Posts Tagged ‘ movies ’

Intellectual Property


I don’t know the situation over at Marvel Comics, but I like to imagine that someone over there figured out, maybe sometime in the mid- ’90’s, that not already having movies made featuring their characters could be seen as an asset. I like to further imagine that whoever that was got a bonus, maybe even a promotion.

If only they could get their shit together, and make a proper Hulk movie.

(A proper Hulk movie ought to be a monster movie with misunderstandings about place in the world, a healthy dose of tragedy, and people’s reactions to the monster — most notably Banner’s. Smashing things, and destruction are only ancillary. The tragedy comes from not fitting in.)


The Grey

Aw… Snap!

I saw the movie The Grey recently.

This is not what wolves are like.

Wolves live in families. They only nominally behave as the movie shows in captivity.

Here’s how the filmmakers ought to have argued for their mistaken portrayal:

It doesn’t matter that we didn’t really do any research, and have most likely set back the public understanding of these endangered and already misunderstood creatures by a number of years.

It doesn’t matter because the wolves of The Grey were never meant to be like real wolves.

What the movie actually depicts is Liam Neeson’s character, Ottway, undergoing a complete psychological break from reality. He’s lost his wife, and has been stranded in a frigid and lonely hellhole for who knows how long. He’s spent so much time and effort into hunting and killing wolves that he has begun to think that he is one. It is either this or face his grief. The scene where he sticks his rifle in his mouth and doesn’t kill himself because he hears a wolf’s howl is the moment he goes over the edge.

There was no wolf present to howl.

When the plane crashes and he finds himself in charge of the survivors he both treats them as if they are failures at being members of his pack and as if they were his prey. In every instance (with the possible exception of the character of Burke who may really have died of exposure or his injuries or whatever) when the members of the pack fail at living up to his expectations, they have to die. Ottway himself murders these men.

The depiction of the wolves in the movie is simply how he believed them to be. The extreme nature of the wolves behavior can easily be explained as the lie that he had to tell himself in order to make piece with his job of killing them. When he becomes homicidal he models his behavior and his delusion on this lie.

As for the closing scene, maybe after he had killed all of his ‘pack’ he sought out some actual wolves to see if he could dominate them as well. Maybe he thought he would make a better Alpha than some wolf Alpha. Maybe if his plan had succeeded, he would have tried to take on a new wife (also a wolf), and only then would he have been able to calm his turbulent and broken heart.

Or maybe it’s simply the inner ‘wolves’ getting the better of him.

The lesson is this:

If what is being portrayed on screen isn’t meant to correspond to reality, then one typically doesn’t have to answer for the lack of realness.

Fantasy can have any property.

Grandma And Grandpa Aren’t Dead… They’re In Space…

And a spiffy orange rain suit to match.

One of my favorite scenes in any movie, anywhere, from any time period comes at the end of the first Cocoon movie.

All the old people, except for the one who lost his wife before the movie started, have loaded themselves onto a boat and been tractor-beamed onto an alien space ship with the promise of immortality on some non-specific alien planet. Afterwards there’s a funeral service where the minister talks about how they all really died in a boating accident (because the people can’t handle what really happened) and how much everyone still on earth (wink) misses them. The camera slowly pans through the crowd of people sitting in silence and looking all sad until it gets back to Wilford Brimley’s character’s grandson (I think that’s right) David. He then turns around and gazes into the sky with a look of knowing and wonderment and love.

This is one of the few movie scenes that crack me up simply from thinking about it.
It’s meant to be heart-warming and magical but no, it’s just silly.
It’s one of the silliest things ever committed to film.

Also, one of the aliens has a beard. This is one of my favorite beards in a movie.