Thursday, September 14, 2006

Waiting For The Interpreter

So I took yesterday off work. In part to repair myself for any possible hangovers after Tuesday night's game 1 win in our slopitch finals and part because I have an excess of lieu days to use up before October.

Aside from getting Jayman to sign off on my passport application (he is a notery public), I decided to watch some movies. I watched The Interpreter with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman as well as Waiting... with Ryan Reynolds and Justin Long.

These two movies prove exactly what is wrong with having expectations when you are about to watch a movie. One was a possible Oscar contender from last year, featuring two Academy Award winning actors and directed by the incomparable Sydney Pollack. The other a workplace comedy directed by a guy I have never heard of and featuring actors who are, at best, vaguely familiar.

Top 5 Sydney Pollack films
1. Tootsie
2. Three Days of the Condor
3. Absence of Malice
4. The Electric Horseman
5. The Firm

Anyway, in the end, I liked Waiting... more than I liked The Interpreter. Waiting is nothing more than it claims to be. Really just Clerks but in a restaurant. Actually, this movie could have been directed by Kevin Smith. Having worked in a restaurant, the happenings inside really rang true. Though the lead performance by Ryan Reynolds is irritating...he continues to do his Chevy Chase-light imitations. As well, the script is sort of shoddy. I realize it is just "a day in the life" of a bunch of waiters in a chain restaurant but they could have made it a little more interesting. As well, having worked in a restaurant, these people had way too much time for their "witty" banter in between dealing with tables. But I guess a 90 minute movie of people running around serving food would not be all that fun too watch. A little too working-class-andy-warhol-ish.

Obviously, The Interpreter is a better movie. Better written, better directed etc etc. However, my expectations were already high going into it. Those expectations were not fulfilled. Sean Penn is perfect. Nicole Kidman, not too irritating. However, aside from the bus scene that was featured heavily in the trailer for the film, the movie is boring. And the ending, considering a major character goes missing during the film's final half hour is beyond predictable.

So, my point at the end of this lame blog entry is this. Isn't it funny how your preceived expectations of a film can truly ruin your experience. Like with the film The Sixth Sense. I did not know about the twist going into it and I was amazed. Plus, whether you like the twist or not, I still think it is a good movie. However, people I know who saw it after they knew the ending think the movie sucks. A movie like that for me is The Usual Suspects. I saw it a year after it came out. Considering that Kevin Spacey had won an Academy Award for it, I could guess the ending. And personally, i think THAT film is way overrated.

Conclusion? A film's expectations can really hurt your film experience. Having said that, other than living in a cave and only coming out just to watch a movie, there is really no way around this fact.



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