September 14, 2010

The Thirteenth Floor

Paul and I measure the success of a movie by what occurs to us afterward. Like, even if we were okay with the movie while we were watching it, sometimes as we're processing it later we say, "Hey, wait a minute, THAT detail doesn't make any sense!" And if we do that too many times, it was a bad movie.

On that topic, may I save you the trouble of seeing The Thirteenth Floor? A full HOUR after we were supposed to be asleep, we were still thinking of things to say in the dark about what was annoying. We both agreed that the CONCEPT was a very good one---but we think whoever made the movie screwed it up SO BADLY, we can't believe the actors didn't keep stopping in the middle to say, "Hey, wait...that doesn't make SENSE, though. I mean, right?"

Plus, it was one of those movies that wants you to FULLY UNDERSTAND that it is SCI-FI, so everything is grey and metallic and dark. *Sci.*

Oh, AND, the script! OMG! We were seriously saying parts of it right along with the actors, and other parts were laughably awful in non-predictable ways so that both of us would cringe and groan as if injured. The detective's lines were the worst: he was like someone who hadn't seen very many detective movies, trying to improvise pretending to be a detective.

And why would he believe...? And why would she have to...? And why go to all that trouble when they could just...? And why would he say...? And once his alibi was removed, wouldn't he have to go back to jail? And couldn't they set it up to happen while the other person was sleeping? And "5'8" and blond" is an insufficient description for finding someone. And why wouldn't they ALSO use that technology to...? And seriously, how would THAT work? And couldn't we have found actors who were a little easier to recognize? And if that little detail about switching were true, it would be happening pretty regularly, not just when plottily convenient. And then the icing on the cake: oh, I see, the THIRTEENTH floor. Because....wait, why, again, other than that it sounds a little creepy?

It was like someone came up with a really awesome idea (by reading it in a book, according to Wikipedia), but then failed the crucial step of thinking, "If this were really true, how would things work?" The whole movie was merely a set-up for Teh Big Reveal, rather than being even an ATTEMPT to approximate what life would be like in circumstances where Teh Big Reveal was as-yet-unrevealed.

17 comments:

Bell said...

I skimmed the plot of it...and it sounds super pretentious. O_o

Glad I have been warned away!

Amanda said...

You get to leave your house to go see movies? How does THAT happen and can someone explain it in detail to me?

Swistle said...

Amanda- No, no---it's a 1999 movie and we saw it on TV. Because that's the way we ROLL.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

We do the rehash thing sometimes with even movies we enjoyed. And that can kill an enjoyable movie, all the nit-picking!

(A movie my husband and I couldn't stand was Shutter Island. Good concept, poor execution. Terrible dialogue.)

M.Amanda said...

If this is the same movie I remember, I saw it in the theater. A friend - the same one who ruined The Sixth Sense for me - leaned over halfway through and gave away the ending. Unlike The Sixth Sense, this movie stunk, so her unbelievably accurate guess did not result in a big fight. We did have a discussion about spending $10 on stupid movies, though.

Shannon said...

I don't know, you've kind of made me want to see it now. :)

Maggie said...

I hate movies and TV shows etc like this because I spend too much time analyzing the ways in which their plot holes were gaping. I hate it even more when I recognize that stuff in good movies or TV shows because then they start to eat at me and my enjoyment suffers. Then there are the shows like Lost that I watch for 6 damned years only to have them end without explaining even 1/4 of the "mysteries" so I feel fooled and stupid for spending my energy keeping up. Evidently, I need to get out more because it seems like entertainment really shouldn't take up that much energy...

Dr. Maureen said...

@M.Amanda MY friend ruined The Sixth Sense for me too! I would never ever have figured it out, but she got it very early, leaned over and whispered it to me, and once someone says it, it's obvious and you can't un-know it.

Swistle, I hate this with movies too. I can suspend my disbelief to a point, but sometimes there's something that just does not fit. And there was one movie I saw an ad for in ~2002 where some people go to Mars and they find some DNA and they're looking at it on a computer screen. There are about 10-15 base pairs on the screen, and someone says, "Looks human." So I could not go see this movie, because with 10-15 base pairs to go on, the MOST you can say is, "We cannot rule out the possibility that this DNA came from Earth." BACTERIA have hundreds of base pairs in their DNA.

I believe that movie flopped. I think it was called _Mission to Mars_? Maybe?

d e v a n said...

We also lie awake in the dark and dissect movies. hehe

Firegirl said...

Kevin has what I call "Super Duper Television Predictor Powers" seems as you guys were exercising yours with the movie.

Is it true or urban legend that buildings don't have a thirteenth floor?

Lorraine T. said...

*sci* lmao

Saly said...

I remember working at Blockbuster and having people return that movie in DISGUST! We never watched it.

Sarah said...

I saw this godawful monstrosity of a movie as an advance audience feedback-type screening when I was first dating my (now) husband. We both agreed that the advance version sucked (a LOT) and told the people wanting our feedback just how excruciatingly awful it was. When the final version came out in theaters they had managed to make it even MORE horrendous, though to this day I am really not sure HOW they could have interpreted our collective negative reviews to mean "Make the dialogue painfully obvious and the plot equally so".

SIL Anna said...

. . . and yet one of those awful lines might stay with you for ever.

Like this TOTALLY AWESOME quote from The Last Unicorn:

"As for you and the things you said and didn't say, she will remember them all, when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits."

You heard me.

-R- said...

@Firegirl When we lived in NJ, there were actually lots of buildings that had 12th and 14th floors, but no 13th.

I kind of want to see this movie now!

Heather R said...

I saw this movie a long time ago and I don't remember the details, but I remember liking it....I don't over-analyze too much though....I think it reminded me of the concept of the matrix or something...like the fact that maybe we're not "real" or something, right? Like everything we see is created by a computer...is that it? I just remember that whatever age I was when I saw this, I has been thinking about this idea a lot or something. So, it could have been a terrible movie, but I think I at least liked the idea behind it enough to not feel like it was the worst movie ever.

epreo said...

I also liked Shutter island....maybe I have really bad taste in movies? At first I didn't like it because it seemed really low-budget and "fake" looking, but then my husband pointed out that it is supposed to look that way-it was intentional because the reveal at the end is that the whole thing WAS fake. I thought that was brilliant once I saw it from that point of view.