Tuesday, May 17, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 2

            I decided to do the 30 day movie challenge as a blog series as it ties into my blog activities rather easily and I am once again not blogging my usual series with regularity in spite of saying that I would.
            Day 2 is supposed to be "My Least Favorite Movie", and I actually think that if you know what this movie is (most won't) and what I dislike about movies you will just sort of shrug and say, yeah, that looks like crap.  Let me break down what I generally dislike in movies.  And how they relate to the movie I hate, that movie being "Phantasm".
And here is the Trailer, Beware the 70's hair

            1) Pretentiousness.  When a film has a strange premise, one that extends beyond the common and boring nature of day to day life it needs to do so in a manner that shows the gravity of the situation, but when you move into a situation without any levity or humor and in doing so make the film feel stiff and forced then you have failed.  Phantasm is loaded with these instances.  No one makes a joke organically, no one has any funny lines.  This movie in effect becomes ironically funny, because it is just so up its own ass.

            2) Activity.  This is when things happen in the context of the story that have no reason to happen, and are in fact counter intuitive, they exist because not enough has happened and something needs to happen to jar the audience back into the story.  I cannot explain the plot of this film, there are aliens, dwarves, a giant that bleeds mustard.  None of it makes any sense, but it is certainly happening, there is certainly stuff going on.  Pointlessly.

            3) Inconsistency.  A movie needs a visual style that helps to establish what kind of movie it is.  For instance "Ghostbusters" about a small business that is literally inventing stuff on the go to fight the paranormal has gadgets that look like they were made in a garage, they operate out of an abandoned firehouse, and when the mood isn't spooky it gives the look of a New York in typical fashion, it blends supernatural with mundane to make a movie that feels like it could happen.  "Phantasm" goes from an almost Rockwell like small town setting to an alien planet with only a single white room in between and no story justification for doing so.  And it blurs the line on whether the whole thing is a dream or not as a dodge to explain away the inconsistencies, instead of actually writing a consistent setting.  They use bad props, effects, and sets to make a mostly bland and at the same time strikingly juxtaposed setting with no positive effect.
Another Song you have heard a billion times!

            4) Stupidity.  I don't mean people making wrong decisions based on poor information, I mean people saying and doing stupid things based on the information they have.  Dragged further into the suck by bad acting and poor scripting.  With dialogue that sounds unnatural and actions that are not thought out you could at the very least forgive them if the actors in the roles could make it feel right that a silly action is the course they are taking (like when Grand Moff Tarkin didn't just blow up the planet the rebel base was orbiting in "Star Wars", he wanted to kill the rebels directly, and because he is a cruel fuck he wanted them to feel the time ticking away till ultimate annihilation).  "Phantasm" has such poor acting that nothing they do seems to be a part of any line of reasoning.
Evacuate?  In our moment of triumph?

            5) Nonsense, Lots of Nonsense.  While people might talk like bad actors reading a poorly written script, using props that are cheap, on sets that are crappy, with no logic or motive to anything they do, at the very least there might be a mythos, or theme that saves the movie.  This movie's theme is that midgets and tall people are creepy.  That's it.

            "Phantasm" I can't even accuse of having a good idea at the starting point, it just seems like they had a creepy actor and just cobbled together loose reasoning to include whatever junk they could pull out of the dumpster behind the special effects department.  Don't watch this movie, it offends my mind.
Yeah, like... like that...

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