Monday, April 28, 2008

Haha haha haha what?

I just finished Flyboys. I would have thought a WW I period piece about fighter pilots had real potential. Perhaps it does...

I think I'm usually pretty generous to movies, and don't even notice many of the things that others gripe about. I noticed them in Flyboys. Let's start with the utterly inhuman portrayal of the Germans. Surely, after Downfall we can stand for all of our enemies to have more than 1 dimension. Not a single German word is translated and the 'honorable' German seems more random than deliberately noble. The SWAT-esque ransacking of a French house seems unlikely to impractical.

Move past the 'Real World' rainbow of American stereotypes that make up the protagonists. Forgive the magical learning of English by the female love interest. Pay no attention to the 'one of these guys is a spy' plot that unspools and wraps up, tensionless, in the space of 15 minutes. Feel relieved when the 'hero' American is supposed to get court martialed, and instead gets a medal. Accept the fact that the EXACT wound that kills 'gruff, experienced, but heart of gold' American pilot is not only survived by 'hero' American, but he is able to do aerobatic maneuvers, and shoot 'super-evil' German guy with a pistol at range while flying, and survive.

Whenever characters need to be interacting in the background, or chattering, or filling dead air, they laugh. They always laugh. Everyone in the movie is constantly laughing, but no one ever tells a joke. This 2:30 epic movie was done so cheaply that they couldn't even pay a guy to throw in chatter about the latest cinemas, or whores, or whatever.*

Of course, this happens in other shows as well. The episode of The Tudors I'm listening to right now, for instance. But it usually doesn't rise to my level of notice.

* In all fairness, it's not as bad as the soundtrack of On the Beach.
1. Waltzing Matilda Overture
2. Waltzing Matilda piano only
3. Waltzing Matilda sung by drunk guys
4. Waltzing Matilda flute only
5. Waltzing Matilda variations

One saving grace of OTB is that they seem to realize how annoying it is when the captain yells at the drunks singing WM.

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