True Grit: Jeff Bridges – Awkward Dialog is as Deadly as Rattlesnakes

True GritMaybe it’s because my family a couple of generations back is from the general area where the movie True Grit is set, but I just couldn’t get past the dialog. It was OK for the first minutes of the movie when the narrator was apparently reading a letter she had written, describing the murder of her father. You don’t expect people to use contractions when writing letters. They do use them when they speak though. But not in this  movie.

My guess is that all these Civil War documentaries, where the narrative consists of the reading of historical correspondence, is supposed to be how people talked back in those days. The director possibly saw this a making the movie seem more authentic. This device apparently worked on the majority of viewers, because I didn’t see any mention of this horribly unnatural, awkward dialog in the reviews prior to my wasting a couple of hours on this movie.

True GritAgain, maybe it was because my grandpa, who was born and raised in Indian Territory, in the Choctaw Nation where this movie took place, didn’t sound like a person reading a letter, that I found the dialog of this movie unnatural and disturbing.  I just couldn’t get past how the roughest, toughest, uneducated, criminal hombres sound like they area reading a poorly written book instead of conversing.

Besides the horrible dialog, the movie is OK. Jeff Bridges is a great actor, and he can pull the character off without bringing too much notice too the crap is given to say. Matt Damon is ok too, but the little girl and the rest of the actors stink to high heaven. Not to say they are bad actors. They are just unable to rise above such a poor script as are extremely talented an accomplished actors.

True GritThe climax of the movie happens fast and unexpectedly, and is a bit of a disappointment. That might be because I was entertaining myself and annoying my wife by looking for slip-ups, when the actors actually used contractions. They are few and far between, but they’re there.

Now I have to watch the original “True Grit” starring John Wayne to cleanse my palate of this debacle. If you want to see how bad movie dialog can be, you may want to satisfy your morbid curiosity and watch an hour or so of this movie. Take it from me though, the ending isn’t worth watching the whole thing.

Doing Science with Westworld

WestworldYou know what was a wonderfully bad movie? Westworld. I know there’s not much to be gained from bashing on the plot holes of old sci-fi movies, but I never really spoke up when I first began to notice just how much they had done wrong. I’ll assume that most readers haven’t seen Westworld before, and I would like to provide said readers with an opportunity to enjoy a movie that’ll have you saying, “Wait, what?” so many times your head will explode. And then robot cowboys will come out.

That’s what Westworld is all about, you see. It’s a movie about a theme park designed to “accurately” replicate the societies of medieval Europe, the Wild West, and ancient Rome… Only all of the actors in the theme park are high-function robots! And it only costs one thousands dollars a day to stay. I’ll point out all the horrific fallacies in a moment, after I discuss the plot.

The two protagonists (whose names escape me) begin their journey to Westworld by taking a hovercar as scientists in front of beeping monitors and flashing lights call out random numbers. Are you impressed? Dazzled? Hah, of course you are. They’re doing science. After they get settled in, they discover that the hands of the robots look funny, which is how you tell them apart from humans. Got that? That’s important. They meet an unfriendly cowboy robot who really doesn’t like them, which is also equally important, seeing as he stalks them after they “kill” him in a duel the first time around.

WestworldHere’s where the plot holes start up. The scientists are walking around, talking all science-y, when somebody says, “These are robots built by robots. We don’t know how they work.” So let’s use them as theme park attractions! They even say in the advert for the movie, “Nothing can go worng.” How did that typo slip past editorial? … Uh oh.

As you may have guessed, everything goes wrong as this point. I mean EVERYTHING. Even the script-writing. Even the acting! Everything goes worng. The robots begin to attack and kill guests, so the scientists shut down the park’s power, and for some reason, the operation room is airtight. Their electrically opened doors are sealed shut, and they all end up dying of asphyxiation. Science made that room. Also, remember the stalker robot mentioned earlier? Now that he’s gone berserk, he can actually kill people. Which he does. A lot. In fact, he kills one of the two main protagonists, the one without the moustache. It’s no spoiler. The movie spoiled itself when the survivor meets a scientist who’s attempting to drive away from the park, and they have a small exchange of words, which reveals another plot hole. Science-man says that the robot that’s chasing mustache is the latest model, equipped with long-range tracking capabilities, extended battery life, thermal vision, and extreme firearm accuracy. Why would he need that if he’s not supposed to kill guests…? Science is the answer.

WestworldAnyways, the main guy finds a random vial of acid and throws it at the robot, which burns his normal vision and sets it to thermal. Mustache is chased for a bit before he lights evil cowboy robot on fire and saves the day, not before he tries to rescue a lovely damsel trapped in the Medieval World dungeon. He tries to give her a drink, but it turns out she’s a robot, so her head explodes. Gosh darn it.

So, to sum things up, Westworld is an old-fashioned movie that mixes science with the wild west and leaves no plot holes, logical fallacies, deus ex machina, anything of that sort to be criticized! It’s literally the best movie ever. Go watch it and enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling it brings you as you realize just how full of crap most of this last paragraph is.

Cowboys & Aliens Don’t Mix

Cowboys and AliensWhat do you get when you mix two genres, 20 gimmicks from past movies and a semi-star-studded cast. Poop Soup! That really stinks. Cowboys & Aliens started off well enough as a Western, or at least you could see potential in the first 1/2 hour. Then the seams started to show in Daniel Craig’s accent and performance. Unless he was trying to portray an anal retentive cowboy outlaw with no personality. The fitted clothing and a cowboy hat with a touch of Austrian mountain guide panache made the awkwardness complete.

Olivia Wilde didn’t screw up here role as the odd, bra-less female gunslinger/transient whose presence in each scene is an enigma, and who is actually an alien and gets nude. Harrison Ford started off playing a slightly different character than he does in every other movie he is in, but slipped back into “the Harrison Ford thing” by the end of the movie. Sam Rockwell simply couldn’t rise above the material.

What started off as a trite and slightly off-tempo western quickly became a lame science fiction flick that tried too hard. The CGI aliens were some of the most inexplicable creatures I’ve ever scene in a movie. These guys were large, muscular, reptilian monsters that could run like cheetahs and either run you through with their fingernails or bite you in the neck.  They could also run up walls. Rock faces… not so much. They had to walk around the path like a regular guy to get the people up on the rocks.  They were apparently not able to function too well in the light.  Such advanced space-faring creatures could have at least invented sunglasses. Once they got into the light though, they didn’t appear to need them. In fact I think the director forgot about the whole “not so good in the light” thing for those scenes.

The lamest part of the aliens were their chests. If they had a person down, and didn’t feel like biting their neck or running them through with their fingernails, their chest would open up and a pair of gooey hands would come out of their guts and fondle their victim’s face. Gross! If their prey wasn’t completely disgusted into a state a paralysis, however, the would-be victim could just stab their alien attacker in their exposed internal organs. One poke was enough to instantly kill the hastily-designed creature.

So after almost two hours of painful plot and dialog, Olivia Wilde’s character turns suicide bomber and destroys the mother ship. “Thank god!” I thought. This movie is finally over.