Saturday, February 13, 2010

“Well, all right then.”


“Well, all right then,” as Sandra Bullock’s Leigh Ann Tuohy says. I saw a number of animated kids’ movies in 2009. I also saw Avatar. Now I’ve seen The Blind Side, and I no more accept any scene in that movie as reality than I accept any scene in Up or Avatar as anything but fantasy.

The Blind Side might as well have been an animated kids’ movie. Each scene (with perhaps the exception of the scene in which Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) meets Michael’s downtrodden, crack-addicted mother) looks and sounds absolutely phony.

Yes, I know that the events themselves occurred, but director John Lee Hancock makes no effort to make me believe the events involved real people or occurred in a place that really exists.

Each scene is like a fantasy. The rooms in the house look fake and unlived-in. The wrecked truck looks fake. Everyone in the family is happy. Everyone is so accepting of Michael. The teenage daughter (Lily Collins) is never moody, always upbeat. The tutor Miss Sue (Kathy Bates) is so bubbly with enthusiasm and good spirit. The little boy, S.J., (Jae Head) looks like a computer-animated character in a Disney-Pixar film. Indeed, the college talent scouts look and act like they are animated.

Well, perhaps Leigh Ann Tuohy (Bullock) and her Ol’ Miss grad hubbie Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) look like convincingly real, rich Republicans from the South. (The shot in which Sean lounges on the bed, dressed in khakis, barefoot, made me throw up a little in my mouth.) But everything else from the crisp new clothing that ALL the students at the high school wear to the way the inner city thugs talk is false.

“Well, all right then,” as Leigh Ann would say. I’ve had my say, and now I’ve seen all ten Oscar nominees for Best Picture, and now I’m convinced of how ludicrous it is to scrape the bottom of the barrel to round up ten nominees, and I now know why I will puke if Sandra Bullock wins the Oscar for Best Actress.

From her very first appearance Bullock gives a serviceable performance without any sort of emotion. Her movements are obviously choreographed, her fierce demeanor is a superficial fabrication, and I never felt for a moment that she was a real person with feelings. Note the image below. It is a Hallmark card pose that might as well have been rendered in brightly colored hand-drawn animation with a fluffy white puppy thrown in to balance out the composition.


18 comments:

FilmDr said...

You've convinced me to not see The Blind Side. The nomination of this film for best picture (over Fantastic Mr. Fox or 500 Days of Summer?) makes the Oscars seem a little cheaper, a little more mercenary than it needs to be. I guess Academy voters are celebrating Sandra Bullock's likability?

Hokahey said...

It seems that a lot of people like Bullock; it's been a popular movie. I'm glad she has her fans. I'm not one of them.

I feel a little guilty tearing into this movie. I took my daughter and she enjoyed it; she loves any movie about an athlete who makes it big.

And my 17-year-old son, whose tastes lean more toward R-rated action movies, loved it - which is a very encouraging sign. Guess he was touched - either that or he enjoyed the vicarious male empowerment of watching Big Mike smash any player in his way.

Fletch said...

Amen. This was more of a fantasy than the LOTR saga. Perhaps it truly was a fairy tale story in real life - I really and truly hope it was - but I just can't believe that it all happened so smoothly as is portrayed in the film.

I'm sure that all of the fools people out there that love Remember the Titans will just eat this one up; as you might guess, I am not one of them. Invictus was a better made film, and that's saying something. Feel-good and inspirational they may be, but great movies they are most definitely not.

Hokahey said...

Glad you agree, Fletch, and thanks for commenting. As I was watching this movie, I noticed that scene after scene portrayed the whole family as the perfect little unit. I was expecting the teenage girl to have a tantrum or something but it never happened. The only real conflict is Michael trying to choose a college and then having his choice investigated. Wow! At least Invictus had some ups and downs and some grumbling rugby players.

Daniel Getahun said...

This might very well be the best rant I've yet read about this movie - well done! "The little boy, S.J., (Jae Head) looks like a computer-animated character in a Disney-Pixar film." Classic! And the lounging khakis line.

Here was another thing that I forgot to mention in my own review - Oher evidently scored in the 98th percentile for "protective instincts", right?

What the hell kind of test measures "protective instincts" in humans? Or was he given a test designed for a German Shepherd?

If that test was created simply to tell us that Oher would "naturally" be a good offensive linesmen, well I think it might be the most offensively idiotic aspect of this entire movie, more than the acting, direction, racial pandering or terrible music. And if it's a real test - well that's just bizarre.

Hokahey said...

Daniel - Thanks for the appreciation. Glad you liked the khakis line; I was worried I was getting a little vehement. Then, again, I still might get some bitter comments from barefoot khaki-wearers.

That test. I remember thinking WTF! In my years in education, I have perused the testing records of many of my students, and I've come across test results that say that a learning disabled student has trouble learning visually, orally, and aurally, but I've never come across a test result in regards to protective instincts.

I wondered what the test was like. Now, Michael, look at this picture. Here we see a little baby sleeping next to a stick of dynamite with a burning fuse. Now, Michael, tell me what you would do. Uh...

Jason Bellamy said...

Good rant. Rather than second the lines already commented on by several readers, I'll go here ...

Yes, I know that the events themselves occurred, but director John Lee Hancock makes no effort to make me believe the events involved real people or occurred in a place that really exists.

This reminds me of another John Lee Hancock movie. One you like...

Hokahey said...

Ah, yes, Jason - Hancock's The Alamo. But I believed the characters and I believed the setting.

trebort49 said...

Well, all right then. I hope you since puked. Several times in fact. You can bet your sweet *** that I won't be reading anymore of your diatribes.

Hokahey said...

trebort - Thanks for visiting. Guess you're a fan of the movie. I called it like I saw it. You're welcome to do that do.

Hokahey said...

Thanks for visiting. If you're a fan of the movie, you are welcome to voice your opinion.

webstertiums said...

I really enjoyed this movie. I agree that it would not have been MY choice for best picture and I agree that it was hokey. That said, I admit I often like a certain level of hokiness in a movie plot, so I didn't count that against it. I liked the music, I found the plot holes acceptable (I was able to overlook them without much further thought), and I enjoyed how the story ended. I put it on my list of 'feel good' movies. To each his own, I guess.

Hokahey said...

webstertiums -

Thanks for the comment. A lot of people liked this movie. I guess I could have used a scene in which the mother had to argue with the husband or daughter over the issue of having Big Mike in the house. Or a scene that showed a darker side to Big Mike. Just something to inject a little more reality into the movie. It definitely was feel-good.

Trisha said...

actually you sir, are speaking ignorantly. I did research on the history of this family and the story has been as close to the truth as it can get,.. including the details on the house. The mother WAS an interior decorater and the fact that Micheal being a neat freak and fitting right in had been made reference to in an interview with the entire family. Sandra Bullock spent hours of every day talking with the family and learning her part with perfection. You should try researching before you run your mouth. You have made yourself look ignorant. What was Santa killed off too early for you? Don't take it out on Sandra Bullock.

Trisha said...

Oh never mind. You are not serious enough to comment to. I looked at the blogs other people posted and noticed that you delete all blogs that do not agree with your opinion. You do not have a serious mind. You just want an ego stroke. Good luck to you in your mindless endeavor.

Hokahey said...

Trisha - I'll admit that this post has more tirade in it than objectivity, but if you read my other posts you will see that I am objective and I am not ignorant. I just felt that the film was more fantasy than reality and that a "based on a true story" movie should be more reality than fantasy. I did read that a number of families offered to take the boy in - not just that one family. I'm sorry I didn't like this movie. I just didn't like it.

As for deleting other blogs, I don't know what you mean. I have only deleted one or two inactive blogs from my blog list and if you look at my list of blogs, it includes a wide variety. If someone comments on my blog, I usually add that person's blog to my list after visiting their blog. If you have a blog, I would love to look at it.

Hokahey said...

I looked at the blogs other people posted and noticed that you delete all blogs that do not agree with your opinion.

Trisha - By "blogs" do you mean comments? I've never deleted a posted comment, and the only comments I've rejected were Chinese advertisements.

Jason Bellamy said...

the story has been as close to the truth as it can get...

You know, except for the part where she stands up to the gangbanger, or the part when Michael kicks some gangbanger ass, or the part where the elementary school kid gets Michael in shape, or the part where she phones the coach on the sideline.

But other than that, it's right there.