Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Two Buck Schmuck Gets Too Hostile At Hostel II

Oh, brother. Bad movie choice here. Seriously, I may get my nonexistent movie reviewing license revoked for seeing this one.

So, what were my choices?

Spider-Man 3 - Seen it.
Meet The Robinsons - Didn't feel like a kid's movie tonight.
Bug - This might sound a little petty (and it is), but I still am reluctant to see an Ashley Judd movie since my last experience with one of her movies near the dawn of the millenium.

Bug actually sounds kind of intriguing, though perhaps a little derivative of a Cronenberg movie -- characters believe there are insects crawling under their skin. Hey, an hour and a half of insects crawling under one's skin might be better than the time I spent seeing:

Hostel: Part II

I honestly should have foreseen my troubled evening when I was stopped by not one, not two, but three trains as I attempted to reach the theater. Thank you, suburbs!

It was late enough that I skipped the customary Walgreen's stop for plain M&M's, and ended up just plunking down a fiver for a large RC cola and a small cup o' popcorn. As I took my seat, I had every intention of enjoying a well-constructed horror movie.

Then the groups of high school girls and guys started filing in. There were six rows of them eventually sitting to my right, all part of the same group. And they all had cell phones. And they all were looking at their bright, bright cell phones. And they all were talking on their cell phones. Now, keep in mind that if there is any judgment passed by the patron god of cinema, it was judging me, a mid-30's guy alone with his popcorn and large soda, more harshly than them. But still, goddammit. I think a rowdy audience is great, as long as it's not a moronic, rowdy audience. Two Buck Schmuck WAS NOT AMUSED.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, someone on the other side of me was whipping something small and hard at my neck. When the first bit of gory violence occurred, I felt something bounce off me. Then when the next bit of violence occurred, bam! -- another whap, which I was able to grab before it fell. It was a small cherry. I looked back one row and saw an excessively nonchalant high schooler sitting behind a couple of girls. I promptly got up and sat in his row. I wasn't sure it was him, but the cherry-pelting did cease. It's an interesting psychology behind the cherry-thrower -- engaging in a little petty violence as some putrid excessive violence unfolds on the screen. Not to mention he was a jag-off.

This movie... this movie was not scary at all. It actually starts promisingly, picking up with the survivor of the first Hostel. But he is promptly dispatched at his kitchen table, shown with a cat licking his neck where his head used to be. And on we follow more unwitting victims we don't like, tortured by people whose motivations we don't believe, in a world we're not supposed to care about. The film was really just a boring, ugly picture of humanity, and a celebration of that ugliness. It was like nihilism and a poop-throwing monkey had a baby together.

I equate this movie with the majority of dreck that John Carpenter's Halloween spawned during the Reagan years - Friday the 13th, etc. It's dull, unimaginative, and has nothing to say. AND IT'S NOT SCARY.

The only thing different is its philosophical focus. While the 80's movies sought to inflict punishment on teens for having sex, this movie is more concerned with inflicting punishment on teens because hey, it would look really cool here if we hang this girl upside-down and have her bleed on somebody.

There have been words coined to describe this genre -- "torture porn". I dunno, that seems a bit trite. Can't we just call it bad cinema?


Cup said...

You need to hit the art houses for some decent indie movies ...

Splotchy said...

beth, don't you understand that I have a mission statement, a creed, an oath I have sworn to uphold?

If not me, who?
If not now, when?
If not because, why?

Johnny Yen said...

I was getting a haircut yesterday, and a stupid 20-something was yammering on his cell phone. This is an old school barbershop-- you just don't do that there.

My old barber, who retired a few years ago, didn't mess around-- he just put up a sign forbidding cell phones.

I think I've mentioned that the Lagrange Theater was the site of my most awful, yet fun movie-going experience. I think I need to post about it.

Splotchy said...

Please do!

Joe said...

"...It was like nihilism and a poop-throwing monkey had a baby together."

Great quote!

Our eldest, in refusing to watch Hostel with us at home, said it would be embarrassing to see it with us. "Why" I asked?

"Because the first half is a softcore porn film, followed by a torture film."

There's a whole subgenre of movies now, fairly popular (I'm not sure if SAW or Hostel started the trend) that are basically movies just about torturing people. I love splatter movies, I love movie gore, but for some reason I have a really difficult time watching stuff like this. I recently saw (hah) the third SAW movie and it bothered me. And I've seen shit like that in real life and had no trouble handling it.

I find the whole thing very sad.

Hey, though, on a lighter note, my eldest also has a great word for the mobile phone users you describe. She calls them "cellholes."

Splotchy said...

bubs, I can't really say that I disagree with your eldest about the first Hostel. Though, there *did* seem to be at least a little intelligence and humor behind it. I liked the scene where a truck moves to reveal to the escaping guy in the car the three people that had lured him there, and what he did when he saw them.

I felt like the second movie didn't even have the small glimmer of wit in it, though I could see the director trying for it.

I don't have any hard data to prove this, but it's my understanding that these kinds of movies aren't doing so well at the box office. So, perhaps this genre is on the wane. Maybe it'll eventually be confined to direct-to-video stuff (if that market even exists at this point).

I like that word cellhole. The theater was definitely packed with them last night.

jin said...

"Then when the next bit of violence occurred, bam! -- another whap, which I was able to grab before it fell. It was a small cherry."


OMG...I'm so very sorry for your trauma (seriously...sorta), but I can't stop laughing!

Splotchy said...

jin, I was rolling around that particular experience in my head, thinking if I could have handled it better.

If I knew for certain that it was they guy I thought it was that was throwing cherries at me, in retrospect I would have said, loudly enough for the surrounding teens to hear, "Excuse me, did you lose your cherry?"

Ah, nothing like a night's sleep to give you a too-late comeback.

jin said...

Actually, I love what you did. It told whoever it was that you weren't taking any shit. He probabaly pissed himself when he saw you get up & walk down his aisle! LOL!

Altho...another option:

You could have tortured him to death and said that the violence in the film made you do it.