Dramatic Movies with Stakes Most Twee

These are probably good movies, but the trailers are so fucking dramatic for such insignificant matters, I've always avoided them. Make sure to watch the trailers so you can hear the music intended to gear you up for these tiddly-wink premises.

4. Miami Vice creator and Oscar nominee Michael Mann directs Oscar winner Al Pacino, Oscar Winner Russell Crowe, and Cristopher Plummer as tv producers and execs at Sixty Minutes arguing over whether to air an expose on malfeasance at tobacco companies in The Insider. Instead of an exciting story about a whistleblower getting beaten up or threatened by evil profiteers, this focuses on the political turmoil behind the scenes of a tv news show when the network refuses to air his story. Nominated for seven Oscars! Everyone tells me it's a great movie. With that creator and cast, I'm sure it is. Oh well.

3. Robert Redford directs Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro and Rob Morrow as contestants and investigators on a rigged Quiz Show. In case the stakes weren't low enough, this true story is from the Fifties, so the prizes involved were in the tens of thousands of dollars. Wake me up after you're done explaining how that was a lot of money in the Fifties. CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION! Zowie! Did that make you want to watch it? Me neither.

2. Oscar nominee Stephen Frears directs Helen Mirren in an Oscar winning performance about the figurehead of the United Kingdom in The Queen. Not that she's an important enough world figure to need her life story told, but is this a story of her life, covering the many years she has "reigned" over 16 states and colonies? Is it even the soap opera crap surrounding her kids and their divorces and scandalous affairs and what their mom has to say about it? No, the high drama in this movie is centred around 61 million tabloid-eating Brits demanding to hear their reluctant Queen eulogize her ex-daughter-in-law Princess Di. What could be less important? How could the stakes be dropped any lower? Get ready, here it comes....

1. The Wise Owl Award-winning Marc Abraham directs Alan Alda and Greg Kinnear (host of "Later with Greg Kinnear", formerly known as "Later with Bob Costas", eventually known as "Later with Cynthia Garret" and "Later with [any warm body willing to fill this undying slot]"). Begin with jazzy music and scenes of the inventor's family, playfully build up to his invention and his demonstration for Ford Motor Co, and then *BOOM* cue the doomy bass thumps in this true story about an intellectual property lawsuit over the patent for intermittent windshield wipers, drawn out over decades because the guy wouldn't settle for $30 million. I present you with Flash of Genius, winner of The Most Twee Stakes in a Drama According to Rob 2008.


  • At 11:23 PM , Blogger Deidzoeb said...

    See also "Frost/Nixon." People in Laos and Cambodia were killed by bombing campaigns that Nixon ordered, but the big drama we're supposed to invest another 2 hours in is an interviewer getting Dick to talk about whether he broke any laws. I haven't seen the play or the movie or the original interviews or read summaries of them, but let me take a wild fucking guess -- the big confrontation will be Frost asking something about Watergate. Undeclared wars, overturning democracies in South America, supporting dictators, that's all kids' stuff, but God damn you if you burglarize an office.

  • At 3:52 PM , Blogger Deidzoeb said...

    Again with the PS. When I wrote that, I wasn't even aware that the writer of drama-deficient dramas like The Queen was also the author of Frost/Nixon.

    I'm sorry to ramble about it, but the climax of the whole thing is that Frost got Nixon to foolishly claim everything a president does is legal because he's the president. That fucking line is shown in the movie trailer. What else is there to put in the movie that anyone could care about? Backstage disagreements between Frost and his producers about how to conduct the interview? Discussion between Nixon and his aides about what to say? The drama of how these interviews made PBS a more watched, more viable network?

    How about some scenes where the set designers clash over what color to paint the backdrops, what palette to establish between the furniture and suits and sets? Ugh times seven.


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