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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sightseers (IFC DVD) - Your Best of List, My Box of Tissues

Sightseers is hitting some best of 2013 lists, and I just had the chance to watch it. It is not going to make my best of list if such a list is actually generated. I'm afraid I fell asleep while watching it. Not once. Not twice. Three times. ... Three. This is not a movie that I would ever say that I hate because I don't. I think that there's plenty to warrant such esteem as to place it on best of lists that I myself revere. Quite frankly, it bored me. It's just a dull little picture with a sort of fun idea that's actually well acted, but paced horribly wrong for this reviewer. I urge you wholeheartedly to watch it and enjoy it if you will, but this review won't sing it's praises save for a few notes. I guess I'm beyond movies that make me feel bad, and this one tied my heartstrings right around my neck.

Synopsis from IFC:

Chris (Steve Oram, The World's End)wants to show his new girlfriend Tina (Alice Lowe, Hot Fuzz) his world and he wants to do it his way - on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved RV. Tina has led a sheltered life and there are things Chris simply needs her to see. But it doesn't take long for annoying tourists, overbooked campsites and Tina's meddling mother to spoil Chris' dream. Now he's out to prove that hell truly hath no fury like a vacationer scorned - and he and Tina quickly bond by murdering everyone who rubs them the wrong way.
Trailer:


So, as per the box, Empire gave it four stars and claimed it was funny as Hell. Total Film said it was "Bold and Blisteringly Funny". I didn't get the joke, and that happens sometimes. Every so often I simply can't find things funny that ya'll seem to belly laugh at. These are the kinds of movies that I watch again and again to find meaning. I watched Hatchet more times than movies I actually love just to figure it out. So I tried three times to find the absurdly funny. Sure, there are some moments of the blackest humor with dark moments surreal and portrayed well by our protagonists, but I think I missed it. What I ended up feeling was a strange sense of sympathy that did not evoke laughter but sadness. Each murder in the picture was like a striking reminder of the solitude and confinement we feel as part of a civilized race with guilt trips set up like a game of mouse traps. Escape from it all comes at the price of ourselves, our morals, our dignity. So even when I laugh at Sightseers I come back to a familiar sense of melancholy; a deeply personal connection with characters that was not positive. This may not have wholly been intended by the filmmakers, thus my encouragement for you to make your own judgement about the picture. Maybe I simply identified with them to well and less with the jokes made at their expense.

It's shot well, though I found the audio to be mixed with soundtrack up and dialogue down. This being the first time this has happened on my set up I had to think it was actually engineered that way which made for an awkward viewing experience, constantly adjusting the volume to get the appropriate sound. There are some truly great shots, scenic locations and some gruesome splatter effects. Man, you'd almost think that I really enjoyed this movie.

Maybe the best way to summarize this whole mess is this... I read Catcher in the Rye when I was younger, and fuck if I'll ever read that thing again. I didn't really identify with Holden Caufield at all or rather at least not in that way that your supposed to. By the end of the goddamn thing I felt miserable and depressed, but apparently I was supposed to be laughing, ready to live my dreams and say fuck all the phonies or some adolescent catch phrase. What a depressing work. Not that I thought it was poorly written or that it didn't have merit, but it spoke to me as if I had just found out my kitten was killed in a horrible washer/dryer accident and was dumping hard liquor down my throat to make me smile. The fact that somebody shot John Lennon over that thing makes me cum blood.

So check out Sightseers for yourself, but if you feel down on your luck afterward don't say I didn't throw my two cents squarely at your chest.

You can pick up Sightseers now.

-Doc Terror

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