Thursday, November 29, 2007

Meaningless deaths or just being a wuss?

I want to discuss two movies that will involve spoilers. So if you haven’t seen “Disturbia” or “The Lookout” then please skip this post.

As if anyone reads this tripe… whatever, here goes.

The first case is “Disturbia”, specifically Officer Gutierrez (played by Jose Pablo Cantillo), that gets called every time Kale, (played by Shia LeBeouf) activates his ankle bracelet. Jose introduces himself as the brother of the teacher Shia hit thus his punishment of house arrest for the summer. This story point establishes added tension to the scenes with these two in it throughout the movie.

During the climax Jose is called to the house because Shia is again beyond the bracelet boundary as he fights his serial killer neighbor, (played menacingly by David Morse), and tries to rescue his mom. As Jose is checking out David’s house David snaps his neck.

I don’t’ see the significance of this event. It served no purpose for the last 10 minutes of the movie. I found myself wondering why the creators decided to go with it. David had already been established as a stone cold killer. Would it not have been better for Jose to be disabled in someway so that Shia could save him? In a round about way this would have made up for hitting his brother the teacher. Instead I left the movie hanging Jose death, in a way, on Shia's head.

The second case is “The Lookout”. Deputy Ted, (played by Sergio Di Zio), is an expecting father who looks in on Chris Pratt, (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and brings him doughnuts as Joseph cleans a bank a night.

The scene where Sergio comes into the bank, gun drawn, as the robbers are hiding is seriously intense. His wife has beeped him because she is going into labor and you know he is fucked. Sergio gets shot and then “finished off” with a shotgun to the head.

I love the tension and “aw shit” moment that was created for the film – just awesome. My problem was any empathy I had developed for Joseph’s character to that point went right out the window, to the point that I was pissed. Was this what the creators wanted? I’m not sure. I can tell you that in my perspective the movie really lost all appeal to the point that I really didn’t give a shit what happened to Joseph. He probably needed to die as well for the movie to end well for me.

I loved the scene but I didn’t think they needed to kill the deputy. Perhaps I was supposed to lay blame on the bank robbers but I didn’t. I put it on Josephs head and it ruined the rest of the movie for me.

So there you have it. Tell me what you think. I am interested in hearing other peoples takes and angles on these two story points. I could be that I am just a wuss and need to be a hell of a lot more ruthless with my antagonists. If so, show me the way.

That is all.



Tyson Endecott said...

Jim I believe that in your frist movie Disturbia that the officer is shia's teachers cousin not brother. I never thought about how the officers death was unneeded I think that the director was perhaps giving the audiance some sort of satifaction. What I mean by that is that the officer was carless and an against the hero of the movie. The second movie I didn't see but will check it out.

Matt Hader said...

In The Lookout, for me, it took seeing his buddy the cop get killed to finally throw him over the edge (if I recall this correctly). So the protag was an observer (and weak) until that point. It had to take the man getting killed in front of him to finally wake him the hell up.

Have you seen No Country For Old Men yet? Don't want to completely spoil it for you, but that movie will test you for sure. I thought it was very well done -- NOT your typical 'tie it in a nice bow' kind of film.

Jim Endecott said...

Yes I did Matt in my "Long Weekend" post I commented on it. I enjoyed it and I have my thoughts on it but will wait awhile before I spoil the ending.

I see what your saying about the lookout. The scene was powerful. I am not sure I could write it being a Dad. At least not yet.