Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Movie Moment

Went to the movies, not once, but twice this weekend. Saw X Men 3: The Last Stand, and The DaVinci Code.

Also saw the trailer to the new Omen movie, which, frankly I could have done without. Interesting though that the first Omen movie came out in 1976, at a time when the Republican Party was going through a bit of a down period (a very brief down period, as it turned out). I guess lying Republican Presidents prepare the market for films about the Antichrist.

X-Men 3 was good, but a little pinched. It felt like they felt they had to get it to 1 hour 45 minutes. It's rare to say it but it might have been better if had been about 20 minutes longer to give a few of the storylines (particularly Angels and Rogues) time to breath.

On the other hand seeing the Beast in action was excellent. And the movie had a lot of very enjoyable moments and excellent fight scenes. Oh and the use of Jamie Madrox was super - cool.
As for the DiVinci code it's a movie with an ideology. And that sort of gets in the way of the story telling.

An ideology is a "truth," and once you understand the "truth" you either accept it or you don't. Why don't people accept a "truth?" As I've said before, because they are dumb or crazy or they have ulterior motives. Or, in the answer the ideologue never acknowledges, you have another "truth."

So the badguys end up being cardboard cutouts, because you'd have to be a cardboard cutout not to accept the clear "truths" of this Gnostic ideology.

A non-ideologue who wants to create a meaningful villain gives him his own truth and let's his actions spring from that. In a real examination of this half baked conspiracy, the villains would have a motivation beyond maintaining the Catholic Church's awesome power. They'd have their own truth and would express them.

But the ideologue does not wish to confuse the issue by giving the villains a point of view. So they remain cardboard cutouts, in the service of explaining the "truth."

That also explains why the movie seems paced poorly. In a traditional narrative sense the movie wraps up 20 minute or so before it actually ends. We then get not one but two codas to make sure we get the point. Because, at it's heart, the DaVinci Code isn't a story. It's an argument.

Also one other niggling point - which I will put in invisio-print for those who haven't seen it or read it. Simply select it and the words will appear as if by magic.
OK, the movie seems to posit Sophie Neveu as the last descendent of Jesus Christ. That doesn't strike me as very logical. The most logical way for it to have gone (once you accept the postulate that Jesus Christ had a child) is for the line to die out relatively quickly, or for him to, by the year 2006, have many many descendents. Very romantic, but kind of illogical.
Anyway, until the last 20 minutes or so I quite enjoyed the movie, and even the last bit wasn't particularly bad, just kind of seemed long. You just have to know what it is going into it.

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