Thursday, October 14, 2004

Movie Dog Yacks on a Bone
I borrowed a copy of "The Butterfly Effect" from a friend the other day and last night's "debate" provided the perfect opportunity to watch it. What a piece of crap. I only borrowed it after another friend recommended it to me. ... Let me just say that I will accept that you liked it but, and I quote now, "what a piece of crap." Foremost, I'm no fan of Demi-tapper Ashton Kutcher (Don't be hatin' - Ed.) but I approach his movies with an open mind. The burden of proof is on him to convince me and so far he hasn't. A reviewer on the IMDB page linked above points out that Kutcher is a comic actor and his dramatic turn is, at least, problematic: "He is a comedic actor and his transition to serious acting puts him in the forefront of bad acting in a year of bad leading male performances."
I will give the movie this - the FX in the transitions to the past are pretty interesting. But it's like using a Chrysler Maybach for the sole purpose of taking your recycling to the dumpsters.
I found myself being much more interested in Melora Walters who plays Kutcher's mother. She is ... cute. But her voice is just so wrong. Too tiny, too high-pitched. And I put the ellipsis before calling her cute because I could never engage with her character. It was so poorly written that I could never relax and accept her as anything near real. And the suspension of disbelief is a necessary thing in the flickers. I was surprised to see that Ms. Walters was a character in "Cold Mountain" because she made absolutely zip/zero/nada impression on me in that movie. It was, I'll admit, a small part. In looking at her roles, I'm tempted to go to the vid store and make myself a Melora Walters film festival with about a half dozen of her movies just to see if she's to my taste and I don't see it because I didn't like "Butterfly Effect" or she really isn't to my taste.
Which leads me off on a tangent about actresses. I had the same feeling about Sandra Bullock. I first remember seeing her in "Demolition Man" and can still recall my reaction: I'm not sure if she's really cute or just weirdly strange looking. I finally came to the conclusion that she is very attractive as long as she smiles. Great smile, a light-up-the-room smile. And her looks are otherwise quirky and individual - which I do like. Give me an interesting face over a plastic Barbie-doll any day (Kate Jackson - yes, Jacklyn Smith - no). Maybe I just need to see more of Melora Walters to reach such a conclusion.
That being said, "Butterfly Effect" is awful. The concept is ludicrous, the execution pitiful (except the effects) and the writing is cliche-ridden crap. At least half a dozen times I said the precise words put in the characters' mouths by the script writer. That's bad writing.
I'll leave you with the silver lining to this dark cloud: I didn't have to spend a dime to see it.

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