Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mission Statement and First Movie

We could have seen Iron Man.

For some time now, my wife and I have been going to the movies every week. We alternate picks and keep the choice a secret until we get to the ticket window. This week was my wife's pick, and she knew I would be picking Iron Man at the first opportunity. So she chose instead to go the other way and pick a bad movie. A very bad movie.

When you go to the movies every week, you see a lot of bad movies. When we bought our tickets to this movie, we mused that we would be the only ones in the theater. This is not uncommon, even for good movies, because we only go in the afternoons when the crowds are sparse. For a movie like this, we almost always expect to have the room to ourselves.

We we wrong. In fact, we were joined by quite a few other people. My wife said, "Oh, oh, they're in for a bad surprise". To which I replied, "Maybe they're here for the same reason we are... Because it's bad"

Which is when we thought - Hey, we should make a club!

The Rotten Movie Club.

Every week we are going to see the worst movie, as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes playing at either of our two local theaters. We will be seeing an afternoon showing on either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on which theater.

Tuesdays (Free popcorn + drink with admission or discounted admission):
Coliseum Ottawa
3090 Carling Ave.
Ottawa, Canada

Wednesdays (Free popcorn):
AMC Kanata 24
801 Earl Grey Drive
Kanata, Canada

We will announce the movie choice, time and theater here on this blog no later than Sunday evening. If you are in the Ottawa area and you'd like to join us, please do so. We typically sit on the floor level row in the center, if those seats are available - They usually are since afternoon showings are generally only sparsely attended.

And so we have the inaugural Rotten Movie:

88 minutes is a movie with a 6% rating so you know what to expect. The only question is whether it is the kind of bad movie that's so bad it's fun or the kind of bad movie that makes you keep glancing at your watch even in a darkened theater where you can't see the hands.

Fortunately for us, this is the fun kind of bad movie. This is the kind of movie that stupid people find dumb. It's sort of like the play within a play in Forgetting Sarah Marshall except that nobody's actually told the author or the star that this is, in fact, a comedy.

I'm not sure why Pacino is in this movie. I'm thinking he made a bet with Robert De Niro to see who could star in the worst movie. Obviously Pacino didn't feel comfortable resting on movies like The Devil's Advocate or Two for the Money and so we have 88 Minutes.

Unfortunately for Pacino, Robert De Niro is still winning the bet with Godsend, a movie which left me mad at everyone involved. 88 minutes just made me laugh. Given the decidedly mixed advanced word on Righteous Kill this bet may actually be coming to a spectacular climax.

There are several laugh out loud funny moments in this movie. The criminal mastermind's grand scheme is ridiculously over-complicated and several characters do things that make absolutely no sense unless they're just deliberately trying to look suspicious. And Pacino's character is just plain dumb. Yes, we get that he's arrogant and believes he can handle everything himself. However, he's also a professional with close ties to law enforcement. And so he goes out of his way to tamper with crime scenes, mishandle evidence and basically make a mess of everything.

The amateur detective has a long history in crime fiction, however I think we can blame CSI for semi-amateur detective. Characters that have some peripheral association with law enforcement but behave as if they are actual police detectives. And the rest of the world seems to co-operate with these delusions. Ordering citizens and officers of the law around with cries of, "I'm a forensic psychologist with the FBI!" Not to mention conducting searches and investigations of their own and making everything as difficult as possible for the real police.

Even better when actual law enforcement goes along with this. I'm fairly certain real life cops get a little cranky with people encroach their turf, trample crime scenes and disturb evidence. But in the 88 Minutes universe, we get scenes such as Pacino's FBI friend who, aware that there is a warrant out of Pacino and convinced Pacino has gone insane and become a serial killer... Just decides to let Pacino walk away continue solving the crime by himself.

The movie closes with Pacino impulsively destroying key evidence, the mastermind's cellphone. I'm afraid it's that kind of impulsiveness that led him to choosing a terrible project like this. I hope he uses better judgment in future.

Or not.

Because we'll always need new movies for this blog!

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