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Thoughts from me.
Saturday, September 17, 2005 5:24 pm
Surprises in movies
I’ve just spent the last 20 hour taking an international flight (including transit time). The longest flight was on a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777. Wow, even though it has been less than a year since I flew Malaysian Airlines, so much has changed—especially in in-flight entertainment .

The fact that each seat—even in Economy Class—can start, pause, fast forward and rewind movies was fabulous. I only realised that was possible when seeing several people in other seats starting up different movies at different times. And there was a wide selection of movies too. I ended up watching Mr and Mrs Smith, and half of Batman Returns.

The initial trailers for Mr/Mrs Smith made me sure that the movie was an updated version of James Cameron’s True Lies. And later trailers seemed to give away the entire story—it seemed like yet another clone Hollywood stupid summer movie. So I was quite happy to give it a miss at the cinema, and thought there was no way I was going to even rent the DVD. I’d wait till it was on free-to-air television, and maybe watch it then.

And so I grabbed the chance to watch it on the aeroplane—and surprisingly it was not as bad as I thought. It is definitely filled with implausibilities as most popcorn movies are, but the interaction between the 2 leads was something to see. I’m glad I saw it for “free”, but won’t try to see it again. Hopefully The Island is showing on my flight back.

While waiting for a transit flight I also got to watch The Interpreter on a laptop—that’s that United Nations movie with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. The Interpreter was panned by the podcast movie review show Cinecast (mp3), and was on their Worst Movie of the Year list (mp3). Furthermore, my wife had seen it earlier, and said it was super-boring.

Surprisingly, I actually liked most of The Interpreter, and went back to relisten to the podcast containing that movie review. I couldn’t really see the problems those reviewers had with the movie—maybe it pays not to be too learned in film studies. No doubt the movie has some stupid bits—e.g. its plot relies way too much on likeable but bumbling Secret Service agents.

Sometimes, I find myself wanting to dislike movies so as to avoid spending the time to watch them. So much so that whenever someone says a particular movie is any good, my initial reaction is to think that they must have really bad taste. I see that both Mr/Mrs Smith and The Interpreter got 6.6/10 in the IMDb voting. Maybe my low expectations make it easier for me to enjoy the movies that I do see.

I have to say I’m looking forward to watching The Constant Gardener.

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