Sunday, March 02, 2008

vantage point, cool; Vantage Point, eh

For the past two weekends I've had an afternoon off, and because the weather hasn't been great for beach walking, I've snuck out to a movie on my own. Last week I saw Juno... a first-run, Oscar nominated movie, right before the Oscars... and guess how many people were in the theater? Go on, guess. How many people do you think would hit the midafternoon show on a cold and rainy day?

One, is how many. Just me. Where to sit, where to sit? You have to love Cape Cod in the wintertime. Everything that's great about going to the movies... the big screen, the big sound, the cupholders... and no boors with candy wrappers and/or cell phones and/or chatty companions.

Yesterday I decided to see Vantage Point. Me, and six other people. Gah, I hate a crowd.

Unfortunately the movie was underwhelming. The premise: The POTUS is shot while about to give a speech before an anti-terrorism summit in Spain. We see the same events repeated from the perspectives of eight strangers, including Dennis Quaid as a Secret Service guy, and Sigourney Weaver (looking awful! I mean, wow awful. Which I guess is refreshing in its own way -- it's high time we stopped insisting that every damn person in every damn role in every damn movie is so improbably stunning -- but still took me by surprise) as the director in the cable news trailer.

It could've been more interesting, but there were some gaffes that got in the way. For example, what do Secret Service people wear? Dark suits and sunglasses, right? These dudes are famous for their sunglasses. Well here we are at high noon under the searing Mediterranean sun, and no shades on anyone. A small quibble? Maybe, but this kind of thing distracts me. It's not incidental. I mean, this is an assassination movie, the Secret Service plays kind of a large role -- might as well get it right, hmmm?

OK, so maybe that's minor. But the whole thing came off schlocky.

And the cinematography: There's a looooong car chase, which is cool, except that the camera work was so shaky during the whole ordeal that I'm using the word "ordeal." I started to wonder if people get seasick in movie theaters, and couldn't there have been a better balance struck here between excitement and nausea.


So: eh. Not all bad, but when one of the upsides of a movie is that "at least it isn't too long," maybe there are better things to see.

Or, maybe it's Cape Cod in wintertime.


  1. We saw There Will Be Blood today and I thought it was just excellent. I know that Daniel Day Lewis seems to win everything, but he was just jaw dropping in this.

    Have you seen it? You seem to see a lot of films. Our problem is that Bing and I don't like the same kinds of films, so we have to take turns. It was her turn this time, so we saw Blood, but I really, really wanted to see Once.

  2. I haven't gotten to Blood yet... have to put it in the Netflix queue instead of seeing it in the theater, because Mr. S. will want to see it too, and we don't go out to movies together (babysitter? What's a babysitter?). I hear good things about it all 'round, particularly about DDL's performance.