Wednesday, May 17, 2006

2 bizarre movies

Recently I watched Tron and Toys, really strange movies that have made me think twice about movies with one-word titles that start with T. Both are entertaining in their own right, and I can appreciate the artistic visions of both, but they are almost hard to watch because of the utterly bizarre-ness of them.

Tron was probably revolutionary when it came out. Computers were new fancy things, so it is only fitting that a movie should come about chronicling what goes on inside a computer, made using computers. However, Jeff Bridges gives too many witty asides, like he's Spiderman or something. Sometimes it is less desirable for a character to talk to himself while things are happening than to "act" out his emotions. Also, if the viewer is watching and understanding the dialogue / lingo of the movie, my guess is that he or she can figure things out regarding the plot without the assistance of the main character's sly observations. That's another problem I had: I don't speak computer jargon, let alone computer jargon from 1982. I had only a vague idea of what they were doing and why.

One thing about the visuals is that they did a good job of conveying what life must be like for computer programs, but they also made the movie hard to watch. The backgrounds were mostly dark blue / gray, with dark blue / gray characters. The only breakup was a bit of neon flash on the clothing. They would have red or blue stripes on their clothes while the rest of their body was dark, including their skin, lit entirely by blacklight. It also made it a bit difficult to tell one character from another sometimes. Maybe if they ever remake Tron, things will be a little different because I will be a consultant. I had no problem with the layout of the story - that was a novel idea. They just had some trouble expressing it.

Toys is bizarre in an entirely different fashion. First off, I'll admit that I am not a Robin Williams fan. However, I do love Joan Cusack. That said, I will move on to my review and try to keep my biases out of it.

This movie is meant to be a comedy, and it does have some funny parts to it; LL Cool J is always funny, whether he means to be or not. There were several good one-liners that I won't mention here. Future Oscar winner Jamie Foxx even shows up, still needing a few acting lessons. Aside from the set design and props, which look like a bastardized love-child version of something Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton created while on top of a rainbow, there are a few random scenes that don't fit into what my concept of the movie should be. Why is there an xmas pageant at the beginning? This does not figure back into the movie at any point. My guess is that because this was an xmas release, they had to throw some "happy" xmas moments into what is otherwise a dark film.

I must mention the fact that years ago in Davis, Comedy Central and VH1 were the same channel for some reason. They ran in 12 hour blocks and would switch at 4am and 4pm. One time I was watching this movie on Comedy Central when they made the switch. And it's not like they would say "you are now watching VH1." It was just like the channel was changed with a remote. But when they did the switch in the middle of this movie, I didn't even notice until a new (VH1) show came on. I sat through quite a while of what I thought was Toys until I realized I was watching something completely different. My brain was already broken. The movie is that insane.

Also, the movie needed a few more soundtrack options. I love Tori Amos, but they used her song "Happy Workers"(or a remix of it) in at least 4 separate scenes. It got really old, really fast.

Ok, I know it sounds like I'm overly critical and I hate everything about both these movies, but they are actually ok to watch. I probably won't buy them for everyday use, but they are a heckuva lot better than most of the big-budget nonsense that is pooped out nowadays. The lesson is simply this:

Beware of the strangeness of movies that have one-word titles beginning with T, made in a year ending in 2.

Toys - 1992
Tron - 1982

There is probably one from 2002 that I don't realize.


Suebob said...

I was a student working at a movie theater when Tron came out. I never watched it but I distinctly remember it as being the movie - out of hundreds - that had the most liquor bottles to clean up at the end.

Dunno why. Boozers=computers in 1982??

David said...

I must respectfully correct you here. Tron is, in fact, one of the best movies ever, specifically for all the negatives you listed about it. Please watch it 300 more times (as I did when I was 7).

flutter said...

um no, Tron was crap when it came out, too.

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