Monday, August 31, 2009

Miss War - Signs of the Apocalypse: THE Final Destination Wins the Weekend

Oh dear. If there was ever a sure sign that the end is near it's this sunny headline: 'Final Destination' Tops 'Basterds' To Win Box Office.

Now I wasn't expecting those heedlessly entertaining Basterds to rake in "Transformers Dollars" by any stretch of the imagination.  (Talk about an Apocalyptic sign.  Wonder if Bay is aware that he sold his soul to the Devil for that one?)  But I was hoping it would at least win this lackluster weekend.

But NO.  Not during these dark times.  The better movie hardly ever wins anymore.  And the tragedy is not only did it lose the weekend, but it lost it to this BAM ("Barely A Movie").  THE FINAL DESTINATION "3-D" not only has the performance quality of a kindergarten play (Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, and Haley Webb's portrayals of The Squirrel, The Rabbit, The Tree, and The Bolder are a bit lacking), but the special effects were so weak that I wanted to scoop up the chocolate sauce they were using for blood and pour it on my Dibbs.

As my sagacious viewing companion pointed out, "This movie is like 'Ed Wood bad.'"  But I think even Mr. Wood would take offense to that comparison.  At least PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and GLEN OR GLENDA offer some contribution to cinema history (and great fodder for a brilliant Tim Burton exploration).  Despite earning the esteemed title of "Worst Filmmaker of All Time," there's a love of cinema hidden in Ed Wood's terrible camera work and cue-card acting that David R. Ellis just didn't achieve.  In fact, the only actual entertainment value in this film is the hilarity of seeing shots meant for 3-D in 2-D.  (Even the deaths were only chuckle-worthy and not nearly as inventive and clever as some of the franchise's previous slayings.)

I'm SO glad I was drunk for that one.

But I blame myself for this whole weekend debacle.  I do.  And not with the same pride that I take in OTHER signs of the Apocalypse.  I didn't review INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS last week.  I didn't give it that little word-of-blog push that it clearly needed.  I didn't tell YOU, all of our many readers, to run, run, RUN NOW to the theaters to see what could be Tarantino's finest work since Travolta and Thurman twisted up the dance floor at Jack Rabbit Slims.  (Protest ALLLLL you want, Kill Bill Lovers.  You know it's true.)

Anyway, since I didn't say it before, I'll say it now. GO. Get thee to the nearest theater and make sure this horrible disaster never happens again! (Or at least next week.)  Even if you question Brad Pitt's crazy accent or why all the Basterds are name actors that we barely see, you will be so blissfully happy that you witnessed the superb acting skills of one Christoph Waltz and one Melanie Laurent. (Talk about an Honorary Horsewoman! We should just give the girl a flame thrower right now and call it a day.)  And as always, Tarantino's unparalleled vignette artistry keeps each "chapter" filled with humor that is only matched by the extreme tension in every moment. You will not be disappointed.  Well, you might be.  But that's the mark of a good Tarantino film, isn't it?  Its ability to totally polarize an audience? At the very least, don't you want to join the debates?

Oh, and PS:  THE Final Destination got it WRONG.  The "real Final Destination" is Denver.  Discuss.

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