You know what I hate (other than Tim Eyman)? An incomplete story that pretends to be a complete story. That’s what I hate. I only say this because I was reading Adam Cadre’s “Photopia”, and I was really worried as I was going through it that it wasn’t going to be complete. Well, my fears were totally unfounded, because it was complete, in the way that a big old punch to the stomach is complete – complete in making me feel very, very bad. It did it in a good way mind you, but it got me thinking back to a movie I saw a few weeks ago… Pow Wow Highway. It was good (well, some of the acting left a bit to be desired, but considering the look of the budget, I think they did really well), except for the major flaw of it being incomplete
I probably wouldn’t have minded so much if they just hadn’t pounded (what I considered to be) the main storyline into the ground, coincidentally making me interested more in that particular plotline than the whole “getting in touch with your feelings” side of the movie. I’m referring to the character Philbert, whose journey through the movie consists of trying to find four tokens, all of which are gifts from the spirits, and once he finds them, he will be a true warrior. Okay, good quest. They set it up very well. The first thing of any importance in the movie is Philbert getting his first car, or “war pony”, so that he can start his journey.
Alright, I lied a little. The first thing of any importance that happens is the sister of the other main character, Red Bow, gets arrested, giving the impetus to the other storyline – Red Bow’s journey to get her out of jail. Now I’m sure that many people think that’s the main plot of the movie, because as they go, Red Bow has all these nice little “coming to terms with his anger” sessions, and “gets back in touch with his spirituality”. Feh. That’s not the main story, because it isn’t set up to be the main story. Time and time again, it comes back to Phil, and his quest.
And what happens? They have a great little adventure, it’s a lot of fun. And then the movie ends. When it does, guess who has three of the four tokens? Now, if they addressed the issue, like, oh, maybe saying “Phil, you’ll get the last one when it’s time”, or Phil saying “It will come when it’s ready”, well that would have been just fine. But does that happen, no. It’s like a nice big happy G.I. Joe ending, and everyone says “let’s go home!” Phil doesn’t even care that he hasn’t gotten his fourth token. That his quest is over. I don’t care ifmaybe he gets it on the way home. If you’re going to start a movie out with one person’s quest, and then continually revisit it during the course of the movie, you’d better damn well finish it.
It’s expected, you see. When I spend an hour and a half of my life watching a movie, I have certain expectations. When I watch The Shining, my expectation is to get creeped the fuck out. When I watch The Big Hit, my expectation is to see some good chicken luvin’ between Marky Mark and China Chow. And finally, when I watch Pow Wow Highway, I expect to see Phil get every last stinkin’ token. But he doesn’t. What a way to make an otherwise decent movie leave a bad taste in my mouth.
So now that that’s out of the way… I can hardly wait to see the new Rollerball that opens this friday. Woo-hoo! Go L.L. Unfortunately, he’s weighing the scales of “former rap artists who go into the pictures” in the wrong direction. Now granted, he’s got more to claim than say… Vanilla Ice, but he ain’t got nothing on Marky. And he never will. Not with Deep Blue Sea, Rollerball, and Any Given Sunday in his list of credits.
I guess that’s enough for now, but to add one last bit of (what I’m sure will be disgusting to most people) news, I bought the Krull DVD the other day. And after bringing it home with the excitement of a giggly little schoolgirl with brand new Keds, I watched with actor commentary, and can now say my life is temporarily complete.