A Spoonful of sugar….
…in a bowlful of shit!
I’ve not been to the cinema that much recently, mostly due to spending most of my free time enjoying the sights, sounds and overly expensive beer of the Edinburgh Fringe.
In the last week though, I have been to see a couple of films, and I’m happy to report that they were both wonderful, joyous, palate cleansing experiences. Trainwreck and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation provided the cinematic tonic I so desperately needed.
Why did I need a positive movie-land experience I hear you ask? Well allow me to explain. Prior to the Amy Schumer/Tom Cruise double bill, my last cinema visits had been to see two films of such despairing awfulness, that I found it challenging to sit through them.
Those films were Ted 2 and Terminator Genisys.
They are both BAD FILMS. This is not me saying that I subjectively don't like them (although that is also the case), but simply stating the fact that they truly are bad examples of the cinematic art form. Bad scripts. Bad direction. Bad acting, sloppy editing. BAD FILMS.
Which is a terrible shame, especially for Terminator Genisys, as you can see that a great deal of effort when into that film, they just got it horribly wrong.
Ted 2, on the other hand, was clearly the product of zero effort. Just awful.
However...these films each have one redeeming feature.
In Ted 2, there is a scene in the middle of the film, where Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg) go to a comedy improv club. They sit at the back and shout vile and taboo suggestions for the improv troupe to perform. The scene has no context in the overall picture. It lasts for about a minute, and is similar to the sort of cutaway gag that MacFarlane uses in Family Guy. It is the only scene in the entire two-hour film that made me laugh. It is hilarious.
In Terminator Genisys, there is a "Young Arnie" f/x sequence, in which we see him as he appeared at the start of The Terminator. You can see how they did it here.
It is utterly flawless and seamless CG work. It is the one triumph in this otherwise complete failure of a film. Bravo to the talented folk at MPC.
This got me thinking about other films that have one redeeming quality. A spoonful of sugar, so to speak.
For example, Emma Thompson's wonderful performance in Love Actually.
Or John Williams' "The Duel of the Fates" in The Phantom Menace.
Or Rick Baker’s STUNNING special makeup effects in the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes.
Any others? Let me know.