Another summer of ‘blockbuster’ movies is upon us. I’ve seen Iron Man 3 and Superman (yes, another one), Up On Poppy Hill, Much Ado About Nothing, Pacific Rim and many others that people probably didn’t care so much about. I’m glad I saw Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. I saw the trailer and I was hooked.

Now I’ve heard of bunkerbusters, but not really sure how the term blockbuster came to be. Anybody know before they also do a search or continue reading?

To the internet!…..

So. I guess I wasn’t that far off in my thinking. Wiki says that it started with the bombs that would destroy a city block. From there it was adopted for a play/production that was crazy sensational. Hence, blockbuster. I digress as usual.

So what do suspenders have to do with movies?

I’m not talking about the suspenders that I have but don’t wear because people make fun of me, although I will be making a comeback on the bowtie if I can ever figure out how to tie it again. Videos just ain’t cutting it right now.

I’m talking about the simple devices that movie makers use to suck us in and keep us interested. Some movies do it far better than others.

We each at the moment we step in the theater are susceptible to a particular hook. Maybe today it’s the love story or the fast car chase or a plot twist that was unexpected or someone hot or just a story that is making absolutely no sense but you need to keep watching to see what happens.

Why do we even need something to suck us in? For Much Ado About Nothing I knew I wanted to see it. I’m a Whedon fan and a Shakespeare fan so yeah pre-movie I was already willing to see it through.

For a lot of movies I have preconceived notions that I try and hold in check while I watch the movie. I like anime and the Studio Ghibli films so Poppy Hill was expected to be a winner for me and I wasn’t let down. Man of Steel for example was a preconceived 50/50. In the end I liked it better than tomato critics. But then again, I also like movies that aren’t standard summer blow em up films too. Yes there is destruction but there’s a strong story there for me as well. I felt it. It connected with me. Subtle and not so subtle emotions being tugged. Pain and tragedy are there. There’s also a lot of crap that I could have done without but I kinda glanced over a bunch of that as regular hollywood nonsense.


There’s a movie that got me pondering. I know some people that didn’t like it. It jostled my mind the first two viewings. I think I’ve seen it three times now. Twice in the theater and once at home. I’m still thinking about it and will probably make a fourth go at it.

I was digressing again…

So, you’re having a jolly ole time in the movies. You’ve bought whatever plot may be given to you as weak as it may be (*cough*Pacific Rim*cough*) and you choose to simply let yourself be caught up in it and stop asking questions. Things seem to be taking a turn and you begin to worry the person you think is the hero is not going to be making a sequel.

And BAM! Out of nowhere comes (insert saving moment).

It’s a toss up at this point. Did the deus ex machina moment relieve you or just plain piss you off? Would the movie have been better if the hero really did die? Do we have to have a happy ending? The Place Beyond The Pines is a great example. If you haven’t seen it try and skip this part and rent it. Then come back and reread. The movie overall was great but the ending rocked. Not your classic style happy ending shit. This was hardcore in your face reality of a trying to make the best of a really fucked up situation. No joking. This kid had his life kicked in the balls and he just kept plowing ahead like he had a super absorbing cup. Bravo! I left so unsettled my friend and I spend quite a bit of time after talking about the movie. It’s nice to not have things wrapped up pleasantly sometimes and you have to face a shitty reality because that’s.. well.. life. Surprise!

In the end (and the end of the movie), why do we choose to believe? Why do we sit there and try to accept this alternate reality be it documentary, class summer fun or far out trippy independent film? I guess it’s still where you are in the moment. Maybe you want to escape your own life. Maybe that’s why we have so many reality tv shows. I’ve learned though that I have enough reality in my own life thank you very much. Maybe you want to, in a sense, travel outside of your comfort zone and experience something you wouldn’t before but easier than actually going somewhere and being forced to experience something. In the theater you can just get up and leave. Being somewhere, you’d have to do hide. Maybe you just want to see what others have seen and just want to know what they are talking about.

I try hard not to put too much stock into ratings of movies. I’ve enjoyed many movies that people just consider trash and would never admit they ever saw it. To each his own. I’ve never seen Titanic and really I’m ok with it. Actually, I knew how it ended already. Doh!

Enjoy your flicks at whatever venue you might catch them at. I encourage you to take a moment if it presents itself and step outside of your comfort zone and catch a movie you might not have before. Many towns that are large enough probably have some place that shows independent films or box office ones that just weren’t big enough to headline.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel

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