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November 2005

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11/20/2005: "Bad movies"

music: toccata and fugue in D minor by Bach
mood: let down

What pisses me off about movies is when everyone says what a good movie it is, and how great a certain performance so and so gives, and then you watch it and see it is just a bunch of crap. Case in point: Training Day, starring Denzel Washington. Mr. Washington deserved an Oscar for his performance,
but the movie stank, like a team giving up two touchdowns in the last minute to lose a game. Blame goes first to the writer for pulling his punches, and imposing a happy ending in a situation where that just was not very likely, and in such a way as to be virtually impossible. If Mr. Washington's character was in a truly desperate situation, then I don't think he would have given a second thought to killing the rookie cop, played by Ethan Hawke.
The second culprit would be the casting director, in giving the part of the young cop to Mr. Hawke in the first place. He was totally miscast, and despite a fine effort, he could not make his character live. It
was just a role he was not meant to play, like when Robert Wagner played in a cowby movie. There's no way certain actors can play certain roles, and producers should take that into account when making a movie. Of course, given the part, even Johnny Depp couldn't have saved that part, given the way the script refused to be truthful about the situation. Frankly, once the rookie cop takes the hit off the pipe, all that his character is becomes false. He can't be good once he's done bad to be a narc.

In summation, in order to have a happy ending, the movie asks the viewer to swallow such a monumental line of bullshit that it says forget the first hour of the movie and enjoy the violence at the end. That makes the whole movie a complete waste of time for a movie lover, and a complete waste of Mr. Wasington's marvellous performance. It would have been a good segment for Sin City, if Hawke's character was killed when they raided the drug dealer's place and took his money, but as a two hour movie it was unrealistic. Maybe there should be a rule that crappy movies can't win awards, no matter how valiantly an actor of Mr. Washington's caliber strives to rise above the mediocre material.

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