Monday, October 22, 2012

'The Fly' Open Thread


  1. Fist off, I'm going to load this a thought at at time, since this is the first time I've been able to get here since last week, and now I'm waiting for the "Frankenstorm" to knock out the lights...

    I was feeling very Halloween-nostalgic, and wanted something fun-scary to watch. This wasn't what I was thinking of --- I don't really know what would have been -- but I enjoyed it, partly, I think, because it is not what I was expecting a horror movie to be like.

    Obviously, I have no standards when it comes to horror movies, as I can count on my thumbs the ones I 've watched since I cut myself off from the Saturday afternoon fright-fest hosted by a local Elvira precursor when I was in second grade. (To be exact, Poltergeist and Tremors, and I'm not sure Temors counts.

  2. Anyway, I skipped all those 5-teenagers-go-into-the-woods movies (Joss Whedon's latest would probably be completely lost on me. Maybe I'll rent it and get someone to fast-forward through the gory parts for me.) It's not that I don't like the fun of being made to jump out of my seat; it's just that I don't know which movies have the scare-you elements without the gross-you-out and depress-you parts. So, what little frame of reference I have regarding horror movies is the bits I remember of the ones that were already dated when they showed up on TV almost 50 years ago. (50 years ago... Now, that's a scary thought.)

    But, I digress.

    I liked the performances in this movie, even though they were... uneven, even before Jeff Goldblum began the transformation. I liked his Seth Brundle: he was a rather engaging guy, obviously smart, deeply inspired in his work, and a pleasantly low-key eccentric. It seemed very touching to me that his romance with Ronny was his first, although I suppose the writers saw that as more of a means to show how drastically he was changing when he was looking for someone who could "keep up."

  3. I'm re-considering my comment about uneven performances: I was thinking more about Geena Davis, in particular the scene in which Ronny initiates the romance. She seemed almost unfeeling in her casualness, but this may be at least as much a fault of the writing. But unfortunate, especially since the aspect of the movie I liked best was the degree to which Seth and Ronny seemed to truly care for each other, and continued to in spite of the horrific events overtaking them.

    Admittedly, Seth's ability to maintain his concern for Ronny's safety in increasingly compromised after the scene when he tells her to leave, to not come back to him, because he no longer trusts himself to avoid hurting her. Even if it is love for Ronny, and anguish for his child, that drive Seth to seize Ronny from the doctor's office, by the time he returns with her to his lab, his desperation to keep experimenting is due entirely to self-preservation.

    Ronny's love and concern for Seth are unfailing, though, and I loved the scenes when she embraces Seth even as his grotesque metamorphosis progresses. His agony of watching himself rot away, her anguish in being unable to help him -- so much more sad than scary. Even at the end her actions are motivated by his misery rather than her fear.

    So, I'm clearly a sucker for a romance, tragic or otherwise. I even liked the way the obnoxious ex comes through for Ronny. We don't know what will happen to her and the brundlefly-ling, but she is not alone.

    Woo-hoo, the lights are flickering! I may be back... :)

  4. The lights are flickering? Oh, my word! Cathy... CATHY!

  5. Still in business!

    So, I have some thoughts regarding the Science Fiction elements of the story. Now, being almost as illiterate regarding Science Fiction as I am in Horror, I don't know what degree of disbelief-suspension is expected of the good-faith viewer, or if there is a particular etiquette in this area. But there were a couple of things that stuck out rather distractingly. One was the ease with which Seth "tells" the computer about "The Flesh," so that living organisms can be transported without ending up tasting synthetic. I know I'm not supposed to quibble, but they made a huge deal about living vs inorganic subjects, and then he goes and types on the computer for a few moments, and bang! the computer can transport a baboon without turning it inside out.

    I do know it's completely pointless to complain about this sort of thing, and the points at which I balk probably reveal far more about me than I would really want...

    But the other thing is, if the tiny fly's genes got spliced with eleven-foot-tall Jeff Goldblum-as-Seth Brundle's genes, why would the fly-ness be expressed so much more than the human-ness? Physically, that is. I think we're supposed to understand that, at the end, "Brundlefly" still has the mind of a man, begging for release, rather than that of an insect struggling to survive.

    Oh! You have to give it to the make-up people. They had him looking pretty realistically awful a lot of different ways before his face fell completely off. And I did enjoy the special effects work when he was crawling on the ceiling. (Pre-digesting his adversary made sense in the story, but I kinda wished I hadn't seen it. :) )

  6. P.S. I'm not going to take it personally if you Just Didn't Like It!

  7. Oh, you mean I'm supposed to say something now? Well, I enjoyed Jeff Goldblum's scientist, and the relationship he developed with Ronnie, the Gena Davis character, but her boss just drove me through the roof! How could she ever put up with that self-centered, pompous, pain in the ass! Sheesh, I was almost rooting for the monster. But what were the characters thinking, and why? I couldn't really relate to Seth accepting that he was evolving into something better than before, though his ability to climb on the wall was pretty impressive (how many times have we thought "I'd like to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation." Now... not so much). His remorse at the thought of their losing their child, I liked that, and her sorrow over what was happening to him. But I must admit I am rather looking forward to our next venture!

  8. Oh, you mean I'm supposed to say something now?

    ;p Wise guy.

    You will be happy to know, I think, that no one's face comes off in Arsenic and Old Lace.

  9. Very good - and, I should have it Friday. It's show time!