Journey to the Center of My Lack of Suspended Disbelief

by on Aug.11, 2009, under movies, TV

It is sad what you will resort to watching when you are bored.  For instance, this weekend I found myself watching the recent production of Journey to the Center of the Earth.  In theory, all the necessary elements are there:  science-fiction – check; action/adventure – check; semi-respectable actor who could be believable in such a role – check; reasonably hot actress to co-star – check; script loosely based on a popular novel – check.  So what exactly didn’t I like about this movie?  Oh yeah – it sucked.

Granted, the only reason I started watching it was because I was up, bored, and recently enjoying HBO & Cinemax for free for 3 months (thank you FiOS!).  But in hindsight, unlocking a few more levels and extras in Lego Batman would have been a more enjoyable use of my time.   And yet as much as my summary review is that this movie was not even worth what I paid for it (time counts), I still found myself watching it to completion – which suggests there was something redeeming about it … somewhere.

I missed the intro due to timing of my channel surfing and came into it with Brendan Fraser and his nephew already introducing themselves to their near-future travel companion.  Luckily it was not hard to get up to speed.  The action was compelling, some of the humor was mildly witty, and the underground world was certainly a spectacle.  But I think what made this movie more pyrite than gold was that it was merely beyond belief.  Sure, I expect a certain level of hard-to-swallow in a sci-fi flick – it goes without saying.  But there are levels and costs and I think there should be a point system setup to pre-determine whether such a film will succeed.

For example, the latest Indiana Jones movie was not nearly the best in the series – quite possibly the worst.  But I personally was able to overlook a lot of its flaws due to the franchise to which it is associated (as were many other fans).  But I couldn’t  do the same for a film with no street cred.  The Matrix had no street cred, but was so compelling it almost pulled off a hat trick (then managed to trip and fall on its face).  Journey has a minute amount of cred due to the book association, but not enough to forgive the lack of a believeable plot.  An unknown world filled with unusual and long extinct creatures miles below the surface of the Earth – expected and acceptable.  Falling into/flying out of said realm at break-neck speeds and landing in a pool of water/hillside vineyard without, um, dying – not so likely.

Anyway, bottom line is that I need some new hobbies and to learn not to rubberneck when it comes to movies.  Besides, I’m sure there was something equally badly written with way more redeeming qualities at that hour on one of the Cinemax channels.  But sometimes curiosity can get the best of me – and you know what they say about that.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Grammy

    Naturally, I found the movie entertaining and more than acceptable. But I agree there was a problem – I think they needed to market it as a kids movie. Certainly, the adult sci-fi would have played out a bit differently. This had all the classic Disney requirements – though perhaps the boy in the movie may have played a larger role in saving them all if it were a Disney flick. I still would not rate it as high as ET or Flight of the Navigator but I think it fits in that general category for the target audience. Hence, I liked it.

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