Thursday, April 25, 2013

Probably Read Better Than It Plays -- or -- Movie Reality Versus Real Reality

Looking forward to 'Pain & Gain'. That it's based on a true story makes it even better. If this were pure fiction nobody would care. It's too plain, too straight forward to work as fiction. 'Body builders kidnap a rich man to force him to give them his money' isn't a viable slugline unless it's based on a real case.

'Fargo' would be another good example of this kind of thing.

That this actually happened makes it interesting, gives people a reason to go see the movie. But, that doesn't mean you can have scenes that aren't entertaining. This clip doesn't work. There's nothing real about it (even if this exact thing actually transpired). The guy giving the seminar is nothing more than a grating caricature. Wahlberg's reaction doesn't work, has no flow and, while such a thing might actually happen in real life, while someone might act just this dorky, it doesn't work as entertainment. It's too embarrassing to appeal to an audience. People will be squirming.

What this needed was to be handled as if the kidnapping featured in the movie never happened. That is, this scene would benefit from being treated as if it were in a script that was completely made up and not based on actual events. If it were it would have been cut or rewritten to be more fun, easier to watch. That this very thing may have happened someplace sometime doesn't mean such a scene belongs in a feature film.

'Based on a true story' doesn't save clunkers like this.


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