Monday, October 15, 2012

Open letter to a random movie viewed on television.

Sometimes when you're in a motel in a town where there's maybe not all that much going on--or what is going on you don't really want to be a part of--and the novel you brought to read doesn't strike your fancy, either, you may find yourself in the middle of a big motel bed with a remote in your hand, cruising through the channels, where there was just moments before back-to-back-to-back episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, but now there are only back-to-back-to-back episodes of The King of Queens. This cannot stand, you say to yourself and anyone else who will listen.

So you click through the channels like mad to find something, anything, to divert you from your motel/bad novel/terrible sitcom quandary. You go up to the last channel and back down. Up and down. And that's where you, random movie, come in. There you are, starring Mark Wahlberg--there you are! Mark, what's this you're a part of? You say there's some kind of random event? Maybe it's terrorism, maybe it's aliens, maybe it's some crazy nature-turning-on-the-people situation?

Yep, this movie.
It is purely the strength of Mark Wahlberg, purely his reliable Everyman performance, that keeps you watching the random movie whose title you can't quite lay your hands on. You have to triangulate it on the internet--it's Mark Wahlberg, it's Zooey Deschanel--she's in there too--it's whatsisname, who directed that one thing and that other thing. Meanwhile, the deaths are mounting, the dialogue might be getting sillier, and you're not quite sure what's at stake.

Your husband makes what may possibly be a small derisive noise from over there on the motel loveseat.

"What?" you say.

"What is this?" he asks.

"I think it's supposed to be kind of good," you say. "We didn't see it, but maybe just because it was in the middle of our list? and there were better things to see? It's directed by that one guy who directed that thing, and it's got Mark Wahlberg," you point out.

He is aware of this last fact.

Well, there is danger and love and love and danger, and more bodies pile up. Betty Buckley has an excellent spooky turn as a scary old lady living out in the wilds with no radio nor TV neither.  You watch until the very, very end, where there's both a happy turn and one more scary turn.

Random movie viewed on television, you were not really kind of good--you were more kind of bad. Nonetheless, I am counting you on the list of movies I have seen, and somehow I feel satisfied with having watched you, clearly in excess of your charms. If I were you, random movie, I would remember this one important fact, and maybe share it with all other random movies who are destined to be viewed upon television: Mark Wahlberg, who is a reason sufficient unto himself.

He was really great in The Fighter, too, and also Three Kings,


1 comment:

  1. I think that this movie and other's of its ilk might give me post apocalyptic nightmares.



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