Thursday, September 28, 2006

Disaster Movies - Why God?!

Listening to: Radiohead

Drinking: Water

Disaster Movies. Aptly named, because every single time I decide to (or more likely, am coerced into) watch one, it turns out to be a complete disaster.

They are horrible.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a natural disaster (earthquake, flood, volcano, spontaneous ice-age), out of this world disaster (asteroid) or human-caused disaster (fire, terrorism, whatever); they are all mind numbingly terrible movies. That said, the natural disaster types are usually—but not always—the worst.

I could go on and on about various movies, but just from the example-types I’ve listed, you probably know most of the ones I mean. Besides, they all follow the same formula; sometimes ridiculously close. So it’s really only necessary to criticize one, or maybe one from each of the three types. Anyway, right now the movie I’m going to talk about is World Trade Center, because it’s the most recent one I saw.

Let me start by saying that I did not want to see this movie. There were two reasons why it was obvious, without knowing anything else about the movie, that it would be bad, and most likely, very bad. The first reason of course, is that it’s a disaster movie. Rescue workers caught in a collapsing building, this falls into the third disaster category. Second, it’s based on a fairly recent historical event. Either of those things are a pretty good strike against a film; the combination of the two leaves you with odds of seeing a good movie that are about inline with you winning the Viper parked on top of the penny slot machines in the Indian casino (without playing).

Of course I was dragged into the movie by my girlfriend. I am ashamed to admit that I was not dragged in kicking and screaming. I should have left claw marks all the way down the sidewalk trying to keep out of that theater. Now I’ll grant her, the only other thing playing that showed any promise was a movie that she’d already seen. I can understand not wanting to go to a theater to see a movie you’ve already seen. So I caved and bought tickets for World Trade Center. Ooh, it pains me to put into print the fact that I paid to see that movie.

Have you seen Ladder 49? It’s the one with Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. If not, go watch it. I’ll wait.

Ok, you’re back? It sucked like a nitro-boosted Hoover, didn’t it? Ha, yeah I shouldn’t have done that; but I had to suffer, so you do too. Ok, anyway, World Trade Center is exactly the same movie. I’m serious, different city and different actors, otherwise exactly the same. Some normal Joe-types, stuck in a pile of rubble, unable to help themselves, just waiting and trying to hold on to hope. We get flashbacks of the families to show what great guys they are, and so we really want them to live. Some of their buddies die. They almost lose hope and give up, and then, miraculously, help arrives. They are triumphantly rescued and treated as heroes.

Actually, that doesn’t sound as terrible as it actually was. Read that paragraph over and over for two hours though. Then you may get closer to the actual feeling of watching the movie. The problem is that nothing happens and it’s boring. The dramatic elements aren’t good enough for the movie to stand as a drama. There’s very little humor. And the action is sparse. That doesn’t leave much of anything to entertain or challenge a viewer.

The entire movie is two guys buried under scrap metal!

It was boring. I wish it had been presented from a wider scope, rather than from just the two men and their families. Then it may have had more hope, still would have been difficult to do well.

Anyway, I’m tired of writing about it and if you’ve actually made it this far (doubtful), I’m sure you’re tired of reading about it. So with that, I digress.

In other news: I acquired a Pepsi vending machine today, and went on my first official mountain bike ride in Bend as a local. I rode a loop a little over 9 miles, mostly on Phil’s Trail. I started at the trailhead off Skyliners road. It was nice trail, and all single-track, but mostly unchanging terrain and very low technical difficulty. I feel crazy to say anything negative because it seems to be such a nice trail system, but it was a little bit boring I have to admit.

Oh, and I think that my lungs, being accustomed to thick, sea-level air, were struggling pretty hard at the elevation here. The climb was not that steep but I was huffin’ and puffin’ pretty heavy. Anyway, they were nice trails and very accessible so I’m sure I’ll be hitting them again.

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