Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saying "when"

Back when movie theatres were the only way to see movies - with the exception of a few select oldies shown on broadcast TV - you weren't quite obligated to stick it out, but inertia would demand it in most cases. Walking out means committing to making a statement, even if you know it's no good demanding a refund.

Cable, VCR/DVDs, streaming... These all add more options, and thus make it easier to skip out.

So what was the last movie you bailed on before you got to the end?

For me it's an unusual answer. The Drive by Night couldn't quite hold my interest. Oh, it sounded promising. An early film noir or proto-noir about the trucking industry, directed by Raoul Walsh, who made the excellent Jimmy Cagney gangster flick White Heat. Plus it had Humphrey Bogart in the cast. What could go wrong?

Don't get it twisted. Bogie is very good. But he's not the star. George Raft is. And Raft's character is too pure and noble to make for an interesting story. The whole thing goes slack.

But yeah, if I were watching it in a revival house, I probably would have stayed until the end.


susan said...

You're right. I can't think of many occasions either of walking out of a movie theatre because the film was unacceptable. Mostly that's because our times of going out to movies in recent years have been very few and the ones we have attended were those we'd been looking forward to seeing.

While 'They Drive By Night' wasn't one of the best movies we've seen it was decent enough that we watched it all the way through. All the same there are some real stinkers on Netflix so maybe we just settled for this one. Your mentioning a movie about truck drivers reminded me of a really good one called 'The Wages of Fear'. Have you seen it?

As for movies we've given up on what generally happens with us when we watch video streaming is we'll decide one is junk within 10-15 minutes and then forget about it. The films neither of us have been able to watch at all are any of the ones made by Wes Anderson, although we did manage to sit through all of 'Moonrise Kingdom' with our teeth gritted. There's just something about that guy's vision that offends me. I find his films pretentious and seriously unfunny.

Ben said...

There's something to be said for moviegoing being an event like that, something you'll look forward to. Of course it helps if it turns out the film is actually good.

With They Drive by Night I'm sure some of it was high expectations. I was expecting something really tight and thrilling, and the thrills weren't there in great enough number. Also sometimes you're more patient than others, and maybe that wasn't the right night.

I've never seen The Wages of Fear but the trailer makes me want to. Not least because the voiceover guy makes the unusual choice of speaking in a conversational tone. Ah, France.

Wes Anderson I like well enough, as a personal reaction. I enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom. The Life Aquatic ran a little long. Darjeeling Limited just doesn't interest me enough to watch it.