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Grudgy McGrudge-a-lot - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
abmann
abmann
Grudgy McGrudge-a-lot
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Dear Non English Speaking Director of THe Grudge who isn't sam Raimi but will now be called Sam because I don't care enough to find your name even though Maddie gave me the link and I don't want to change the "Sam"'s to some crazy Japanese name,



It is common sense that, when producing a film, one must choose a small array of thematic elements which guide the viewer deeper into a movie. The more elements, the more work the direct has to do to keep them straight and coherent in the mish-mash of a movie. This is why The Ring, albeit a bad scray movie, is far superior to The Grudge. Which is sad, because you stole all the stupid from The Ring you unoriginal hack, Sam

The Ring had the video tape and the characteristics of said video tape to guide the viewer. While there were, indeed, many elements to keep straight- the mirror, the horse, the fly etc etc. -but each in context of a creepy little girl filing a creepy little video work to keep the viewer enthralled; so much so, in fact, that it is possible to ignore the gaping plot holes - the shrewd structuralist (or maybe postmodernstructuralist) would interpret as plot "rings"

The Grudge on the other hand has many, many inconsistencies that - on the surface - tie into the house, but really have nothing to do with the house, or the plot for that matter. First, the imagery of the hair. We are first introduced to this in the credits which are easily the coolest part of the movie. The hair pops up two more times, one when the catatonic (not really), demented (maybe) woman bites the dust and the end when the movie "resolves." As near as I can tell, the hair is just a creepyt, well digitzed effect that shows that the demony-thing can grow lots of hair. It was no instrument of doom, no key plot/theme element. That is one.

Then there's the cat. Why does the boy meow like a cat? Creepy, yes - but he has no mythological cat characteristics. Cats have been said to steal souls while people sleep. Excellent opportunity to show some mythological flair, but Sam.... what did you do? The boy does nothing cat like... he just meows before something creepy happens. I meow when I attack kiss my girlfriend, am I creepy? Sure, the cat died in close proximity to the boy but this does not justifiy the cat becoming the boy.... What does that mean?

The house. Apparently Sam, as you state in through Nakagawa, angry people that die leave their stain on a place. That stain blah blah people die when they enter the house. Why don't all the characters die in the house? Are we to believe that the house has iky doom tentacles that can use telephones and impersonate loved ones to get characters to open does? And if this "doom house" can impersonate people and leave it's own foundation why can't it just pass through the door and killify with little regard for law or linoleum?

The death rattle. This was the best part, but poorly used in the last half. Oh sam! The potential you raped. The best part of a thriller is the subtle negative reinforcement that comes with stimulus followed by icky condition. At first where there is rattle there is evil creepy scray bit that happens. You used htis exquisitely in the train scene with the bike rider and the creepy reflection. But, you could have used it when you used the same sound for the computer. Then the end, Sam, the end. There was no music, only rattle, scream, rattle, scream etc. Now, when you present the stimulus so damn much we lose the conditioning. The stimulus ceases to be scary and quickly runs to to join the rejects with the taped-together glasses in the "annoying" corner.

The high pitched whine that's almost like a TV blaring. What did this mean, Sam? Did you think, "Oh Fuck Yeah! I'll give my viewers a headache.. for realism! It'll be great!" No Sam, no. Bad Sam.

Now I hate to pull out the big guns, Sam, but I need to. The opening of the movie states that the anger lingers when people die with strong anger (which you then add on to this "great sorrow" thank you Nakagawa so you can cover your dumb ass). Now, would the victims be angry? No. They, as the movie shows in a really choppy quasi-action, quasi-flashback scene, are quite surprised when they get killed by the angry husband. How did I know he was furious? Well.... it could be the three knuckle cracking shots, the nostril flaring, the extremely murdering of his wife, child, and cat. So, one would assume that the father's "spirit" or waht have you would being doing the post-mortem Rambo act, but no. It's the child and mother that mangle and mange (that's a cat disease, Sam). So, waht gives? You seem to have broken the one rule you set and don't replace it in any great flare. Oh sure, Nakagawa says "Great anger or sorrow" in his little "let's-advance-the-plot" tirade at the sexy, sexy, Buffy Summers Sarah Michelle Gellar. So... the kid and mother were really really sad when they were murdered.. I can buy that... maybe even the cat was really, really sad - it was a black cat. That still leaves out the father.

OHHH that's right.. the father kills Nakagawa. Drowns him in the tub. Yeah that's fine... it didn't come out of left field at all - you know... given that the killer seemed to be either Catboy or Watter-Logged-Moma (who didn't drown, by the way, but was stabbed and mangled - but I'm sure you knew that, Sam). But then there's Yoko. Why did she kill Alex? She had nothing to do with the curse. That was kinda weird, a little off theme.

Let's see if I can get this straight.... So there's a house with a curse that kills people. Well, there's a mother and a son... and a cat...in a house that kill people. Wait, wait.. a very sorrowful mother and very sorrowful boy and very sorrowful cat in a house that kills people. No... wait... A very angry father who kills the very very sorrowful mother and very sorrowful boy and very sorrowful cat in a house that kills people.... expect the ones that kill themselves. So.. wait wait.... A very angry father who kills the very very sorrowful mother and very sorrowful boy and very sorrowful cat in a house that might kill you unless you're really depressed over the very angry father who kills the very very sorrowful mother and very sorrowful boy and very sorrowful cat.

I get it! That's where the sorrow comes from! This movie is abuout how depressed ghosts kill other people for not being depressed and the depressed people kill themselves because they nondepressed people they know get killed by the depressed ghosts. Well, that's a great movie plot right there. Why didn't you just say so!

I think what is really going on here is that we need to remember that you directed Darkman (all three) and produced The Evil Dead (which is a great movie for radically different reasons than you'd like). THat way, we'll stop seeing your crap movies. I want my $8.00 back.

Sincerely,
William J. Ringland

Potential spoliers, but the movie isn't good enough for you to worry about spoilers.

Current Mood: irritated wtf?

22 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
earthdotprime From: earthdotprime Date: October 23rd, 2004 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
not to be the wet blankey, but sammy was only the exec producer... more then likely he just funneled the film some cash and signed off on paychecks. especially since there were, like, 4 of them on this flick. exec producers, not paychecks. and he probably did some rubber stamping... i'd blame whatsiscrap whatiswhatiscrap, the director, for the mess. also hollywood. but i blame hollywood for a whole lot of messes.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 23rd, 2004 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
In theater he had director credit. unless my eyes are broken. Regardless, I blame him because of Darkman1-3.
(Deleted comment)
fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: October 23rd, 2004 11:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: never

I much prefer Blankman...and possibly Meteorman.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 24th, 2004 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: never

Those movies = so bad I love them. Love love love.

LOVE. So bad.

Much love.

I'm a sucker for movies that don't take themselves, Blankman, or take themselves so seriously they become parodies of themselves, Meteorman.

Susan!
madolan From: madolan Date: October 23rd, 2004 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your eyes are broken. It was directed by the same man who directed the Japanese original.
earthdotprime From: earthdotprime Date: October 24th, 2004 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
who, according to gideon yago & the good folks at mtvnews, doesn't speak english. at all. that's it, i need to turn off the television n go to sleep.
madolan From: madolan Date: October 24th, 2004 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
But the rant is suddenly funny on a whole new level by your insistence on calling him "Sam." Well played!
abmann From: abmann Date: October 24th, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
My girlfriend backed me up on this. The names and creitds may have been very close together such that I was mistaken. Plus, the opening credits were really fucking cool with the hair effects.
madolan From: madolan Date: October 24th, 2004 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hair effects? You mean rainbows and fluffy bunnies! LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU SCARY CATBOY FROM THE TRAILER.

I'm NOT afraid.

*continues to spend weekend under the covers*
abmann From: abmann Date: October 24th, 2004 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fuckin' wet blank.
dragonflyknight From: dragonflyknight Date: October 24th, 2004 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I must now see this movie Vilhelm, but when it comes out on video. It sounds deliciously terrible.
From: adamgreeney Date: October 24th, 2004 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
YOUR GOING DOWN BUDDY!

First off, the Grudge director started the grudge BEFORE the ring trilogy. Also, Gore Verbinski (the ring director) stole THE WHOLE MOVIE from the original ringu, the grudge, audition and bits from Visitor Q. I am going to staunchly defend Takashi Shimizu not just because he's an insanely talented director (rent the ORIGINAL Ju-On's and Tomei: Re-birth) and a good man, but he did a great job directing the movie.

The problem with the movie is that it's quasi-japanese. you have to have a good deal of experience with their films to catch onto how they work. The whole plot stayed very, VERY true to the original. And yes, i'm betting the people killed where probably VERY PISSED they were A.Caught (if your the mother) and B.Beaten like the boy. Sure they were pissed, and the father doubly so. It's the WHOLE ENVIRONMENT AND EXPERIENCE that cursed the house, not the one ghost. The whole event was out of anger and rage and it was brutal. Thats the point.

And you got rent Audition and then see if you can make fun of Ryo Ishibashi (Nakagawa). Now, i'm not defending the MOVIE, which while i had fun watching it i have a lot of problems with, but Shimizu is a massively talented man and i think you should branch out a little more into the asian cinema and judge him by that, not by your idea of how a western director should do something. Ethnocentric.
madolan From: madolan Date: October 24th, 2004 10:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. My comment below was supposed to be in response to this one.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 24th, 2004 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure how to respond to this....

Hmm.. I love most Japanese movies and I'm willing to admit that I missed something symbolic or thematic by merit of the fact that I am not Japanese. However, I would go so far to say that tis is a huge flaw in the film that Sam did not address. Know thy audience is key in entertainment. I shan't be upset that my enjoyment of the film is lessened by my ethnicity.

See, I really liked it in the way I loved army of Darkness and the original Evil Dead - it's ridiculous, moving into the realm of recockulous. The problem was the nifty theme elements were all over the place and I tried to keep all them straight.

That may be my issue. Movie are intellectual engagement for me. Rather than getting lost in a movie, which only happens with things that are so brutally artistic or breathtakingly well done, I try to understand what's going in. I couldn't do that with The Grudge because it was all over the place and sidestepped it's own introduction - which may be due to bad English translation. I get my enjoyment from understanding waht the fuck creeps me out at the movie. By the time the movie was half over, I realized what was going on and lost interest, especially with the previously mentioned blindness to the movie's own set up.

So... yeah.. Holy plot.... too many elements... sorrowful catboy.

Have I defended myself well or do I get the bird icon again?
abmann From: abmann Date: October 24th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

PS

I thought Nakagawa was one of the best parts of the movie.
From: adamgreeney Date: October 24th, 2004 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: PS

(i was kidding on the ethonocentric thingy)

But really, I cant staunchly defend it because i had a crappy environment to watch it in, but i like the pure horror/creep factor of the movie despite plot holes. The holes weren't glaring enough that i couldnt side step them, so i could do that and dig it. I do admit tho, the movie was more about scaring you then making a sensical story. From a directors view, i liked it, from a screenplay view, could have been a lot better.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 25th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: PS

True. Generally if a movie creeps the hell out of me I'll sidestep the holes as well. It's just.. well I couldn't get pasdt the twist theme elements. I could get past that the victims were doing the killing and the weord/sudden addendum to the movies opener by adding sorrow - which would have been easier of that hadn't been specifically added giving the air that it was only anger and sorrow rather than things like betrayal or loss or other emotions not given specifically that adds to the "curse."

Had there only been the nebulous anger I could have seen way to allow other emotions. Just... tacking on the second closed a nebulous list into concrete list.

I'm unsire where the cut off of diirector blam and writer blame is. Isn't it the director's job to fix things like thematic holes? Sigh. I wanted so much to like this movie... :(
madolan From: madolan Date: October 24th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)
First, I'd like to note that I was up in the middle of the night and informed Jordan that I would never, ever sleep again because I watched the trailer for this movie three days ago.

That's how much of a wimp I am.

But I looked into this movie quite a bit, because I thought I might be capable of watching it. All the reviews, interviews, trailers, and background info left me very puzzled over why the victims, not the killer, would be the ones killing innocents. I don't think a child being murdered by his father could feel anything but fear, pain, and profound betrayal. I admit to a problem with the sketchy background here.

I also find the phrase "very sorrowful cat" hilarious.

Japanese movies right now are awesomely bizarre. I have a love-hate relationship with Suicide Club. Sadly, I am too scared of scary things to see the scary Ringu or Audition movies. And that's just how it is.
From: adamgreeney Date: October 24th, 2004 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thats to bad, because i think you'd LOVE the Grudge and Audition (especially audition. No loud noises or jumpy things, just good, creepy horror). Also, Ryo Ishibashi (Kuroda in suicide club, also in Audition) stars in the Grudge, and gives the best performance. I would have like it more if the theatre wasnt full of screaming and laughing kids (they actually send in the police to calm them down) removing the creep factor, but it was good. You will (should) see it, and you will (maybe) like it.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: October 24th, 2004 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
In reference to the too creepy thing... I get creeped out at movies (the Ring was the best at it so far), and I like it. But by the last quarter of this movie (maybe last third), it had become so disparate and unconnected that it didn't scare me at all... and the most creepy things in the movie are supposed to happen near the end. So, in My opinion, you could probably see it and not be too creeped out.
prozakia From: prozakia Date: October 25th, 2004 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree. the movie was crap. I want my 5 dollars back. I went and saw a Matinee.
Horrible to sit thru.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 25th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
AH! Lucky man. Full price is the bane of bad movie goers. Perchance a fun romp to LA is in order, a la South Park.
22 comments or Leave a comment