March 30, 2006


It's a Horrible Life what "The Butterfly Effect" should have been titled. It also should have included a guardian angel who explains to our hero why the world's better off without him. As a brief review: mediocre, with a good ending. Certain people I know would likely describe it as not precisely life-affirming, though.

Now, I watch a lot of mediocre flicks, and most barely rate a flicker of consciousness, much less written words. But I need to give the authors of the DVD some credit for their choices. You see, when you go to play the flick, you appear to have the choice between the director's cut, and the theatrical release. I gather the theatrical release has an ending that's not such an unrelenting downer, which isn't surprising--the ending's the only bit of the film that really rises above, so it's no surprise test audiences would react badly to it. This is all only theoretical, however, because when I tried to play the theatrical version, intending to skip right to last chapter and see the approved ending, there's a message that pops up, "please flip disc to view this."

The punchline? The disc only has one side.

Granted, they ripped that off from "Arise", but it was good to see some rogue yeti in the dvd authoring center had slipped a little nugget of Slack into the design. It was surely lacking everywhere else. To sum up with an imdb-appropriate review: worst movie ever.

The other reason I mention it is because the whole film made me desperately eager to watch "Primer" again--another story involving time travel rapidly spiralling out of control, but with the important exception that the script actually cares about internal consistency, and not being retarded. It's one of those somewhat rare "indie" films that isn't about gay cowboys eating pudding, but instead of a pair of would-be entrepeneurial gearhead types accidentally inventing a time machine while trying to make something else. As time machines in movies go, it was well thought-out, with equally well thought-out constraints as to its uses and limitations. The structure of the flick in general leads to the good kind of brainhurt, as it gets increasingly fragmentary, leading the viewer to reconstruct the larger plot from incomplete glimpses--which suits the subject matter of increasingly bad, and maliciously intended, temporal fugues. In imdb terms, not the worst movie ever.

It's sheer coincidence that I've watched a couple time travel movies recently when Dave just posted a link to this guy the other night. Coincidence...or TIME CONTROL?!

posted by Gar @ 2:04 PM
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