsensical pointlessness.

Well, that didn't last. This only caused Jim to realized that what he's doing is too dangerous and he wants to stop. But wait, the television news now mentions that Jim will be the next employee indicted in the Globodyne scandal for his role in spreading false information. //slaps Apatow Sorry, that’s a reflex. See Judd, first, as you may recall, Jim said nothing on television, he just mumbled nonsense. So he can’t be indicted for what he said. Secondly, his being appointed to the job minutes before the company failed makes this a dead case – he had no involvement. Third, indictments aren’t a surprise; if the government was interested in him, they would have seized his records from day one, teams of lawyers (paid for by executive and officer insurance) would be swooping in to defend him, and he would have testified in the prior trials. So this is 0.0% real.

Now we get to see Jim do Jim in a bar as he pretends to be drunk. At least there’s no excrement, masturbation or cross-dressing... though that might actually help this lame scene. Oh hey, the good bad-guy just happens to be here and he knows how to save Jim by stealing the evil CEO's money... which would do nothing about an indictment except add more charges.

Apparently, having crashed the company so he could sell his stock (wow, that’s retarded), the CEO hid all $400 million in a Cayman Island bank to avoid taxes -- of course, that can’t happen because the stock sales took place in the US. Anyway, knowing this, the plan is to create a fake transfer form listing Jim’s bank account instead of the CEO’s bank account as the deposit account. Then they will sneak into the US branch of this secret Cayman Island bank (excuse me: ha ha ha you don’t understand banking law do you, asshole? That would void their secrecy.). Anyway, they will sneak into the bank at the exact time the CEO comes for a visit to get his money. How they know the precise time is a movie miracle. They will wait for one bank employee to carry the form from one desk to another. How they know this will happen is another movie miracle. At that point, Leoni will collide with the employee and swap the forms and no one will notice that she's not an employee. A third movie miracle.
Of course, the form gets shredded by a lawnmower after Jim does Jim in the parking lot. Now they need to create a new fake form to substitute it. That means breaking into an office in the bank without being noticed, which only works if the bank employees have no idea who belongs there. Another movie miracle. Of course, Leoni now needs to delay the CEO and we need to hope that the CEO doesn’t spot Jim. More movie miracles! That’s genuine comic pyrite right there!

Oh oh, Jim gets caught. The CEO acts like a jerk, but they get his signature and can now steal his money... somehow. The movie ends suddenly with a declaration that they stole all $400 million and used it “to fund the bankrupt employee pension fund.” Now we’re seeing stories about how all the “thousands of employees” will get their life savings back. Oy. First, the film tells us this money is illegal, so the feds will take it. Secondly, putting the money into the pension fund will only fund pensions, it doesn’t provide relief for losses... no one is getting their life savings back. Third, while $400 million sounds huge, it’s not when you’re talking about thousands of employees. If there are 10,000 employees, then each gets $40,000 back, which is about 1/3 of Jim’s paycheck as an employee. Fourth, this is the type of mistake that can be reversed by the bank before it happens. Even hobos know this... too bad you don’t, Judd.

So let’s see what we have here, Judd. You failed to write anything to give a sense that the characters are real people. You completely misunderstood the stock market, how billing works, how jobs work, how banks and mortgages work, how INS works, how couples work, and how people respond when they lose their jobs. You set up obviously worthless robberies, obviously false evil schemes, and an obviously false solution. At no point in this film did you come close to reality on anything. There wasn’t a memorable line of dialog. There was only one half-interesting moment, and you squandered that. Your scenes were painfully long and it took almost the whole movie before you reached the parts that should have been comedic gold, and then you bizarrely chose to race through those scenes in an idiotic montage. Finally, after avoided all the moral questions your film raises, you self-righteously dump a moral message on the evil rich. Wow.

If you want my advice, Judd, stick to playing with ejaculate... that's more your speed.

33 comments:

Kit said...

So... Trading Places it is not?

Rustbelt said...

Okay, Andrew...just this evening, I was watching (for the first time) the Rifftrax version of 'Night of the Lepus,' and wondering how long DeForest Kelley likely spent crying himself to sleep each night during principal photography. Sure, I thought, it couldn't get worse than that. Then I read this review.

Blech.

I'm not going to claim to know anything about stocks and banking law (well, not much, at least). So, I'll take your word for it. But looking at the second still shot (the one of Mr. Carrey on TV), please let me add to Mr. Apatow's stupidity by taking a few moments to address him as well.

Judd, first, you've got an OTS (over-the-shoulder) super (superimposed on-screen graphic) to Jim's right (viewer's POV). Those are only used for anchor shots for the sake of variety during regular broadcasts. Never on guests. Second, the super has specific info in it. That's not available in the computer's regular super list. It would take the art department 20 to 30 minutes to make such a super. It wouldn't be readily available. Third, such info would be presented in the form of an FSS (full screen shot) with graphs, charts, quotes, etc. after the director switches cameras back to the anchor and then quickly fades to and from the FSS while the anchor is talking. Guests are ALWAYS on a close-up while they're talking. And fourth, point three is skirted only when the guest is moved to a small screen-within-screen shot with relevant video covering the remainder of the screen.
You know, Judd, you could've figured this out by going to any TV station in L.A. But you didn't; because you're lazy. So, you're not just a turd, Judd, but you're a lazy turd as well.

All right, had to get that out of my system, Andrew. Haven't seen this film, but it definitely looks like it sucks.

shawn said...

I missed this one because when it came out, I was Carrey'ed-out and had never heard of Apatow. I think Leoni is quite attractive and was fine on the failed Fox sitcom Flying Blind back in the early 90s, and the movie Deep Impact, but she alone, isn't enough to get me to the theater. And from your review, it sounds as if I didn't miss anything.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Not even close.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, I'm not in television, but you are correct. CNBC never does this. They do full screen shots, and they don't do real time movement like this -- not that it's even reported quickly enough to do a real time shot like this. So yeah.

And my point isn't that he got a few things wrong. We can easily overlook a few wrong things here and there for the sake of a good story. BUT when Apatow gets every single thing wrong along the way, it destroys everything. At every step, more and more people are taken out of the story and are asked to believe things they know cannot be true. And as those build up, the story movies from interesting to not-real to pure fabrication or fantasy or farse.

And then there's the more subtle point. The fact he doesn't know these things means that his humor is at best a poorly aimed sledgehammer when the best humor is the precisely used scalpel. It is those little moments where a knowledgeable writer subtly tweaks the truth or exposes a hypocrisy or just gives us a "what if people zigged instead of zagged" that make humor such a powerful tool. Apatow can't do any of that because he can't spot those moments because he doesn't even know the basics of the things he's talking about... much less the depth where the best humor lies.

That's his problem and that's what this film really shows -- that he's at best swinging wildly with a sledgehammer. Hence, 20 minutes of people vomiting.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, You missed nothing. This felt like a film that was dependent on Carrey doing his thing in scene after scene and it offered just enough "plot" to let that happen.

Agreed on Leoni. She's good enough in my book, but she's not enough to lead a film or even play a critical role.

ScottDS said...

I remember seeing this movie and not liking it, so we're in agreement there. :-)

However, we all know the million dollar question: could you have forgiven some or all of this if you had found the movie actually funny?

And it should be noted that Apatow co-wrote the film with Nicholas Stoller (who's basically an Apatow disciple anyway). And it was directed by Dean Parisot who is best known for directing Galaxy Quest.

I guess he's one of those directors who needs a great script to start with.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, my only disagreement is that the original 1977 version offered much potential. Actually, I take that back. It's a solid concept that's been squandered twice. About half of the gags that you mentioned as falling flat were straight lifted from the original--the lawn repossession, the INS bit--and they fell flat the first time, too. Apatow could have redeemed the idea if he hadn't simply updated the script with a splash of cartoon corporate eeevil and loosing Carrey to do his schtick. (Actually, that might have been the only smart decision.)

Still, I think the original is worse. The pacing is glacial, even for a 70s film. It's also very depressing--exactly what a comedy shouldn't be. If the relationship between the updated Dick and Jane is tepid, the original duo was downright frosty. Maybe sensibilities were different in the 70s, but the pair was constantly snarking at one another and cutting each other down. For me, it was downright uncomfortable.

One more thing to add to the litany of mistakes Apatow makes. VP of Communications is usually a distinct position from media spokesperson, especially for huge companies like Dick works for.

PikeBishop said...

Andrew, I'm getting the feeling you are a great admirer of Apatow's genius, but you feel that this may have been a slight mis-fire on his part. is that correct?

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You're asking the wrong question....

First, as an aside, note one of my first comments that it doesn't all need to make sense, but it's can't all be nonsense. So the answer is that some is forgivable.

BUT... what you're missing is the bigger issue. This film is unfunny because it's all nonsense. Think of it this way. If he had played within the confines of real life, then he would have needed to look more carefully for humor. That means taking much more care in finding things that will actually make people laugh. Instead, he keeps using the lowest of low hanging fruit in every scene: let's think of something bad that we have happen to them now.

It's what he thinks is the grown up equivalent to the football to the crotch over and over and over and over. And he doesn't even understand that the footballs he's throwing are fantasy.

If he had some discipline and needed to be more real, he would have seen that he couldn't do this and he would need to look elsewhere for his humor.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, My mistake, I don't mean to imply that the original was very good. I didn't think it was good either, and for the very reasons you say. That said, I do think the idea has a ton of potential. Apatow just doesn't come anywhere near unlocking that potential.

It strikes me as fairly obvious that the real humor in this idea will come from seeing the middle class couple learning how to rob banks and then doing it... a fish out of water story. But that's actually the one thing Apatow wants no part of. He spends an hour getting there, gives us an unfunny montage of it happening, and then moves on to a form of heist film.

In effect, he spends all the time on footnotes and skips the one thing the film should be focused on. And even then, he can't even milk the footnotes for anything funny because he does nothing unexpected or clever or interesting to pull any of them off... and that's when he's not just writing: "Let Jim do Jim for five minutes."

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, LOL! Uh... no, not quite.

Backthrow said...

Ugh. Apatow brings so much pain.

I have to stick up for Leoni, though. Not in this film, but she's one of the major squandered talents in Hollywood today. Besides her beauty, she excels at deadpan, low-key, dry, sophisticated humor. That's why people remember the otherwise-forgotten, one-season Flying Blind. But, of course, that's not what the industry typically gives her to do. Instead, she's either cast as a tightly-wound neurotic (Spanglish, Jurassic Park III, a host of others); a manic, 'wacky' Lucille Ball wanna-be (The Naked Truth); a serious, bland non-entity (Deep Impact); the wife (this movie, Family Man) --or else she's barely in the story at all and given little to do (Ghost Town). The latter film allowed her to play to her strengths, but I think she had maybe one brief scene to shine in...she was a minor subplot.

She got good notices early on in Flirting With Disaster, but I haven't gotten around to that one yet. The one good movie where she's great is John (Red Rock West) Dahl's gangster comedy You Kill Me (2007), and she co-produced that one, so it stands to reason.

If they were making movies like The Thin Man or The Lady Eve these days, and if they were popular, she'd probably be a big star. I could also see her do well, on a smaller scale, if she was in a Coen Bros comedy or a Christopher Guest mockumentary. Unfortunately, she's instead starring in a new drama series, Madame Secretary, which at first blush looks like it might be a heavily-glamorized, proxy campaign advertisement for 'Hillary in 2016!'. Ugh.

Collin Chersi said...

I've only seen one Judd Apatow movie - This Is 40 - and I HATED it. Every single character was unrelatable and their problems could have easily been resolved. The only character that I genuinely like was Megan Fox's character. When you make Megan Fox, whose only other good performance was Jennifer's Body, which was I also not fan of, the only good person, then your movie has failed.

wulfscott said...

The best part of the original was exactly what you mentioned, Andrew, the middle class couple learning to rob banks and getting good at it, and then keeping up and expanding their lifestyle without being able to mention to the neighbors what they do for a living. Tyranmax, the movie is depressing, but that matches the times - firmly in the Carter years. That said, there were other problems with the original: the ending felt tacked on, like the writers didn't know where to go with the concept; George Segal was only an ok lead for a mediocre movie, no charisma or presence at all; Jane fonda gave one of the most forgettable performances of her career - I had to look at IMDB to remember who played that role. Hmmm, for Ms. Fonda, being forgettable is probably her 2nd best performance of her career...
So the concept could be quite good with a decent script and good leads. I liked the idea of a remake. The trailers and advertising made me think, though, that this one was a good film to skip. And from your review, Andrew, sounds like one I shouldn't waste time on.

ScottDS said...

Collin -

This is 40 had one great line, said by the Asian girl about Fox' character:

"Everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie. Everything that goes into it is a d--k." :-)

[sigh] Ya know, when Harold Ramis passed away (one of my heroes), everyone and their mother chimed in with praise and tributes, including Apatow... except Ramis would NEVER have made a movie like This is 40: a self-indulgent exercise in navel-gazing.

Apatow's films have gotten so "inside baseball," with his characters working as album producers and E! hosts, it almost makes me appreciates Seth Rogen. At least he's still playing regular schlubs.

Collin Chersi said...

ScottDS-

Thanks!

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I don't dislike Leoni. She's never really caught my attention, but as you note, she's been in a series of roles that aren't right for her and aren't memorable.

AndrewPrice said...

Collin, I've seen all of them, I think. I tend to see everything, whether I want to or not. And I really have no respect for Apatow. He's just not clever or funny or interesting. This one is a good example. I laughed... never. I smiled... never. I saw flaws in every scene and almost every line of dialog. This was a chore to watch.

Interestingly, it's not just bias either. I've seen several films that I didn't even know he was involved in and had the same feelings.

AndrewPrice said...

wulfscott, I concur with your take on the original. And I totally agree that the real fun in this idea is watching rule-bound middle class people opening their eyes to this broader world and learning bit by bit how to pull it off. Add a cop trying to catch them and you have a tremendous basis for a comedy.

Apatow skipped the heart of this thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Whenever icons die, every POS in Hollywood rushes out to praise them and try to wrap themselves a bit in that person's legacy. Personally, I doubt Ramis would even have watched an Apatow film.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Speaking of never smiling, the occasional smile is pretty much all I do with Apatow's movies. I remember when my local paper gave 40-Year Old Virgin 4 stars (!!). My reaction after seeing it was basically, "It was okay... I only wish I liked it more."

And not only that, but that movie opens with a "trying to piss with an erection" gag, which was done much better years earlier in Me, Myself, and Irene. It's like, "Really? This is the new comedy god of Hollywood? It's five minutes in and he's recycling already!"

I know, it's all old news to you. But it would be nice to see a wider variety of comedies out there... most of what's made is "Apatow-esque."

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm really depressed by the state of comedy today. I can't think of what the last good... solid... funny comedy was. Almost everything now is Apatow-like.

AndrewPrice said...

And yeah, it doesn't surprise me at all that Apatow would steal something right out of the opening gates. I have yet to see anything original from him despite however many films he's made.

John Jameson said...

Despite liking some Jim Carrey (in infrequent doses) the closest I've ever come to watching "Fun with Dick and Jane" is picking up the DvD cover when I was trawling the bottom shelf of the comedy section, desperate seeking some mindless entertainment, reading the blurb, and thinking "Nahhh".

i guess the only Apatow film I've seen is 40 Year Old Virgin, which is only good to the extent that Steve Carell is good (in which respect Date Night and Crazy Stupid Love are much better).

John Jameson said...

...and Dan in Real Life

AndrewPrice said...

John, I've liked Carrey a good deal, though his films seem to be getting worse over time. I thought The Truman Show was brilliant actually. So I wasn't sure what to expect from this one except that it would probably be middling. It wasn't. It was horrid.

On Carell, sometimes I like him, sometimes I don't. Strangely, he's consistent, but his films are inconsistent.

Koshcat said...

Apatow aside this movie started off with an interesting premise. With many of our lives precariously placed in an upside down triangle, what happens when the bottom falls out? Setting aside realities is a part of movies; please don't get me started on medical shows. It doesn't bother me that no show would put a graph in the upper right. What is critical is that here is someone in his peak and given a huge promotion just to be used as a scapegoat.To find out you were chosen to be ridiculed because you are really a nobody is crushing. To make it more realistic just have the top brass leave the country for France or Panama. The mistake is in trying to explain some sinister greedy cause for the drop rather than just taking what you can and flee the sinking ship. Make the cause as simple as the product is deeply flawed and the finances were shaky anyway.

Going forward with the premise that this couple doesn't want to give up their life is also interesting. So motivated to maintain the facade that they will do ridiculous things like stealing grass. Trying their hand at crime can also be interesting and funny.

All this would be ok but then the movie goes off the rails and right into stupid land (well, stupider). They decide to because super criminals to steal the CEOs money and this will make everything ok? NO, NO, NO you f***king hack. I want to root for this couple. How about they learn that it is ok to have a simpler and more honest life? Money and things are not everything. Perhaps they reconnect with family and friends who really love them for who they are? Sort of the ending of It's a Wonderful Life. Why do we love that movie? Because we all know that George is a good man. He is just so hung up on what he doesn't have that he can't see what he has. Timeless. Classy. Anti-Apatow.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, That is the problem with Apatow. This film had many, many points where it could have been a very interesting film, but Apatow doesn't recognize a single one of those points. To the contrary, he rushes over those points because he doesn't see anything he can do with them. Then he fills in with mindless stupidity and over-the-top nonsense to prop up the story.

In terms of not being realistic, as I say, not everything needs to be realistic in a film. BUT when you get things wrong that have average people (non-experts) shaking their heads, you quickly run the risk of taking people out of the film. And when you do it over and over and over at every single turn, it becomes jarring and eventually makes the whole movie feel faked.

Koshcat said...

A little off topic but in reference to suspending reality, I really despise period films that introduce technologies not yet invented. Last night we watched Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. No where in the movie do they state the date but one gets a feel that we are talking somewhere between the 16th and 18th century. these two "heroes" use multiple different guns using copper jacketed bullets and a gatling gun; both designed in the late 19th century. It just doesn't fit the dress and period pieces very well. I had a difficult time getting past it. My wife on the other hand liked the movie. {I think she has been taken over by a body snatcher.}

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I have the same problem, but that's the new thing - to have the hero create some modern weapon made of wood and steam and whatever to impress the audience. I think it's pathetic.

djskit said...

Follow up article - "Compare and Contrast: Judd Aptow and Seth MacFarlane". Discuss.

ScottDS said...

The Dissolve (my new favorite movie website) did an interesting piece on this movie today. Thought you'd be interested... :-)

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