Thursday, May 19, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 4

            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.

            Today is "A Movie that makes me Sad", and this was actually a horse race in my mind for what would be the most depressing thing I had ever bore witness to on film.  Oddly there is a movie I think that would take the cake in this contest "Grave of the Fireflies", which is apparently the saddest thing ever animated, as if they strung together Bambi finding his dead mother on a loop, but I haven't seen "Grave of the Fireflies" because I don't seek out depressing stuff.  So let me try to explain what it is I find sad and why I picked the movie I did.
            I am reading this category as, "a movie, that through its narrative, made you feel an emotional response", as opposed to "Phantasm" which I was just sad that movie was ever made and sadder still that there are people who think it is good.  Everyone probably already understood that, but I wanted to point that out as I will not be giving a joke answer with this as my modus operandi.

            I hate the corruption of innocence, and I hate suffering.  The torturing of a person of living thing for the cruel pleasure of it sickens and breaks my heart.  Child soldiers, rape victims, and those who suffer under the yoke of similar oppressions to numerous to name break my heart and have my everlasting pity.  All that being said I cannot connect to that situation.  Those are real issues, and real tragedies and people just can't admit to themselves those catastrophic social injustices exist on the statistical scales that they do.  And neither can I.  The movie "Blood Diamond" has a tragic and horrifying scene of brainwashing child soldiers and I wasn't sad, it just made me angry.  So what movies make me sad?  Cute animal protagonists, and their journeys through the cruel thing we call life.
Heroic last stands for the lives of your friends isn't sad, it's just heroic.

            There are three movies that stand out in this regard: "Fluke" about a man reincarnated in the body of a dog and his personal odyssey to find and protect his family from a past life; "Paulie" about a sentient parrot on a quest to find the little girl to whom he was a pet; and lastly "My Dog Skip" about a boy and his dog growing up.  All of these movies will rip your living guts out, and I shed a manly tear at "My Dog Skip", but actually full on cried at "Fluke" because I was a little kid when I first saw it.  Let me try and go through these as best I can.

            "Fluke" advertised itself as a wholesome fun little movie in which a kid gets a dog after the death of his father and the pet helps him cope... There was implied zaniness.  FUCKING LIES!  This movie starts with and shows the plight of animals born to the urban wild with the voice of a distressed man looking out the eyes.  Loving supportive characters bite it throughout the movie by the truckload, and while the movie attempts to end on a message of life going on... It doesn't help.  This movie made me so damn sad.  Aww, this memory is giving me that vague sinking feeling.
This Trailer is a lie. Fuck this movie. I didn't come to watch a complex meditation on the nature of reencarnation, I came for zaniness.
             "Paulie" starts out with an immigrant janitor discovering the titular avian character in the storage area of a lab.  The bird then recounts his life as kindly helpful people are ripped away from him or die, he has to work as a criminal because he doesn't know any better and is exploited (they use Paulie to watch people entering pin numbers).  The bird has its spirit crushed and even though he is as smart as a typical human he is so depressed and withdrawn he can only manage talking to the janitor.  The movie ends on a positive beat, but you are still left lamenting all the years that were stolen from the poor creature.
Wise cracking and good family fun... LIES! SON OF A BITCH MARKETING!

            "My Dog Skip" I knew watching this was going to be a mistake.  And you can already guess what is going to be the end of this tale.  The Jack Russell Terrier, the breed of dog I had at home, dies after living a long life while the narrator is away at college, which adds a level of sting to the movie now that I look back on it.
AH! Why? Why am I doing this to myself? Remembering these movies man... Aw.

            Honestly, I have to say that all of these movies are miserable and I question why people take there kids to see movies like this.  If kids cried when Optimus Prime died they're going to wail when the cute dog passes on regardless of what fun the rest of the movie was.  Fucking miserable, part of why I like "Homeward Bound", SPOILER: All the pets make it home.

            Overall, I'm giving it to "Fluke" as the number one sad movie.  The film blindsided me in the audience with its poor marketing, and if you ever do watch it there is a lot of dark elements that I just find really dragging on my soul.  At least "Paulie" got a solid happy ending, and "My Dog Skip" was a positive movie for the most part that shows how pets and owners can have fulfilling and rich memories together.  "Fluke" is just one kick in the nuts after another.  Don't watch "Fluke", or any of these three films.
Don't throw yourself into traffic puppy.  I'm sorry I didn't go with the joke answer.  I'll do that next time.

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