Sunday, March 15, 2009

Movie (Low) Expectations

Everyone that knows me well, knows that I have zero patience. For anything. A place where I test my patience the most is the movies. There, for a couple of hours, there is nothing much else to do, but watch the screen in the dark and hope not to fall asleep. That's one reason I always buy popcorn at the movies: keeps me busy. Somewhat. Movies are like time out for me! Feels like punishment, anyway.

So, it doesn't matter what I watch, if it's at the the theater, it'll be somewhat painful! In this predicament, it really pays off, though, to be pleasantly surprised. My favorite movie experiences, then, are when I go in with low, low, low expectations and I leave ... somewhat satisfied.

This was the case this rainy Sunday, when one of my best friends, B., suggested we'd see Taken. I told her I could see anything, because I wanted some girl time, and to get out on a sad, crappy weekend, but I could not see: gory, horror flicks, no make belief, or sci-fi BS, and no bam-bam-bang-bang boy type, a la Matrix movies, either. I suggested a chick flick. She came back with two choices: Benjamin Button, and Taken.

We both agreed that we'd rather wait for the first one on video, since it's 3 hours long - she doesn't have that time, I don't have that kind of patience; so that was an easy give-up. I was skeptical about Taken. Our friend, C., had reviewed it for us , and I know that typically C. and B. have similar movie tastes, so I figured at least one of us will be happy there! As far as what I would get out of it, though, I was dubious! After all, they made me watch Jackass 2 a couple of years back. I still have nightmares on that one! After reading his review, I thought to myself: "great, a bam-bam-bang-bang movie, when I said NO such thing. *sigh*".

BUT ... for the most part, I trust my friends. Well, except for Jackass, of course! I am probably one of the few Americans who don't read movie reviews! I don't, because I don't believe in waste of time. And most times, that's what they are, to me. I watch trailers, I don't read reviews. There is a difference. I have found movies with great reviews to be shallow, and lame, for my tastes, and the ones with poor reviews to be masterpieces, in my view. So, yes, like everything else, I am picky about my movies! And hard to please! Tell me a movie got an A, 5 stars, or 5o billion red tomatoes in whatever review you're reading, and following and that leaves me as cold as the 40 degree rain that we've had this weekend.

Anyway - I digress....

So, we go to see Taken. Because, like I said: I trust my friends. We're friends because similar tastes and standards brought us here. So ... I trusted C. And also, I trust Liam Neeson! I figured, he could not have signed a contract "that" bad, and the movie had to have something going for it.
And it did.

Yes, it was a "boy movie". Guns, and violence, lot of shooting, and lots of blow ups, and car chases, the works! But I liked it. For three reasons: one: it had a (real) story; the European trafficking of women (and children) is a theme close to home, and my heart! It's not some make-belief crap!

Two: all the violence, and chase scenes, were believable. The way they got around, they found information, they chased each other, they killed each other, required nothing more than current technology and manpower. It didn't require computers and "Dick Tracy watches" (thanks, B.!). I absolutely hate movies where you need 30th century technology to solve a mystery, but the whole time, they look as real as the next day! Sure, it's nice to dream! But ... since I like real stories, that's not something I enjoy. This was ... current. Relate-able stuff!

And three: it had Liam Neeson in it. And even in a second-hand rated movie, as my brother in law called it, he delivers! I have followed him since he was a nobody (in a British TV series, I watched in Romania when I was very young) till when he gave us Oskar Schindler, in Spielberg's masterpiece. He delivers, I think, and although he can play a decent range, he keeps being the same ol' Irishman, I expect in him: brief and mindful speech, hot temper, respectful if you respect him, kinda-guy.

Sure, the movie failed to explain to me how he never got punished for all the mess he did create in Paris. But hey, even I know movies (for the most part) are fiction. So, I am happily writing those explanations off to ... it being a movie, after all! And as we all know: these things happen in movies.

Like my friend, C., said: don't expect Taken to get any Oscars, but it's a good break from the routine, if you're looking for a getaway!

PS: the writing was not even half as lame as my most recent viewing of New In Town, either.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Glad you enjoyed the movie! Sorry for not commenting sooner but I haven't "blogged" in ages. But I still read yours when I get the time. :)