15. November 2004 · Comments Off on The Crap They Are Selling Us · Categories: General Nonsense, That's Entertainment!

Any piece of cinematic fiction requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. This especially applies to the suspense/action/adventure genres; they are always something of a trip into the surreal. But this trip must necessarily be limited.

I am a huge fan of Hitchcock. Besides his other pioneering laurels, he always knew where to draw the line in keeping the viewer right on the fringe of reality. Just think of The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, or North by Northwest. Even the latter’s fabled ‘strafing’ scene was perfectly believable by audiences of the day.

Contrast that to the movies of today, where the writers believe that, if the action happens fast enough, the viewer won’t have time to question it’s plausibility. And this is fine in say, a James Bond movie, or something like Rollerball (which I’m currently watching the original version of on TCM), where surrealism is predetermined. But I just watched the last half of U.S. Marshals on TBS. And I had to ask myself, “what sort of idiot would buy this crap?” Among the totally unrealistic scenes that past before me were one where Wesley Snipes drops off a 5 story building, with his fall dampened by a cable over a pulley (how this provided the necessary friction to dampen his fall is unexplained), and Robert Downy Jr. nonchalantly hands his service pistol to Tommy Lee Jones, who casually swaps magazines (I don’t know about you, but my very brief training tells me never to take my eyes off my weapon when submitting it for inspection).

The final action scene in this sorry excuse for a movie has Snipes and Jones fighting each other in the hold of a hopper loaded grain hauling ship (do such things still exist?) AFTER one or the other had lost their pistol in a crane-borne cargo net (on a grain hauler???).

Anyway, I understand U.S. Marshals did ok at the box office, and is paying it’s way as a video. To those that like it: mo’ power to ya’. As for me, I’ll stick to my classics – back to Rollerball.:)

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