Notes from the Manager
I have to admit, since I’ve been doing movie jokes again (or rather, jokes about new movies again rather than jokes about movies in general, like in Book 6), I’ve had this nagging feeling that I’ve already done just about every one of these jokes before. Which is probably to be expected after 6+ years of doing a comic strip. And sooner or later, I’ll probably be right. Whenever that finally does happen, sorry! Hopefully it will be different enough that most of you won’t notice.
Anyway. A Good Day to Die Hard opened this weekend. I don’t really hate the sequels; I think Die Hard 2 gets a bad rap, and that it’s actually decent — just not nearly as good as the first one. I never saw all of Die Hard with a Vengeance, but what I saw didn’t really encourage me to see the rest. I enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard as a dumb fucking movie with some pretty fun action. “The new one” looks even bigger and dumber, and the reviews I’ve seen support my hunch, so, like the fourth one, it’s a rental for me, at best.
What I can’t get around with any of them after the second one is that they missed the main thing that made the first Die Hard great: he’s a normal fucking guy. John McClane was the antidote to the Arnolds and Slys of the 1980’s. Now, he’s a superhero, just like the rest. I saw Die Hard for the first time in high school on cable, and it was fucking magic — so for me, these sequels don’t count. When I do watch them, I just pretend they’re about some guy named Jon MacLaine. Or something.
See you Friday.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015
This is not as accessible to people who haven’t seen the movie as I like these reviews to be, but if you’re not familiar with The Island or Never Let Me Go at all, the premises are that clones are raised and educated as “spare parts” — which is just plain absurd. (The idea that such a thing would be allowed by any reasonable society made the premise impossible for me to swallow, except as a very far-fetched Twilight Zone-style scenario. At least in The Island, it was secret and illegal.)
An absurd premise isn’t a deal-breaker, though, really. But The Island never lets you go past its implausible premise, because it is constantly trying to explain how it all works in equally stupid ways, further compounded by Bay’s typical disregard for logic and continuity:
- Once Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) learns the truth about their lives, he goes to the apartment of Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johannson) so they can escape. She greets him at the door by saying, “How sweet! You came to see me off” (I’m paraphrasing some of that)… yet their next scene, moments later, she is surprised and exclaims that he isn’t allowed in the female tower (as it’s called). This might be able to be explained away by some contrived explanation, but… the two moments feel completely incongruous.
- The massive underground facility the clones are kept in is maintained by presumably hundreds of normal human employees (including Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean, and Yvette Nicole Brown’s characters) — complete with a showroom for ultra-rich potential clients. Yet Lincoln and Jordan emerge from it into desert with nothing around. No helicopter landing pad, no parking lot… nothing. We even see a helicopter landing pad later in the film, yet it is again nowhere to be seen at the very end of the movie.
- Pursued by mercenaries, Lincoln and Jordan end up in a train station. The mercenaries open fire, killing Steve Buscemi, and a panic ensues inside the station… yet Lincoln and Jordan run onto the train with oblivious workers and passengers milling around calmly — and it then proceeds to leave the station as if no one has just gotten murdered… and arrives some time later in Los Angeles, without incident.
Minor or not, the sheer number of them just keep piling up. sigh
This is the last of the Multiplex Movie Reviews I’ll be sharing here in the Deleted Scenes blog for the near future. I hope you’ve enjoyed them!
Patreon patrons and Kickstarter backers will see more of these in their respective feeds come January — as well as the Multiplex: The Revenge bonus comics, of course. (There may even be a few movie review comics during the semester as time permits, but I can’t really promise anything. I’ve got A LOT of work to do for my thesis!)
EDIT: By the way, I wasn’t familiar with Parts: The Clonus Horror when I did this strip. (I don’t watch MST3K; I can’t bring myself to watch movies that shitty, even if there are incredibly funny motherfuckers talking over them.) But several people have told me about it since. These kinds of things are usually largely coincidental (or unintentional) — different people independently arrive at similar ideas all the time. $130 million movies generally don’t need to rip off obscure B-movie (or book, or comic book) plots when there are thousands of equally good ideas that they can legitimately use for less money than a settlement.
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