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.