As a result of flying a total of about 52 hours recently, I had a pretty awesome opportunity to take advantage of the huge catalog of films on United Airways’ in-flight entertainment system (this post is not sponsored by United Airways, although in some ways I wish it was so I could go back on a nice holiday). There were quite a few new releases that I took the opportunity to finally watch, and a bunch of great classics as well. But on two occasions I did not make the wisest of choices and decided to stop watching certain films. You now have the power to decide – should I power ahead and eventually finish these films? Onwards!
Oculus (2013, dir. Mike Flanagan)
A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon. (source)
I started watching Oculus and got approximately 37 minutes in, and then I decided to pause it and have a snack of crackers and cheese. Then the guy I was sitting next to started telling me his life story (not a bad thing, he was seriously interesting and friends with Sean Connery) for the next four hours of the flight. When I had the opportunity to pick this film up again in my next big flight (read: 16 hours from LA to Melbourne), I chose not to because I simply had better options than what I had seen in this film’s 37 minutes.
Oculus has a pretty interesting premise and some quite nice direction and cinematography, and an intriguing non-linear storytelling style. In the 37 minutes I watched, there was only one jump scare, which I really appreciated; however I understand this could easily have been different during its remaining time. But there was something that was just kind of unimpressive about the beginning of this film that didn’t inspire me to finish it. And I hate not finishing films, I’ll pretty much sit through anything. I think Karen Gillan’s silly flippy hairstyle and strange character acting were really unappealing. Maybe those two factors were enough to put me off the whole film. Or maybe I didn’t feel like putting my next seat neighbour through a horror film, since the image of the man pulling his fingernail off with a staple remover was kind of gross enough for one day.
In any case, finding images for this film on Google has more than likely spoiled the ending for me, so maybe I don’t really need to watch the rest!
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, dir. Bryan Singer)
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. (source)
I remember loving the very first X-Men film back in the day. Yet I actually never watched any of the other ones until I attempted this on my 16-hour plane journey. And it was really, really boring. It effectively allowed me to get to sleep twice, which was actually quite great as I find it super difficult to fall asleep whilst flying. I wonder if you really have to watch the other films to care about the plot of this film. Or maybe it was that they didn’t do a good enough job of making sure that more casual X-Men film viewers actually know and care about the characters before launching right into the story.
I am however very happy that I was awake to see the scene where the speedy mutant man sped around a kitchen to dominate some evil police people and divert a whole bunch of bullets, because that was awesome. I’m also glad that I was awake for the revisionist airplane version of the bit where instead of saying “Fuck off!” to Wolverine, Charles Xavier says “Fluck off!”. That was completely hilarious and dumb.
I stopped this film at some point (I honestly cannot remember where) to pick up I Origins (2014) instead. That film devolved into a complete clusterfuck of stupidity (look out for my ranting on that soon), and yet I was still able to finish it. I don’t think there’s any chance of me attempting to watch this one again without watching the entire franchise to make sure that I’m up to speed on all the mutant issues and actually have the capacity to care about it. Unfortunately.
The guy on the plane does sound much more interesting ha. Gillan has a big fan club but she does sound lousy here.
Haha, that guy had a very detailed life story. There was something about Gillan’s acting that was like a weird mix between bitchy high schooler and slightly nauseous. Although I am tempted to finish it now because I need proper closure on the film!
Oculus is an interesting film, although it lacks the urgency and pace to keep someone focused on watching. I think it is worth a proper viewing however. At the same time, I loved Karen Gillian’s performance, so I guess I am going to like it more than you will.
Yeah, I’m trying to really figure out what it was specifically (aside from the hair) that really put me off her performance. Something attitudinal I think. But I think I might try to finish the film just to see how it all pans out!
Occulus is interesting and not scary. The switching between temporal realities was great. The horror is of the torture type with more icky and painful bits and a disturbing fascination with brutalising Katee Sackhoff. If there was more of the ghosts and less body horror, who knows…
See, it’s the torture type of horror that freaks me out the most (that and jump scares, every time). Plus I love Katee Sackhoff so unsure as to how I would respond to that!
I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who found DOFP to be less than stellar. It’s not bad, but I just shrugged it off so quickly. It’s a “meh” at best.
Yeah, despite starting with a big action scene at the very beginning it was just kind of boring. Although Peter Dinklage is always great.
Planes from Australia make for excellent movie watching time. I haven’t seen either of these so can’t really help you too much. But I have heard pretty positive things about Oculus, so it may be worth a revisit.
Yeah, one of the best things about air travel is that because you’re trapped in the plane you finally have the time to catch up on films you missed! I think all up I watched about eight films, which was pretty awesome.
Yeah I flew to the UK and back this year, so saw a whole bunch of stuff. Mind you, I have seen both Oculus and Days of Future Past over the past week, and was not a fan of either of them.
I liked both movies, but you’ve probably seen the best bit of DOFP (Quicksilver is so cool).
Quicksilver is super cool! That part was amazing.
Be interesting to see how Avengers will try and top it with their version of Quicksilver.
I really wanted to like Oculus, but my main reaction was “meh.” On my flight to Auckland from LA I watched Black Swan, The King’s Speech, and a couple of episodes of some David Tennant TV drama. Nothing like a 16 hour flight!
Those would be two great films to watch during a flight! 16 hours flights are simultaneously exciting and extremely tiring, but definitely also a good opportunity to watch some films.
lol, oh no, I loved I Origins. Days of Future Past is bad. I didn’t mind it immediately after I saw it, but then I saw it again, and the more I think about it, I actually kind of hate it.
Haha! I think I’ll definitely be avoiding the rest of Days of Future Past!
Oculus is very “meh.” You’re not missing anything by skipping out on the rest. I liked DoFP, but not as much as everyone else. I’m a fan of the X-Men movies, but the only one that I would consider a prerequisite to this one is X-Men: First Class which I thought was the better movie.
I haven’t even seen X-Men: First Class yet! Maybe I should give that a go instead.
Well if you already know the ending, I don’t see why you should continue Oculus. Personally I quite liked it. It was not scary but I enjoyed the non-linear unfolding of the story as well as the acting from the parents and little children especially. The lead actors were good too. It wasn’t scary but definitely one of the better horror films of the year.
Days of Future Past was alright, but nothing special. The slow motion scene was indeed awesome and the best part of that film. I thought it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t special either. You could finish the film if you really want to see the next film. If not, then, I think there are better things to watch than another X-Men movie.
I agree with you, I liked the non-linearity of Oculus as well, and I’m kind of interested to see how that kind of storytelling played out over time! Even though I’m pretty sure I do know the ending (haven’t double checked though, just in case).
I didn’t hate that new X Men movie but James McAvoy’s performance was far and above the quality of that film.
McAvoy was pretty great in the parts I actually watched!
Nope, I wouldn’t bother finishing either of them! After seeing X-Men: Days of Future Past, I decided I was done with that particular franchise… even if Jennifer Lawrence is now a part of it!
I think I actually missed out on most of the Jennifer Lawrence stuff due to falling asleep, which is regrettable!
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