Sunday, July 8, 2007

Exciting Adventures in Filmland

In our endless quest to avoid talking to each other (joke), my wife and I have been working our way through Netflix. Last night we watched Unbreakable, director M. Night Shanana's follow-up to The Sixth Sense. Forget the fact that The Sixth Sense had a twist ending that was stolen from Carnival of Souls, that movie was beloved by the public and so Mr. "twist ending" Night was in demand in Hollywood. So he called up Bruce Willis and the girl from Forest Gump and decided to make another o' them picture shows.

This time out, in the shadow of Sixth you keep wondering where the twist is and if Bruce (I can call him "Bruce" because we're on a first name basis, what with him having attending one of my melba toast parties back during his Moonlighting days) is alive or dead. When the movie is over you realize that Mr. Twist is doing little more than trying to create a new comic book franchise. Which isn't to say that we didn't enjoy the movie (despite the sometimes hokey dialogue) or that it didn't occupy my brain a bit today. But most of what went on in my brain was not "how could I have missed that?" but rather that the movie was horribly misnamed.

I don't remember if Unbreakable broke box office records but how could it with a lame name like that? During the movie Bruce Willis is incapble of being hurt and goes around in a poncho righting wrongs. I am not making that up (see pictures). In light of that, I think that if the movie had been named PonchoMan it would have gone gangbusters. Too little, too late.

It also occured to me today that Bruce performed his feats of strength and psycho-histo-touchosis (incidentally stolen from Stephen King's The Dead Zone but with less blood and feminist dogma) ONLY when he was wearing his poncho. This may or may not be coincidence as he wore his poncho during most of the film but I earnestly put forth that it was not Bruce who was a new superhero but rather that he had somehow got hold of a MAGIC PONCHO, possibly left over from one of the Harry Potter movies. If this is the case then perhaps the film should have been called El Magico Poncho and His Subervient Man. The world may never know.

Also of interest is the director's theme of water. In this movie both Bruce and his arch-nemesis Mr. "Bad Haircut" Glass, are vulnerable to water. In his other movie Signs the aliens amazingly decided to try to take over a world that was 3/4 made up of the one thing that could hurt them... you guessed it, water. But it took the humans a number of days to figure this out, which makes sense (six of 'em) because they were too busy sitting slack-jawed in front of American Idol. In The Village water was evil and would turn you into a newt unless you received prior approval from the village elders and don't even ask about bathing (and if you look close you'll see Bruce as an extra at the party playing a kazoo). The Lady In The Water, well, that music just stunk so badly that it would have benefitted from a twist ending. Perhaps something about the ego-inflated director who happened to be playing someone who would write a book that would change the world meeting up with Little Red Riding Hood who happened to wield a tommy gun, but the tommy gun can talk.

And speaking of bad endings, another movie we watched was Ghost World which we enjoyed 95% of the way through. A great movie for Steve Buscemi fans... and you know who you are. Except the ending was so atypically unHollywood that for once you wanted a Hollywood ending where everything turns out peaches and cream. So Melynda and I each came up with our own endings the next day, endings that did not involve Steve Buscemi donning a magic poncho and lifting a school bus off of ten screaming orphans.

And of course, all this talk of ponchos reminds me of a classic post from the early, funny days of The Daily Journal, a blog before there was the term "blog".

December 19, 1998
There is no "real" logic behind the poncho that I always wear. However, it does create a certain aura about me. When the folks in the office see me getting coffee with my poncho on, they are perhaps thinking to themselves, "There is that mysterious wanderer who always wears the poncho. There are so many questions we have for him and yet we are afraid to ask. The coffee must warm his soul." Either that or they just scream out, "Hey, Poncho Freak, don't drink all the coffee like you did yesterday!" like they always do.


Melynda Hoffman said...


Robotface Shumway said...

Holy crap! As I was reading your post, I kept thinking of the Poncho Man TDJ entry and then you ended with it. BRILLIANT!

Melynda Hoffman said...

He really wears ponchos though. He is the unknowingly ficticious personification of the historical TDJ muse.

Andrea said...

Personally, I think the poncho freak senario at the end is genius because it's so true. (Melynda told me)