Archive for December, 2008

Week Eleven: #41 – The Passion of the Christ

December 21, 2008
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
This is going to be a short one–because this is one movie I just can’t put my Nitpicker’s hat on for.  To tell the truth, I have never even seen The Passion of the Christ.  I can’t bring myself to watch it.
See, I believe that the story represented in this movie, the story of Jesus Christ, is absolutely true.  I believe every scripture about Christ is absolutely true, and I have accepted (with all my heart) that he lived a sinless life, and that by his death on the cross Jesus paid the price for my sins.  I not only believe in the Scriptures but have a personal relationship with Jesus himself–I speak with him, listen to him, and consider him my best friend.
And I cannot bring myself to watch a movie where the death of my best friend is so realistically and (as far as I’ve heard) accurately portrayed.  It is the most beautiful story ever told, but just like I can’t bear to watch the ending of Pay It Forward, so much more can I not bear to watch The Passion of the Christ.
So it’s a Free Pass week.  Have a safe and merry Christmas, don’t forget that if it weren’t for Easter we wouldn’t have anything to celebrate on December the 25th…and I will see you on the 26th.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs…it’s Jeff Goldblum and The Lost World: Jurassic Park next Friday!

Week Ten:#42 – War of the Worlds

December 13, 2008
The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
-0:07:44 Ray follows Maryanne down the hall, hair messed up six ways from Sunday.  Then the shot changes, right where he says “That’s a good look for you,” and his hair is nice and neat!
-0:10:23 Robbie fails to catch Ray’s last throw, and the ball breaks the window behind him.  Robbie walks away, and then we see Ray through the hole–except that the hole the ball made and the hole we look at Ray through are two different holes!  How many broken windows does this house have?
-0:19:15 The lightning stops, Ray realizes everything is dead and wanders outside.  He passes an auto shop where the mechanic tells him that the starter is fried–so he tried changing it and that didn’t help.  He had time to change a starter in the three minutes since the lightning storm?
-0:21:16 I know New Yorkers are smarter than this.  The asphalt starts to buckle, and huge cracks appear.  Something underneath is moving.  But the onlookers just slowly back away, instead of turning and running for it.  Believe me, if some street ever begins to crack underneath my feet, you’ll see how fast I can run!
-0:24:51 The Will Award!  These huge, massive, ginormous alien machines have been buried beneath the Earth’s surface for some time (unless the aliens dropped them in last week when everybody was sleeping) and nobody has ever noticed!  Even when they put in the sewer system!  And the subway!  The hugantic machines remained completely unknown!  Is my astonishment coming through okay?
-0:26:27 Are the aliens sadistic, or just inefficient?  The tripod throws out beams of laser that incinerate folks where they stand.  Well and good–but we’re talking about six billion people here.  Do the martians have any idea how long that’s going to take, one person at a time?  (Maybe they just like seeing puny humans run and scream)
-0:27:14 Lucky Sunovagun award–Ray sure is fortunate to survive the first wave of laserings, considering the person right next to, or behind, or in front of him gets it about seventeen times
-0:30:37            Runner-up for the Will Award: obviously our heroes have to find a working vehicle, or else this movie would be really short.  But still, the odds that the EMP takes out every vehicle in New York, yet Ray finds the one vehicle that can be (and is!) fixed within ten minutes…
-0:38:52 Shot of the basement window, with white light coming in–a light beam very visible because smoke is drifting past the window.  On the inside.  One of the kids light a campfire, or something?
-0:39:58 The lights and screeching starts, and Rachel runs from under the stairs to hug her brother.  Shot changes here to show Ray and Robbie–and Rachel has disappeared!  Next shot she’s clinging to her brother again.  Where’d she go?
-0:48:32 Rachel goes to the river, needing to take care of business–and is held up when a dead body floats by.  A dead body?  I thought the aliens were disintegrating people.  Conveniently for her little lost innocence, the river suddenly teems with dead folks, where none where before…
-0:52:00 As the mob descends on the minivan, I remember that for me, this is easily the scariest scene in the entire movie.  Aliens from another planet I consider farfetched, but watching what a mob of frightened people can do to one another…
-0:57:07 I will be the first to admit that the train speeding by, gutted and on fire, is a spectacularly creepy and cool effect.  But the train was hit that hard, and it’s still on the rails?  Also, the aliens will bother to hit something as minor as a passenger train, but this whole town is sitting here lit up?  Somebody needs to get smart, here
-1:03:15 The weather needs to make up its mind.  One second it’s raining, the next it’s snowing…
-1:10:10 The whole horizon lights up.  Poor Robbie.  No way he survived that.  It would be ridiculous for the filmmakers to allow any assumption of his survival.  He must be dead
-1:21:21 Maybe the aliens aren’t that smart either.  The tentacle turns in Tom’s direction, and his head is sticking over the couch arm at least an inch–but the eye doesn’t seem to notice him
-1:24:19 Wow, I didn’t know Ray and Rachel and creepy Shotgun Guy had ninja skills!  They’re all hiding behind the mirror, the alien eye sees Rachel’s shoe, comes straight into investigate–and finds nothing but an old boot!  They disapparated!  Leaving a boot behind!  Seriously, how the hell did they pull that off???
-1:36:12 Whoa, where’d that come from?  Ray wanders around outside, calling his daughter’s name, looking in all directions.  Then suddenly there’s a tripod overhead, out of nowhere!  It’s not like these things could easily hide
-1:36:21 How lucky Ray is (again) that the aliens choose to go to the trouble of capturing him, rather than just disintegrating him
-1:44:08 Of course, just like it was Ray and not the soldier in the basket who managed to get the alien to suck up a few grenades, it’s also Ray and not any of the soldiers who notices that the birds are picking at the alien and therefore its shields are down.  Why are the shields down just because all the onboard aliens are dying of influenza?  Why are the birds picking at this metallic craft in the first place?
-1:46:52 The aliens, these same aliens that have been destroying everything up until now, apparently like old brownstones.  Enough that they leave the entire block where Grandma lives apparently untouched.  I’m starting to wear the word out–but how lucky!
-1:47:58 What the hell??  I remember when I saw this movie in the theaters, this was the moment I wanted to throw something at the screen.  Bad enough that Mom, Stepdad, Grandma and Grandpa are all alive and completely unhurt, but ROBBIE survived?!?  Gung-ho, devil-may-care, race-over-the-horizon-into-a-sky-clearing-explosion ROBBIE is still alive?  How in the world does Señor Spielbérgo expect us to swallow that one?
You want more?  I’m going to keep the rest of the nits I found to myself for now–but head to and see what other people have discovered!  And I will see you in seven!