April 21, 2007

Movie Stuff: Am I Alone?


Kelly over at Big A, little a had a great idea for a post. She listed the names of books that most people really loved, but she found to be just okay or mediocre. An alternative way to look at this would be to think of books you really loved but no one else seemed to care about. I listed several on her blog in the comments.

I thought it would be fun to do the same thing for movies. I can think of several movies I watched and felt deeply moved by only to discover that others did not share my opinion.

Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001) Directed by Steven Spielberg
In this heartbreaking story, the world has found a way to mass-produce loving child-robots. We meet a couple whose child has been frozen until they can find a cure for his disease. To ease their loneliness, they purchase David, a mass-produced boy that has been programmed to love his mother unconditionally. Then, the bratty son gets defrosted and gets jealous of the relationship David has with his mother. He makes it his mission to get rid of David by manipulating him into doing things that will scare his parents. David's mom decides to leave him in the woods in an effort to get rid of him. David is devastated and decides the only way he can earn his mother's love again is to become a "real boy." Yes, it has lots of allusions to Pinocchio. There is a lot more to this movie then listed here. I cried during most of this movie. Later on, I found out others were not as moved. According to them, the child had been programmed to love; he doesn't really love the mother. How can a robot really love? Should we feel for a robot? Is he like a computer or a fax machine? I found it cruel that they created this boy to love his mother, and she saw fit to get rid of him. Where was he supposed to go? What was he supposed to do? Many people found this movie to be stupid, boring, or even long-winded. I thought it was fascinating and touching. There is a wonderful scene where David is under water in a pod, moving towards what he hopes is the end of his quest: finding the Blue Fairy, who will give him a wish. Manhattan has been buried under water. It is beautifully filmed. When they stop the pod, David is sitting in front of the buried, demolished and waterlogged Coney Island Wonder Wheel crumbled in a pile under the ocean.

Lady in the Water (2006) Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
This was my favorite movie that came out last year. Most of the reviews I read responded to this movie with not just boredom, but out and out hatred. I actually avoided seeing it. Then, I went to catch it at the $1.50 theater. I couldn't believe people hated this movie. For me, it was like seeing the reality of the world reflected on the big screen. There were a lot of strange elements, but it just touched me. Here was a man who felt useless and ashamed of his past. He basically feels like a loser. Then, from out of nowhere, he is given a purpose and a mission: to protect this beautiful creature at all cost. Suddenly, he is a new man. He understands that if he doesn't do this, no one will. Then there are all of his tenants. They are such a motley crew, but it's like their lives had lead them to this place for just this purpose. All of them work together to see the lady get home. I think the world is a lot like this movie. And I think that is why people hated this movie: because it was too real. If this movie was true, then the life we are leading is false. So much of what we do benefits ourselves alone. It is only when we lay self aside and turn our energies towards others that we can be free.

If any of you have movies you feel alone in your response to, please respond in the comments.

9 comments:

Kelly said...

Great question, Zee!

The one I can think of off the top of my head is "All that Jazz." I LOVE that movie, but I do think I'm alone here :)

Amanda said...

You are not alone at all! This typically is the case with movies I love...eveyone else dislikes them! Take for example, "Punchdrunk Love" with Adam Sandler or "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. I'm sure there are others, those are just the two I'm always defending!

zee said...

Amanda,
I actually have Eternal Sunshine listed as one of my favorite movies on the profile. In fact, I own that movie. I don't think I've seen All that Jazz, Kelly. Is that with Liza Manelli?

Kelly said...

Zee: No. It's from the 70s, I believe, and it's about Joffe--the choreographer of Chicago and Chorus Line. It's about his hectic life (affairs, drug use, workaholism) and his death. It's interspersed with music numbers, including an amazing finale with Ben Vereen--which goes on while Joffe has a heart attack (Bye by love, bye bye happiness...)

I LOVE this movie, but most people haven't seen it as genius. Rent it sometime! I'd love to hear what you think :)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I really enjoyed "I Heart Huckabees" and "Jump Tomorrow." The first one I think people tried to hard to understand instead if just rolling with it. The second one was an indie film that didn't get much exposure.

Anonymous said...

Mine would be M. Night Shaymalan movies in general. I personally LOVE all his movies, but most people only like one or two. Lady in the Water was wonderful!

Phil Hart said...

I have to agree that AI was a wonderful movie. I was very impressed with it in the end. Very much Stanley Kubrick I could see all over it.

Clay said...

I seem to be one of the only people on earth that loves The Pirate Movie. Maybe you have to see it when you're young in order to be emersed in that universe.

Val said...

As a big ol' sci-fi geek, I adore "The Fifth Element". Yes, I know it's cheesy & campy but OMG: blonde Bruce Willis! Gary Oldham chewing up the scenery! the wonderful Ian Holm, and last but not least, the lovely Milla Jovovich as The Saviour of All Mankind...

(Yep I liked AI too, although I can't watch the abandonment scene; it's heartbreaking)