Dear Santa, hear my prayer: Please allow me to someday be enlightened enough to pick a proper movie to see on Christmas day. One that will entertain me, lift my weary spirit, make me believe in the magic of the all-mighty, bright and shiny, benevolent God that is the Large Format Digital Experience featuring Bigger Screens, Bigger Sound and Bigger, more Luxurious Seats thereby providing me with the Ultimate Entertainment Experience... Amen.
We have a tradition. We normally, as in more often than not, see a movie on Christmas day. This started as a way to combat boredom and the inevitable OK so now what? feeling that always seems to creep in on the Big holiday. It does help from a distraction standpoint and is a nice way to cap off the holiday that doesn't involve gorging yourself on a huge meal and company you don't really want anyway. Well, there IS the popcorn, but....
Anyway - so, the problem is that we have been on a half a decade run of really shitty, down right depressing Christmas day movies! LOL.
It all started with Matt Damon. Damn him. That guy has made some great movies. Unfortunately, the ones we have seen on Christmas day are not any of them. The Good Shepherd. Yup, in 2006 we trudged through the snow to see what was touted as "the greatest spy movie ever" and were treated to the slowest, most depressing, most boring life a spy has ever known. In 2010 we sat through the Coen brother's rendition of True Grit. I personally had truly high hopes for this one. Having watched the original 57 thousand times as a kid I couldn't wait for a Coen twist. Some additional character development, some great plot maker that threw the original story line on its ear.... Waiting....Waiting....
This year we knew we were golden because we got our crappy Matt Damon movie out of the way at home! See Elysium review in prior entry...
So, we picked something we couldn't go wrong with. A legend. With Keanu Reeves! And we plopped our tired asses down with a bucket of popcorn for Sam to finally see a good Christmas day movie. So, the plot description "a band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun" pretty much sums it up. Oh, and there is magic. Can't go wrong, right?
Oh....god....why must I be prone to horribly depressing Christmas movies that don't even make sense?
Please note that for purposes of this review I am not taking into account culture, belief, tradition...or even the accuracy of the same. But, first...boring....yawn...why does it take SO long to get to the action? And the point? Second, I don't understand the culture, beliefs, traditions of ancient Japanese society. OK OK, so I guess this review is taking those into account. My, modern, feminist Americanized brain cannot wrap my head around it all. Nor do I want to. But, I could get past it if the action was good. Maybe.
How about the completely, non-climatic end to the ruthless shogun? Or the ruthless dragon-lady, witch thingy? Or how about the lack of tactical logic and planning from a continuation of your society perspective in allowing these dudes that just defeated an army to go belly down on their own daggers as dictated by the emperor's displeasure over a situation the he created in the first place? Blllaaaahhhhhh!!! My gypsy mind cannot compute.
To be fair, this movie is a remake of an ancient tale and prior film versions have been produced so it isn't like I didn't know where the whole thing was heading.
Still, it would be different if the road traveled at a slow speed toward the illogical cliff of customary practice involving stabbing oneself with a Kool-Aid dagger were a little more...entertaining?
On the upside, we DID get to see a preview for Non-Stop, which is the latest Liam Neeson action movie coming out. It looked absolutely horrible...in that wonderful, loud, full of crazy stunts and one-liners delivered by angry ,aging, action stars way. And I will know exactly what I am in for when we see it. Unless there are snakes. I wonder if there are snakes on that plane?
Escaping reality - one movie, book, fantasy at a time :)