A Weekend of Movies

The worst review I could ever give a movie is walking out of it.  The first movie I ever did that with was “The Crying Game“.  I decided after about 30 minutes that even if someone gave me a ticket to the movie I had better things to do with two hours of my life.

All told I’ve only walked out of maybe half a dozen movies; they were either too stupid (and that bar is pretty low – “Dumb and Dumber” is one of my favorite movies of all time) or I simply didn’t get them (like “The Piano“) – apparently I don’t share the same tastes as those critics who gave out acclaim.  Fair enough; don’t care; it’s my time, not theirs.

And truth be told it’s been a while since I’ve done the up and out routine while the lights are still dimmed; I suspect I just don’t see enough movies these days to make the percentages line up in the bad sort of way.  Or maybe I’m just smarter with my limited funds or limited hours.

That streak, which has probably lasted through the entire century-to-date, is now broken, thanks to an absolutely horrid movie experience this weekend.

But let’s not start with the bad – let’s start with the good.  Saturday night was a good movie night.  At the I-70 Drive-In we were presented with four solid movie choices: “The Avengers” coupled with “Chimpanzee“, “Men In Black 3” and “Dark Shadows“, “Chernobyl Diaries” plus “The Dictator” and “Battleship” followed by “Safe“.  Tough choices, to be sure.  We opted for the last duo – “Battleship” had gotten good reviews, and “Safe” looked like a solid Jason Statham flick – a safe bet if you’ll pardon the pun.

Perfect choice.

“Battleship” was great.  I wasn’t sure what to expect – the movie was based on a game, after all – but it turned out to be a great action movie.  It was exactly the kind of movie I was expecting but even so it was better than I had expected.  Some good one liners, a fun story line and any time you get to see the pride of the naval fleet fire her guns and F-18 Hornets rocket off the decks of an aircraft carrier is a good day in my book.  Definitely one of those movies I’d expect to grab on DVD when it’s available – especially if there are additional scenes on it.

“Safe” was OK, as well.  The story line seemed a little odd (it took about 3/4 of the movie before I was able to figure out a big chunk of it), but ultimately it was as advertised – Jason Statham.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Lots of good fights, gun play and one-liners.  Not a movie I expect I’ll watch again, but not bad for a second movie attached to “Battleship”.

Fast forward to Sunday.  After a good solid three hours of beach volleyball I decided it was a good night for another movie.  I was physically exhausted but figured kicking back in a lawn chair on the gravel of a drive-in parking lot and watching a couple of movies was a good fix for that.

It was…up until I picked the movie.

When we got there it was a three-way toss-up; everything but “Battleship” was fair game (and even then it wasn’t really ruled-out – it was that good).  So the question came down to humor (“MIB 3” + “Dark Shadows”), action/family (“The Avengers” + “Chimpanzee”) or Horror/Comedy (“Chernobyl Diaries” + “The Dictator”).  I opted to go horror and comedy, figuring it made a good contrast to the action flicks from Saturday night.

I should be jailed for that decision in retrospect.  That was the worst choice I could have made – I feel like I’ve lost all taste in movies to the point I should become a film critic.  Yes, it was really that bad of a decision.

“Chernobyl Diaries” was flat-out boring.  It wasn’t gory, it wasn’t suspenseful it wasn’t psychological – it was horrendously boring.  I – kid you not – almost fell asleep during it (75 degrees, light breeze, kicked back on a lawn chair with my feet up…you do the math).  The only thing that kept me awake was the hope that something interesting would happen.  I should have napped.

But that’s OK, because there was a second movie that could make the night at the drive-in not a total loss.  “The Dictator” seemed to be one of those stupid comedies in the vein of “Dumb and Dumber” – something you don’t have to think through but can laugh and laugh and laugh.

For that thought I sincerely apologize to Jim Carrey and the Farrelly Brothers.

On a scale of 1 to 10, this movie ranked negative.  It owes another movie a star or five just to break even.  It was that bad.  We weren’t even halfway through before I packed up the car and took off.

It was horrible.  Worse that that, really, but I’m so scarred I can’t think of a word that’s fitting at the moment.  I throw up a little every time I think about having spent the 30 minutes I spent watching it.  There was one time I might have actually smiled, but there really wasn’t anything remotely funny in that movie.

I’m not even going to give it any more air play than I already have (which is about 500 words more than it deserves).  My parting advice: avoid it as though it might suck the intelligence from your head (because it actually might).

Tonight – no movies.  Just thanking the men and women who serve our country and eating some brats & burgers with the family.  Good times – happy Memorial Day!

(post image courtesy of Wikipedia)

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