Saturday, November 2, 2013

"Choose" - - Snooze

Years ago, I caught a movie channel surfing called "Shredder." It was about a killer snowboarder killing other people who snowboarder, or a guy who hated snowboarders killing snowboarders or something. I don't remember.

What I do remember was Lindsey McKeon. She was the hot blonde who just wanted to soak in the hot tub and hang out with some friends, but instead she gets stabbed to death. But not before she stole my heart. I remember I was at my grandmother's house watching it and my mom walks into the room and asks: "Why are you still watching that gross movie?" Then she saw Lindsey in a bikini, muttered under her breath, and left the living room.

I did not have to Google for this picture. This is in my "Wallpapers" folder.

I ended up buying a copy of "Shredder" and I haven't watched it in years but I still remember her. So I'm sure the same thing will go for Katheryn Winnick. Now, I don't want to sound like a creeper, but let's be honest, I'm a creeper. And Winnick is gorgeous.

"Why thank you, Jason. I love your blog. You want to go out sometime?"

But let's talk about "Choose." Because otherwise this blog will end up as evidence during my inevitable stalking trial. "Choose" is the story about a man who makes people choose.

The End.

OK, let's get into more detail here. Winnick plays a journalism student named Fiona who's mother committed suicide a few years before the movie starts. When a madman shows up in town and starts making people choose how they will be tortured, Fiona begins to suspect that maybe her mom was forced to make such a choice.

Now movies like this can go one of two ways: We can focus on the killer and his acts which grow more gruesome over time. This is what "Saw" did. Or you can have the story focus mostly on the police trying to catch the killer, ala "Silence Of The Lambs." The perfect blend of these two elements is "Se7en" where even though the killer is rarely shown he is truly the third star of the movie.

"Choose" tries to go the "Se7en" route and fails. Twice.

First up, the gimmick of the choices is really forced. At one point, the crazy guy asks a pianist if he wants to lose his hearing or have his fingers cut off. When I saw that scene I thought: 'Well, I can watch movies with subtitles but I can't play video games with no fingers." But before the pianist can even decide he gets knocked out and all his fingers get cut off.

"Ha! The joke is on you! I had finger cancer!"

I actually watched this scene three times to see if I missed his answer. Nope. He just gets his fingers cut off. Another victim is a model and she's given the choice between her sight (so she can't see her beauty or some nonsense) or a blowtorch to the face. Then he just melts her face off . That is one of the things that turned me off to the "Saw" franchise. At one point, maybe part 3 or 4 or 18, the people start getting killed no matter what they do. The whole point was to endure pain to survive. But some guy had a key in his eyeball or a bomb in his nutsack, something gross, and he got it out and he died anyways.

The gimmick is gold, people. Stray from the gimmick and you lose viewers.

So the idea of "choice" is thrown out less than half way through a movie called "Choose." What about the investigation side of it?

The police in "Choose" are so inept that I thought the cops were in on it until the final act. And not in a misdirection sort of way, in a bad filmmaking sort of way.

There's a scene after the piano man gets his fingers cut off of the police investigating the assault. There is a long camera pan over the chalk outline where they found him. I'm watching this and say "That would be hilarious if they left his fingers there . . ."

"Brah, this guy's ring finger is longer than his index finger. What a Homo!"

Seriously? Why did they have this shot in the film? How did the police rush the man to the hospital without disturbing the location of his severed fingers? They are in the exact location as the previous scene! They haven't even, I don't know, rolled around. I can barely keep a hot dog in a bun and a bun is specifically designed to hold hot dogs. And cop says "his fingers were cut in a way that they can't be attached." How does he know that? How would even the EMTs know that, they aren't reconstructive surgeons. Why not even try?

The reason why is that this entire movie doesn't even try. It hits all the same notes we've seen a hundred times before in these thrillers. And that would be fine IF the gimmick worked. I can watch a boring police procedural if the killer is interesting. And I love movies with great detective work even if the crime itself is a little boring. But to have both fail makes a movie a chore to watch. The police can't catch a guy who is emailing the head detective's daughter (Fiona) pictures of victims before the body is even discovered. Her father acts like it's a huge waste of time to try and protect her. He just shrugs his shoulders when she alerts him to her danger and the next scene starts. Sloppy, sloppy writing.

One last thing: Writers, please stop giving these killers motives. It's far more scary when it's random. It's been a week since I saw "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" and it's still itching at my eyeballs. Random victims = scary movie. I may wonder "my hearing or my fingers," but once I find out the killer (named *sigh* Scar Lip) is killing people who adopted him when he was a kid or are his half-sister, I lose interest and begin using my fingers to reach for the remote.

And yet, for some reason, I kept watching.

No comments:

Post a Comment