Thursday, February 14, 2008

A musing on movies

Is this man a criminal?
If you see his latest movie, National Treasure:Book of Secrets, you will probably think so. Any money spent seeing it is definitely daylight robbery.

I went to the cinema the other day with a friend and due to the vagaries of half-term cinema times we were stuck with a choice of National Treasure or a 3 hour wait till Cloverfield. So we took a deep breath, set our expectations to sub Men in Black 2 levels and took the plunge.

As the trailers rolled I reflected on the cast. As Nicholas Cage has been frankly dreadful in just about everything since Raising Arizona I didn't hope for much from him. However, there are some quality actors here - Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel & Jon Voight. This gave me hope for gleaning some enjoyment out of the film.

These hopes were rapidly dashed. I don't believe I have EVER seen a film as bad as National Treasure: Book of Secrets at the cinema. It was so bad that it has replaced Men in Black 2 as officially the worst film I've ever paid to see at the cinema. Admittedly, you don't expect gritty realism in a popcorn-muncher like this, but still this film stretched the boundaries. On three occasions Cage and his moronic sidekicks were required to get themselves out of plot dead ends by doing the most ridiculous things. Firstly, breaking into Buckingham Palace to get a look at the Queen's Resolute Desk(which incidentally appeared to be an 18th century Rubiks cube). Then they had to break into the Oval Office to sneak a look at the President's desk and finally and most inconceivably they had to kidnap the President to get a look at his 'Secret President's Book' (I'm really not kidding).

I have rarely seen a film that treats its viewers with such brazen contempt. It wasn't even 'so bad its good'. I suppose that none of this should come as a surprise when you look at the names of the screenwriters.The Wibberleys? No wonder its awful. It appears to have been written by Australian children's TV presenter rejects. Anyhoo, have a trailer for the upcoming Hellboy 2. Its a film which I'm very much looking forward to, particularly as director Guillermo del Toro has brought his Pan's Labyrinth box of monster tricks to the party..

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (no stars) first film to ever receive no stars.
Hitman ***
Charlie Wilson's War ****
Tom Hanks really should be Oscar nominated for his role in this...
Curse of the Broken Flower ****