The Theory of Second Viewing

Posted on January 7, 2010. Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sounds clever doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it’s not.

Basically, I am of the belief that you cannot form a proper opinion about a movie until you’ve seen it twice.  Case in point: if you look back you’ll see that when I watched Iron Man for the first time I said that I liked it but probably wouldn’t put it on the movies to see before you die list, and didn’t rate it too highly amongst the other Marvel films.  However, now I’ve watched it again (a couple of times) I’ve pretty much completely changed my mind! Definitely a firm favourite for me now and making it’s way onto the list.  There’s also been films I wasn’t too sure about first time around but having seen them again I think I misjudged them. Sin City springs to mind. Twelve Monkeys takes most people a couple of goes too, but that’s mainly to get your head round it.

I think part of it is that the first time you see a movie you’re trying to keep up with the plot and the characters and so you can miss little things like throw away one liners or cool set design that you’ll pick up second time around.  Of course some times though, you’ve got to trust your instincts.  You will have to pay me a whole lot of money to make me sit through the  Mamma Mia or Lost In Translation again, while at the same time it didn’t take me more than one viewing to realise that Lord of the Rings was a brilliant film.

More often than not I find that films I thought were only OK to begin with get better the more you watch them, but things can go the other way too.  The sequels to The Matrix and the Pirates follow ups both came out in a wave of PR and special effects that had you going in the cinema, but the plot holes get wider once you get the DVD back to your sofa. Not that I dislike any of those films, just perhaps not as into them as I was the first time.  I’ve already written about how hype can affect your opinion of a movie with The Dark Knight, and from what I hear of Avatar so far, it seems like that will be another one which loses some of the magic once it’s out of the cinema, especially since so much stock is tied up in the effects.

There’s more than a few places on this blog where I’ve written I need to see a movie again before completely making my mind up (The Eternal Sunshine debate rages on).  It’s not so much for the films you either love or hate, it’s the ones where at the end you can’t quite decide how much you like it.  My advice is watch it again.  You’ll probably find it’s better than you think.

…unless it’s Mamma Mia 😛

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Mamma Mia: Officially the worst film I’ve ever seen.

Posted on January 23, 2009. Filed under: Movies to miss | Tags: , , , , , |

Another chance for me to save you from painful suffering, and this time I don’t think I’ll get  much argument.

God knows why this was such a success.  Well, actually, I do know, it was all about nostalgia.  But if you want to reminisce about the 70s stick ABBA Gold on, don’t make a terrible movie!

There are moments of this film which almost redeem it, the plot, for example, is quite good and the script is funny at times.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t notice much of this because I was watching the film through my fingers with an expression of abject horror!  Why such an extreme reaction? Pierce Brosnan. Singing. Or at least he thought he was. And Colin Firth doing….well I don’t know what he was doing but it wasn’t pretty.

mamma_mia__241755

Now I’m not an ABBA fan, and I really dislike this wave of greatest hits albums being turned into musicals, but I decided to give this film a fair try (mostly because it was Christmas).  In fact, turning ABBA hits into a musical worked more successfully than any other attempt I’ve heard, although I will never forgive whoever thought “Chiquitita” being sung in a toilet made sense.  This wasn’t my main concern though, what had me diving behind the sofa was the woeful performances given by almost every member of the cast.

I’ve already mentioned Brosnan and Firth’s pathetic vocal renditions, which could almost be excused if it hadn’t caused them to forget how to act.  Brosnan especially seems so caught up in becoming the next Bruce Springsteen (try Billy Mack) that he loses any (limited) credibility he ever had.  It would have been easy enough to dub the actors, although I suppose this would have caused criticism, but after 10 minutes I was begging for mercy.  Meryl Streep is better than I would have expected, and she does put in a good performance, but there were some seriously flat notes in “The Winner Takes It All” which could have easily been tweaked could the sound editor have been bothered enough.

Bad singing aside, there isn’t much going for this movie, (besides the ever-wonderful Julie Walters).  I get that it’s supposed to be fun and light hearted, but you get the feeling that no one invilved in making this movie was really committed to the job, they were just mucking about with some cameras and a few million dollars.  This film is definitely aimed nowhere near my generation.  Even the young couple who the film is supposedly about get barely any screen time compared to our parenting team.  This is a film for the mums, which is fine, but you’d think that Hollywood could come up with something a bit less tragic.

Everyone knows that Dads dancing at a wedding is a pathetic site.  So why make a movie about it?

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