Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Day of the Pocketwatch

Yesterday, I got home from playing poker at 4:00 AM, got a few hours sleep, and managed to exercise and get out of the house with Dementia just a few minutes after the power company cut the juice for a short scheduled emergency repair. We saw what turned out to be the best informal double feature I can remember; both of the movies were just plain GREAT. Oddly, they also included pocket watches as a significant plot point.

"White House Down" is yet another entry in the "Lone Hero" sub-genre, of which "Die Hard" is the stellar example. "White House Down" may be better than "Die Hard". Of course the plot is wildly improbable, but it is never obviously impossible (Well, OK, I don't think that there is anything shoulder fired that can go through the front armor of an Abrams, but uber-geek issues like that don't really count), and there is a fair amount of humor among the carnage. The villain isn't as memorable as Hans Gruber, but he is believable and compelling. MAYBE better than "Die Hard"; I will have to watch it a few more times to be sure.

"The Lone Ranger" may just be my all time favorite movie; we will see how it holds up on re-watching. For now, though, it is a GREAT movie, one of the best I have ever seen. I realize that the critics hate the thing, and that the audience response has been lukewarm, but that is because they don't understand the movie (and, to be honest, might not care if they did). The production team chose to turn the story of the Ranger into a Trickster Fable. Tonto is a trickster shaman, fully aware that his path looks insane from the outside (and occasionally from the inside); the Ranger is a newly called trickster champion who needs to be both convinced of his calling, and to learn the nature of the path which he has been forced to walk. The result is an incredibly tight, cohesive whole that is made up of marginally sane characters behaving at the edge of their sanity. The film is full of absurd coincidences and wild luck, but that is the way things are SUPPOSED to be when you are dealing with trickster characters who are committed to the Spiral Path. I do not think that there is a single mis-cue in the entire movie; it is just that good.

In conclusion: "White House Down" is GREAT; "The Lone Ranger" is AWESOME. And the pocket watches really do matter.

Uncle Hyena
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