Harry says, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH Is Like Drinking From A Hot Bowl Of Steaming Dick!!!
Fucking Mediocre Luminescent Turd!
Tonight my wife and I had nothing to do. We decided to go see a movie and I suggested JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH in 3D. I used logic to convince her. I said that when I last checked ROTTEN TOMATOES - that the film was rated 93% positive to HELLBOY II's 90%. And although we both have pretty much despised the acting and effects in the trailer - I figured it was my duty to see the film. That I needed to come home and let you guys know... ya know... the truth about this latest version of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
I'm a geek... I love the original Jules Verne Novel. In fact, it was one of the 30 books I gave my Nephew for his 8th birthday - along with titles like THE THREE MUSKETEERS, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, THE HOBBIT, JUNGLE BOOK, WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE TIME MACHINE, DRACULA, ARABIAN KNIGHTS, KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, LAST OF THE MOHICANS, IVANHOE -- you know, stuff like that. Books like these are the essentials to my mind. The give birth to a fertile imagination and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is one of those books.
Now personally - I've always loved the original James Mason version of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH - even if fucking Pat Boone was in it. The fate of Gertrude the Goose always terrified me as a child - and I loved that story. The film had its flaws, but it works. It feels authentic and it seems like something survivable. The film feels plausible.
I knew they were going to be updating the premise. I gathered that it was set in the here and now - and from the trailers I deduced that it existed in a world where Verne's novel existed as a template for their story. What I didn't realize was this... that the filmmakers, writers and actors were all fucking retarded at every turn.
I generally like Brendan Frasier - but here... he's just bored. Nothing engages him, his dialogue is spoken with the conviction that it deserves... which means it is sold as diarrhea. When he's hanging for his life and spouts out, "I hate field work," I was already oblivious to it all.
His nephew... FUCK HIM. First - he has a magical PSP that gets internet signals at 30,000 feet... and apparently a cel phone that he expects to get signals from in Finland on a mountaintop. Oh - but apparently it does get a signal... AT THE CENTER OF THE FUCKING EARTH!!! Yes, He gets a call from his mommy as he's batting prehistoric flying piranha fish on a raft in the center of the fucking earth! Oh - but a fish eats the phone and plunges back into the ocean.
The "we couldn't get Rachel Wiesz, but this blonde will do" love interest starts with dialogue in Finnish, but quickly loses all accents and speaks perfect English - even being completely aware of slang and the meanings of phrases like "Dibs".
Well - how's the effects? Terrible. Nothing looks real. Nothing looks convincing. And in comparison to the 1959 classic. This film was directed by the Visual Effects Supervisor of Michael Bay's THE ISLAND and PEARL HARBOR, along with M Night's THE VILLAGE and THE SIGNS, and WILD WILD WEST, MEN IN BLACK, HOOK and TOTAL RECALL. He seemed to work at ILM - and did solid work - so how could he allow such shoddy shit work in his theatrical film debut as a Director? Cuz - before this, his only directing work was apparently episodes of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS.
And apparently this was written by a guy that wrote a single episode of WAR STORIES WITH OLIVER NORTH! Oh now the dialogue makes sense. At this point - I decided to recheck ROTTEN TOMATOES to see what fucking idiots loved this turd... the percentage is now down to 62% - Still way too fucking high. And the Top Critics give the film a 79%. That's folks like Richard Corliss at TIME, Owen Gleiberman at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, John Anderson at VARIETY and of course that chad, RICHARD ROEPER loved it.
It seems that 3D - all by itself is a reason to give the film a thumbs up (although curiously Ebert didn't) - Look - just because there's an extra dimension to the action on the screen doesn't mean you just give the film a pass.
The 3D is the worst 3D has to offer - shit constantly sticking in your face. Spitting into camera. Trilobyte antennae into your face. The 3D isn't there to make you feel like you're looking at a window into another reality - but just constantly stabbing at you.
There's a fun mine cart rollercoaster ride - but again... I was left thinking, jesus - ILM did a better job of this in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Mainly because that mine cart chase actually felt story driven. Here... it just existed because they could do it and they were left wondering what else to have the characters do in a cave... OH A MINECART CHASE! Yes, that's what you do in mountains.
Then they build in this plot about the inner earth super heating up - and how it does this in a regular fashion - and it will end up boiling the ocean to nothing - and then I'm thinking... HMMM... ok, so if this shit happens every 10 years... HOW THE FUCK DOES THE PREHISTORIC LIFE EXIST? Is it not enough that they want to get out, because they have LIVES outside of the center of the Earth? That they get out because it's dangerous in the center of the Earth? I don't know - but everything about the film seemed safe, bland and distilled.
Everything just fell flat - and I can't help but get the feeling that if we continue to have a slew of 3D films that think all you have to do is 3 STOOGE the audience - the magic will wear off because it isn't magic, it is annoying.
I hear that what Cameron is doing is going to reset everyone's brains for how to do 3D, but at this point... is it going to be too late? I mean, I saw a whole host of shit 3D trailers before JOURNEY TO THE CENTER THE EARTH and it made me feel discouraged... not for the format, but for what these early days have in store for us. I feel 3D is the future, but folks need to think about the process and how to involve the audience without abusing them.
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is a waste of time. I'd say it was a waste of talent, but other than Brendan Frasier, who has abused his talent so much, he's near going blind and shaving his palms regularly.
The most heartening thing about the screening tonight was the 88% empty theater at a 7pm Friday Opening Night screening. Thankfully you people sensed what I felt from the trailers - but that critics tricked me into seeing.
It's a turd that won't float.