I have wasted this wonderful tool haven't I?
I can't say I wasn't surprised with it being nearly a year since I last posted (or first) here. I kept telling myself that "I NEED TO write something" and "I should do that Journal thing." I had some good ideas for journals, until I reread them and it turns out they were more like bitter tangents that would probably be better for me not to post. I did have a nice idea (non-tangent) that I outlined, but now it seems my computer lost it, like a virtual sock in the hard dryer.
So here we are again, me sitting at the computer planning to write something. I am going at this from a different approach than last time and not forcing myself to write something profound or heavy...YET
! This is just something simple, fluff
if you want to call it that. Probably the easiest to write for me is a list. Granted the topic for the list could be hard, but fret not faithful reader(s) I have one.
I've got a wide taste in movies, with The Critters franchise being a example of one of my favorite film series ( Clip of Critter greatness. Warning: Use of F word by an alien
), so it isn't exactly hard for me to find a movie enjoyable. That being said, it takes a good bit for my expectations to be exceeded. This is a list of movies that I felt exceeded my expectations, whether in a good way or a bad.
I feel that I should just say that there may be SPOILERS
here to cover all my basis.
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes I saw this over the weekend on Blu-Ray ( I recommend to watch this in Blu-Ray), so I had a lot of expectation from a year of people talking about it and online reviews praising it. I knew I was going to find it enjoyable to say the least. While watching I started seeing things that I was surprised that they addressed in the PoA world, and how they did it without making a big to-do to say "See, we mentioned this thing! Right here, a reference to the other movies." I knew I was going to be pretty impressed by Ceasar, but the scenes he had with the other apes (Primarily the back and forth with Circus Orangutan Maurice) were surprisingly powerful. The biggest exceeding factor was the way they played out the beginning of the end for mankind. The Mr. Franklin passing on the virus to the jerk neighbor and having the audience realize what is happening was a nice touch. Also, watching Draco finally get his ultimate comeuppance for being a jerk made me grin a little more.
- The Longest Yard (2005) Yep, this exceeded my expectations and in a good way. Adam Sandler as a person that played in the NFL, Come On! I had set the bar low for the movie expecting "heh" moments of humor. What made this move entertaining for me was the well used supporting cast around Sandler (aside from The Great Khali). He was playing the straight man in a world of characters and it worked. I am also a sucker for Terry Crews in anything for some reason. The casting of wrestlers was a good touch too. They could have overloaded with former NFL stars, but instead went with equally athletic individuals, but whom can actually do a decent job of acting (again, except The Mediocre Khali). The football itself was fun to watch, the way it was shot made it come off well (better than Waterboy's football games). The thing that surprised methe most, was the level of danger present. I knew of the "shocking" death and the tense end with the sniper rifle in the original, but was pleasantly surprised they went with them in a movie headlined by family oriented guys. The movie kept me excited whether with sporting moments or good off-field plot moments. With that said, the movie was brought back down at times to the low-bar I set with Tracy Morgan's cheerleaders...and The Wretched Khali.
- Ghost Rider Before you start thinking I liked this, I want to remind you, that sometimes a movie can be worse than I thought and exceed those bad expectations. Ghost Rider is a fine, errr, "awful" example of that. I went into this expecting an "ok" origin story from the guy that made a meh Daredevil, plus Nic Cage is always entertaining. Well I was wrong on both parts. There are just so many WTF moments here. I enjoyed Wes Bently chewing up some scenery, despite never seeing a true-form of Blackheart, but that is just because people say I tend to look like him. Another tolerable thing about this movie was how laughable at times. Donal Logue's masterful line "We were ridin' the gravy train on biscuit wheels..." should have been in the tagline of the poster. Granted I am not a Ghost Rider super-fan, but who were the Hidden and why didn't they stay that way. Why did Sam Elliot just ride all the way to Mexico and then turn around to leave, was it just to kill that lizard?This movie is painful to watch because I was already giving it the benefit of the doubt, then it took my generosity and betrayed me. They should have accepted their fate and just made the flaming skull a Bee Helmet.
- Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father I had no clue about what to expect from this documentary. I found the premise in my Netflix description intriguing. The story of a filmmaker making a movie about the murder of his friend as a visual for the lost friend's son to cherish when he grew up. There were a lot of touching moments about who this boy's dad was and how he touched so many people's lives with intertwining pieces of the filmmaker journeying to see the titular Zachary. Then the film pulls the rug out from underneath me, beats my heart with the rug. About 2/3 of the way through the movie all the hope and joy made a sharp turn into the opposite direction. What happened to my happy story? My expectations for a happy film had been met, then something so much darker and devastating happened and this became one of my "You need to see this" movies when talking to people. I know movies have shocking twists, but when you add a twist that is that shocking and TRUE...sometimes the truth is far sadder than fiction.
- Fried Green Tomatoes This is probably one of my first theatrical memories of my expectations being exceeded. I don't know what it is about this movie, maybe being from the South, but I love it! Now with that said, I first saw this in the theater, I wasn't even ten years old yet. I went to this with my family and thought it was going to be a girly bore movie. I slumped down in the seat and was ready to be in a terrible mood. I don't know where I changed my mind in the movie, but I do know at the end I was smiling and sitting up in my chair get into all the jokes and moments with the rest of the theater. The movie had everything for me to enjoy: Southern references I could relate to, Baseball moments, thrills, mystery, people eating people (I was a pre-teen boy, I thought it was COOOOOOL), and the semi-twist ending reveal had me (i'm a sucker for twists, turnabouts, and callbacks). I still call my mom Towanda whenever I see her getting angry and I will tell that story about the ducks and the frozen lake when I get older. I watch this movie now and it still exceeds my expectations because I can appreciate a little more of the movie each time and still enjoy those moments I did when I first saw it.
I will hopefully find that lost journal entry that I had. I think if I can find it, I could make a nice three part adventure out of it. Til next time (hopefully not next year), let me know what you found to be better or worse than you expected if you want.