This is my first try at a movie review. Well, sort of. I had said I might talk about this particular movie later, and, well, here it is, later.
This is going to be another lengthy post, and I’m sorry for that. I’m also sorry in advance for all the typical nonsensical ramblings that are bound to ensue herein. Though I would hope there might be a point to be taken from this – somewhere. And hopefully it stops short of being an out-and-out rant, because this affected me kinda strongly….which, actually, took me by surprise that it did.
Did you get all that?
Don’t worry – you’ll catch on real quick.
(But if you stick with it, I promise you a song at the end….which is actually relevant in the most miniscule of ways….) (….also, I think you may have come to expect a song with each post by now….ehh, can’t promise it every time….)
Without further ado, Mouse presents her ‘review’ of….
….the remake of “The Wicker Man.”
By definition, this would be the film of Nicolas Cage’s that started it all for me, even though it really technically isn’t. I’d seen bits and pieces of “City of Angels,” “Knowing,” and both “National Treasure” movies before, but “The Wicker Man” marked the first movie of his I actually sat down and intended to watch from start to finish.
Why? Why, you ask?
Already answered in a previous post, but in case you missed that, here’s a brief summation:
Honest Reason #1) I was finally curious enough about him to watch a movie of his.
Honest Reason #2) There was nothing else on television that night, and nobody else was home at the time. (It was this past October, when I saw this.)
Honest Reason #3) I had not heard anything good about the remake or about his performance. But – and here’s the thing – it was only general dislike. I’d neither heard nor read any specifics as to why people thought it was so bad. So, again, it was curiosity on my part.
With a few exceptions, horror movies are not really my thing. That said, I haven’t ever seen the original “Wicker Man.” However, I know the story, and I know exactly how it ends (thanks a heap, Bravo Channel). And, apparently, the remake ends the same way. So I was thinking, “Yeah, okay, this is going to be a total downer, but let’s just see what he does with it.” – ‘he’ being Mr. Cage, of course. Because I wanted to know.
I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t take stock in any proffered reviews, good or bad, of any movie. Reviews, after all, are just a matter of opinion, and people will always have their own damn opinions. So I decided to watch it to have my own damn opinion.
Judging by what I saw, I thought it was a typical run-of-the-mill Hollywood horror/suspense offering which, let’s be honest, is like “Yawn” nowadays. So, you know, it was nothing spectacular, nothing really scary, nothing innovative or new. But it was interesting. He was interesting. So, yeah, it was all right actually. Then, that is the general consensus – that the first two acts of the movie are relatively straightforward, and it’s the third act that gets….weird.
I know I said I intended to watch the whole thing, but I’ll be honest – I had other things to do, too. I was keeping an eye on Muirne. I was doing some writing (in preparation for NaNo 2012). I was doing some cleaning, going back and forth between the living room and the kitchen. And I think there was also a phone call in there somewhere. So I’m sure I missed a thing or two, or several, plot-wise, because I found myself tilting my head a couple times like ‘What?’
Don’t know how far into the movie this was, but there came a moment where, in the course of a conversation with one of the women (the inn proprietor, I think), his character slammed a drink mug down, killing a bee. Everyone else in the scene seemed offended. I know the inn proprietor said something, can’t remember exactly what.
In response, his character simply declared, “I’m allergic to bees.”
That’s where it lost me.
The living room got that much colder. I blinked. Twice. Then I just thought to myself, “Oh. No. I know where this is going.”
Because a little red flag labeled ‘You know this is a remake’ went up in my head….and then it grew a mouth and started screaming at me “You know this is a remake!”
Then the channel cut to commercials. And I turned off the television. I could not watch any more. So I didn’t.
Good thing I didn’t.
I understand there are two versions of the remake – the theatrical cut and the unrated version. And the unrated version has a, um, rather infamous alternate ending.
It went there.
That’s what I was afraid of.
No, I didn’t see it. I haven’t seen it. I only read about it online at a later date.
I’m not about to ever watch it.
I suppose this will count as a ‘Spoiler,’ but I’m going to say it anyway. To all you detractors out there, just put yourself in that character’s shoes. First of all, you’re in a right state, with all you’ve been through looking for your daughter, getting no help from anyone. And now you’re in over your head. You’ve just had both your legs forcibly broken at your knees, so you really can’t go anywhere. Next, your captors, knowing full well you are allergic to bees, torture you by setting a swarm of bees upon you. Upon your passing out from anaphylactic shock, your captors revive you with a shot of epinephrine. Only to kill you spectacularly in a little while anyway.
Does that sound funny to you?
Now, go a step further. How exactly would YOU react to that? I think whatever you would be screaming is the least of your worries.
If I were younger, I probably would have had nightmares just from reading about it. Or else I would’ve gone on a three-and-a-half-hour crying jag just from reading about it. Most likely both. I’m not kidding, either….
I really have no idea why it bothered me so much. And still bothers me. Maybe it’s my dual afflictions, which will cause the weirdest things to get into my head and screw me up for life. Maybe I’m just way too literal. Or maybe, just maybe….Call me crazy but, even if it is acting – and I know it would have only been acting – I do not want to see him hurt like that. I cannot watch something like that, period, whether it’s from an actor or in real life.
So. Yeah. Total downer, in more ways than one.
BEST MOMENT: As I didn’t finish watching the whole movie, there really isn’t one. Oh, wait – I liked the physical atmosphere that was presented. I’m not talking the horror/suspense aspect of it, no. I’m talking the actual atmosphere of the place where the movie was set. I could actually feel the elements, the sun’s heat, the humidity, the breeze against my very skin as I watched. There are a couple other movies that have that effect on me, namely “Jurassic Park,” “Twister,” and “Flight of the Navigator.” So that was kind of nifty.
I have actually read since then that, believe it or not, there are some knowledgeable-of-film people who now consider the remake of “The Wicker Man” to be a dark comedy….albeit an unintentional dark comedy.
As it is a movie I will not ever watch again, I’ll just have to take their word for it.
I did promise you a song, as thanks for sticking with me on that. If you got this far, well, thank you, and don’t hate me too badly.
This is honestly not how I intended to introduce the blog audience to Neko Case. I’d been waiting for a random special time to do so – maybe when I finally got good enough at guitar that I could play a song of hers on my own. Maybe then.
Then again, I didn’t intend for this particular song of her’s to come to mind back in October after I’d finished watching and researching the remake of “The Wicker Man.”
But it did.
From her 2008 album “Middle Cyclone,” this is one of my most favorite singers ever, Neko Case. The song is called “Polar Nettles.”