I Want My Time Back! – By Brian Morton

 I think we’ve all had this experience, you’re sitting watching a movie, whether you’re in the theatre or at home, when that little voice in the back of your mind starts nagging you; “How long is this movie?” “Who’s idea was it to see this horrible thing?”, “Is my ass asleep?”, you know, all those things that run through your mind when the movie is so bad that no mind, not even one as feeble and easily entertained as mine, can focus on it.

Over the many years of movie going, I’ve found myself in this unenviable spot over and over again, through no fault of my own usually. You see the trailer and you think that the movie looks really good, but after you’ve paid your admission, gotten your snacks and found a seat, the lights go down, the movie starts and you realize that you’ve been duped by Hollywood once again. So, for the sake of those who may not have seen the same movies that have haunted me through the years, I thought I would share with you a few of my painful movie going experiences, so that you, humble reader, would be fairly warned before you head to your local video store.

The first movie that I can remember having this effect on me is Flashdance. Now, all you ladies out there will start yelling at me that I’m a guy and that I don’t understand, and you’re probably right, I don’t. Here’s what I remember of this movie, something about “what a feeling”, a girl dances and then dumps water on herself in a chair, she takes off her bra under an oversized sweat shirt and there was something about welding in there too, I think. The reason that my memory of this movie is so unclear is that I fell asleep…TWICE! Yes, I saw this movie two times, both time under the duress of a date, and both times I had to be woken up when the movie ended, so I never did get to see ‘what a feeling’ it was! And I don’t think that I fell asleep in the normal sense, I’m pretty sure that my brain shut itself off in a kind of self-defense mechanism. So, besides a really good nap, Flashdance is a movie that I really wish I had saved my money on.

The next movie that springs to mind is Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. You see, Spielberg’s name and you see that the star is Haley Joel Osment and you think that this will probably be a nice, fun, light-hearted movie…well, you’d be completely mistaken, my friend. This, retold Pinocchio story, is one of the saddest most depressing excuses for a movie that I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. Haley Joel is an android whose parents abandon him in the woods, where he meets Jude Law and, when he finally finds his parents, they’ve been dead for years and years! So, you can tell that this is one of the most uplifting stories ever filmed…and if you can’t sense the sarcasm there, then let me point it out for you! I went into A.I. in a very good mood and I left feeling pretty sad, I figure if you went in sad, you probably left depressed, and if you went in depressed, you probably killed yourself before the movie ended! This is one of those movies that made me wish I could get my wasted life back and I couldn’t figure out how they managed to make an eighteen-hour movie and never take an intermission! I was sure that A.I. wasn’t so much a movie as it was a dare by Speilberg to sit through it, well, I took your dare, and I cried a little but, damn it, I survived!

How about a movie that considered a classic today? Well, I saw Blade Runner in its original theatrical run and I have to admit that this movie confused me completely! Here it was, the 80s, you had a movie with Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah about robots killing people, you’d think that this would be a little slice of Brian heaven! Well, you and I would both be wrong. For some reason, this movie went on and on and on, until both my legs and my ass wanted to sue me for divorce! Now, before you send me emails telling me what an idiot I am, I saw this movie at least three times! Twice during it’s original theatrical release and once when it was re-released to theatres, and all three times, I found myself scratching my head in complete confusion and frustration. How could I not get this movie? Everyone else seemed to like it, it’s critically acclaimed, and yet, every time I see it, I hate it just a little bit more for wasting my time. So, not only did Blade Runner get about ten hours of my life, but about twenty of my hard earned dollars, kudos to you my movie enemy, I stand bested!

How about one more movie that’s not a sci fi movie, how about The Ringer? The Johnny Knoxville “comedy” and I put that in quotes because I don’t think I laughed at all through the course of this movie. I’m pretty sure that this was supposed to take Johnny Knoxville and move him into Adam Sandler territory, where he could carry the dramatic part of the comedy as well as the Jackass style humor, but it really didn’t pan out, did it? The Ringer is just another in a long line of comedies that aren’t funny and get made because Hollywood thinks that young guys who enjoyed Jackass would flock to see this movie, again, I think we all knew ahead of time that they wouldn’t, but no one asked us did they?

Are there other movies that have been a complete waste of my life? You bet, and I’m sure there will be more, because that’s the law of the movies, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, if you win more than you lose, then you, my friend, are a winner! As for me, this is my lot in life, I’m like the front line of defense for you, the moviegoer and video renters of the world, to get in front of these things like they were oncoming trains to save you the pain of watching them for yourselves!