Tired Old Tricks
Do you know what plot device is really getting old?
A small group of people does something bad for personal gain.
Pressure or guilt only torments one of the group.
That person brings the whole group down by turning themselves in.
Come on. What’s the fun of watching a movie like that, hoping the group can get away with their devious little scheme when you can always spot that guy. That guy, the one with the melancholy face, maybe he sweats or talks to himself. He just can’t enjoy in the things everyone else can. And instead of doing the decent thing and offing himself so the others can enjoy it, he won’t be happy ’til they’re all in jail, or offer up some other sort of penance.
This pattern has been noted in several movies I’ve watched recently. These include Woody Allen’s ‘Cassandra’s Dream,’ and Danny Boyle’s ‘Shallow Grave.’ At least I hope this happens in ‘Shallow Grave’ because I’m half way through it and it already seems kind of predictable. Fortunately, if I’m wrong, I can go back and delete this part of the blog.
Speaking of Danny Boyle. His movies are pretty much awesome. I haven’t seen his entire body of work, but what I’ve seen is good movie making.
Works of note:
Now I’m no Sci-Fi fan. Not at all, but this movie is ridiculously good. Featuring stellar performances by Rose Byrne and Cillian Murphy, this film explores what could happen if the Sun started dying. The plot line sounds ridiculous, but Boyle really makes you believe it could happen. Be warned the last third of the movie gets a little out of hand. The onscreen imagery is art in and of its self. Boyle has announced he’ll never return to the Sci-Fi genre which sucks, because he could truly convert me.
’28 Days Later’ is truly the scariest zombie movie I’ve ever seen. This also stars Cillian Murphy. It’s pretty darn graphic, but so worth it. You’ll be terrified. But in the good way, like when you walk out to your car at night and think, ‘maybe, just maybe there are zombies out there.’ I know I’ve been posting a lot about zombies, I promise I’m not a horror freak.
Oh, and if ’28 Days Later’ does it for you, check out ’28 Weeks Later.’ Boyle didn’t direct, but he did a bunch of second production stuff to keep the terror just as awesome.
Unlike the first two, ‘Millions’ was the family-friendly, feel good movie of 2004. I know the term ‘family-friendly’ usually conjures up ‘cutesy-poo animated features aimed squarely at the younger set,’ but this isn’t the case. It’s rather unlike Boyle’s more dense, and darker movies, but it’s just as brilliant. The actors are relatively unknown, except for Daisy Donovan (remember that reality TV show ‘Daisy Does America?’). It’s charming and engaging, and you should give it a chance, even though it’s PG.
Should you enjoy these movies, you should definitely check out his most critically acclaimed piece, ‘Trainspotting.’ And now that ‘Shallow Grave’ is over and delighted me with it’s rebellion agains the formuliac, check it out too. In all cases except for ‘Millions,’ know that Boyle’s movies definitely earn their R rating.