Tag Archives: bad

3 main criteria that makes a bad movie

25 Sep

horrified-man

When someone asks me ,”What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?” it may seem like an easy answer at first. I could just churn out some random Michael Bay’s crap or happily points out some local Indonesian movies, add some clever comments to boot and pat my self on the back for being a film warrior.

Too easy.

First of all how do you define a bad movie?

Lets start with the obvious:

1. Bad story- Yes, the mother of all load

There is nothing more frustrating than watching a movie with bad story. A movie story that doesn’t make sense is like one of the most frustrating things in life and I take no pleasure in criticizing a bad movie (well, maybe a bit) but the point we can all agree upon is this; Story matters.

This is a something that is embedded in our DNA, we respond to good story telling, no matter what the format is.

Bad movies have bad stories, because it fails at the basic level to capture our attention and break our suspension of disbelief. Bad movies tend to have this habit of talking down at the audience instead communicating on even ground.

Maybe your version of a bad movie is different than mine. Maybe you don’t mind watching action movies with dudes breaking each other’s balls for 95 minutes, hey I enjoyed it too sometimes. It’s liberating when our primordial senses are being spoilt but eventually we want something with substance to nourish our soul or at the very least says something about the human experience.

Yes that sounds pretentious and wanky, I admit. But my point is you can’t keep watching action/gore movies all the time, can you? I can’t. For every 5 novelty “So bad, its good” movies. Eventually I crave for something with more substance to bring back the balance.

Can’t help it, this is how I roll.

2. Not caring for the characters

What is the point of watching a movie? To me, watching movie is about being taken to a different world and experiencing it from someone else’s point of view. I want to be taken to a world different than my own experience and yet I can still relate to the humanistic experiences that the characters bring.

The characters don’t have to be likeable or even good but I want to be emotionally invested in them and their journey because I want to know what happens in the end. It’s that simple. But too many filmmakers have ignored this basic rule and ended up creating half baked characters with no clear purpose or too simplistic/predictable approach and by the end you don’t give a shit if they die or survive.

And I’m not just only taking pot shots at Hollywood movies. Festival/indie/art films also have accumulated this bad habit of making shitty characters that are too self absorbed without any additional layers to make them whole. So you want to make selfish/miserable characters as your lead? Cool but show us why we want to follow these characters journey. What makes them so compelling that we can’t look away, what makes them unique? What can we learn from them that we don’t already learned from other miserable selfish characters from other movies?

I don’t care about film budgets. I can appreciate watching movies being shot on shoe string budgets with unknown actors/directors from different corners of the world but the movie has to grab me by the balls because it made me care enough about the characters.

3. Unclear theme

This may sound fairly vague but theme is also paramount to make a strong movie. The trick is you want to tell the audience what you’re trying to say without telling the audience upright. Yes, this may sound confusing but necessary. You want the audience to work out the theme themselves but in order to do that you have to give strong and clear clues on what you are trying to convey with your movie. Is it about friendship? Redemption? Unrequited love? Obsession? Greed? Whatever it is, it has to be clear. Once the clues are set, you point them to the right direction. Let the audience work it out instead of you holding their hands.

So yeah, those three main points are my criteria of what makes a bad movie. It’s pretty broad and common but many times we take those simple things for granted and ends up biting our asses in the end. For the record I can’t answer straight away what the worst movie I’ve seen (that’s a whole other topic) but I remember the last movie I walked out from the theatre. Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

tintascreenplay.com

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Big Bad Wolves: Pembenaran penyiksaan?

5 Mar

Big Bad Wolves (2013)

Di tahun 2013 Busan Film Festival, Quentin Tarantino dengan berani mendeklarasikan film Israel ‘Big Bad Wolves’ sebagai film terbaik di 2013. Mungkin karena ‘Big Bad Wolves’ dengan bangga menjiplak gaya film Tarantino yg penuh dengan blood, violence dan black comedy sehingga Tarantino mungkin terasa tersanjung dengan film ini. Apapun maksudnya, ‘Big Bad Wolves’ sukses mendeliver semua ekspektasi itu.

Seperti jenis-jenis genre film Tarantino, you either hate ‘em or love ‘em. Tidak bisa setengah-setengah. Jadi jika anda suka film-film yg sedikit sakit dengan adegan torture porn yg agak lama dan di bumbui dengan black comedy, film ini cocok untuk anda, tapi jika anda kurang suka sama film-film sejenis ini, yah anda pasti akan mual dan membenci film ini. Se-simpel itu.

‘Big Bad Wolves’ mempunyai premis yg mirip dengan film ‘Prisoners’ di mana seorang tersangka pedofil di culik dan di siksa oleh keluarga korban. Tetapi kalau ‘Prisoners’ di mainkan dengan gaya drama yg lurus dan serius, ‘Big Bad Wolves’ lebih ke arah black comedy yg bisa memancing tawa di saat-saat yg genting atau saat-saat yg absurd.

Cerita ‘Big Bad Wolves’ di mulai ketika seorang guru agama culun bernama Dror (Rotem Keinan) di pukuli/interogasi oleh seorang polisi bernama Miki (Lior Ashkenazi). Miki percaya bahwa Dror adalah pelaku serial pedofil yg menculik/memperkosa/membunuh beberapa anak kecil, tetapi dia tidak bisa membuktikannya. Aksi interogasi kejam Miki di rekam dan di sebarkan di internet sehingga Miki turun jabatan dan Dror di pecat dari kerjaannya.

Tidak peduli, Miki terus mengintai/obsesi dengan Dror, walaupun Dror hidup secara normal. Keadaan bertambah kompleks ketika salah satu ayah dari korban Gidi (Tzahi Grad) juga mulai mengintai Dror. Ketika Miki mengejar Dror sampai pinggiran hutan dan menodong dia untuk mendapatkan pengakuan, Gidi muncul, melumpuhkan Miki dan Dror. Dia menculik Miki dan Dror ke kabin terpencil dimana dia berencana untuk melakukan aksi yg lebih ekstrim.

Mulai dari segmen ini, kelihatan sekali influence Pulp Fiction Tarantino di karya sutradara Aharon Keshales dan Navot Papushado semakin kental. Adegan penyiksaan dengan tempo yg lambat di iringi oleh dialog yg banyak dan detail tentang misi Gidi. Juga banteran humor yg tidak di sengaja antara Gidi dan Miki ketika Gidi mengajak Miki untuk menyiksa Dror membuat antisipasi penonton dengan adegan penyiksaan semakin gelisah, iba di campur tawa dengan nasib Dror.

Ketika level setiap adegan penyiksaan yg grafis (kuku kaki di cabut, setiap jari di patahin dengan palu) semakin sadis tetapi Dror masih tidak mau mengaku. Ini membuat Miki ragu apakah Dror benar-benar bersalah dan Gidi sepertinya tidak peduli karena dia hanya ingin melampiaskan kemarahannya ke seseorang. Sehingga membuat hubungan segitiga unik di antara mereka bertiga karena persekutuan di antara mereka selalu berubah-rubah dan tidak bisa di tebak sampai akhir cerita.

Tetapi bagian yg paling menarik bagi saya lebih kepada kultur orang-orang Israel di mana kekerasan/konflik sudah menjadi bagian dari hidup mereka turun menurun karena situasi negara mereka yg penuh dengan konflik di timur tengah dan apakah kekerasan ekstrim adalah solusi pertahanan yg ampuh untuk melawan terror/masalah yg tidak bisa di pecahkan secara hukum?

Poin ini di simbolkan  oleh munculnya ayah Gidi secara tiba-tiba dengan membawa titipan sup dari ibu Gidi karena khawatir Gidi sakit dan tidak ada yg merawat dia. Gidi khawatir jika ayahnya akan menemukan Dror di ruangan siksa di bawah tanah, dia akan melapor ke polisi tetapi ayah Gidi malah mendukung aksi menyiksa Dror bahkan memberikan tips kepada Gidi cara menyiksa yg lebih efisien dengan menggunakan obor las (yg dia dapati dari wajib militer). Sehingga membuat adegan yg lucu/disturbing tentang family bonding melalui penyiksaan.

Mungkin kalau film ini ber-setting di Amerika hasilnya tidak terlalu menonjol karena tidak mempunyai sisi pandang budaya yg unik seperti dari Israel tetapi dasar cerita ini mempunyai tema yg sangat universal di mana menggunakan kekerasan yg ekstrim demi menyelamatkan anak kita akan selalu menjadi area yg abu-abu dan kompleks.

tintascreenplay.com

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