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The Island: A Butcher's Review

By A Bore in Media
Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 12:34:33 AM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)

It was not without some misgivings that I washed my hands one final time, drying them on the pale green cloth specifically reserved for that purpose. I strode over to my shopfront door, turning the old fashioned (but highly useful) Open sign over to Closed. As I slid my blue and white striped apron over my head, I crystallized this vague feeling into a Thought: I had two tickets to see the latest blockbuster The Island tonight, and I was afraid it didn't look like a very good film at all.

Here are the facts: it is an American movie, starring Ewan McGregor. Think about the last few: Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, going back further, A Life Less Ordinary: were they any good? There were no real gems, no specialness or pizazz in that list. Secondly, the film dealt with a Sci-fi 'High Concept': cloning. The last Hollywood blockbuster dealing with sci-fi High Concepts? Let us gloss over Will Smith and his part in the rape of Asimov. It is unfit for polite conversation. So maybe go back to Kubrick's, then Spielberg's, A.I.? Perhaps unfairly, I imagined the film to be the bastard son of the traditional McGregor/ Hollywood fuckup, and the traditional sci-fi/ Hollywood fuckup. And remember, A.I. was a very, very bad turkey.

Banishing these thoughts from my mind, I finished closing up my gleaming shop, savoring a final breath of that beautiful Butcher smell that pervades my fine establishment. I had arranged to meet the old ball-and-chain outside the cinema, and I was in no rush, enjoying a slow swagger down our little row of shops in the direction of my home, for a quick shower and a change of clothes. I made the sign of the evil eye, out of reflexive habit, as I passed Brake and Sons, my frankly inferior competitors.

Musing on their woefully hung and cured (yet inexplicably popular) sausages made the pleasant nights walk pass swiftly. I arrived at my house, changed into cinema-suitable clothing after a wash, and gave our babysitter for the night some last few pieces of advice concerning the care of our two terriers, Jesus and Satan (Food in the fridge. Soft drinks in the cabinet. DO NOT take off Jesus's muzzle, under any circumstances).

I waited outside the cinema for a while, wife mysteriously late. It give me a moment to look over the other films we perhaps should have seen instead. The trouble with having a regular weekly visit to the flicks is that some weeks you have to see films that frankly you wouldn't give a second glance, had you any choice. For an example, see The Fantastically Stupid Four. I don't like films which automatically assume you are a drooling moron; I suspect they create drooling morons. And I certainly have experienced drooling morons - most of them enter my shop, and ask for a "portion" of beef.

I should say, a Butcher's lot is hard to bear. I imagine it would be a lot like a physicist. We (Butchers and physicists) can watch films, but our enjoyment is often ruined by the unique perspective and expertise our professions give us. For instance, what to an audience may seem like a reasonable and unremarkable event say, in Mission to Mars, an astronaut running out of fuel and so coming to an abrupt stop in zero gravity would, to a physicist, be patently impossible, ruining the suspension of disbelief and earning a snort of derision.

We Butchers have no beef (har har) with elementary physics, but we are intimately familiar with the properties of bone, gristle, blood and meat. (Brake and Sons, the rumors that I started assert, are physically intimately familiar with their stock). This makes horror films difficult for a Butcher. I've lost count of the times I've leaned over to the wife and murmured "That blood should have clotted by now". I was elated with the realistic gristle effects in Constantine, then plunged into the depths of despair at the ludicrous blood-mixing-in-water glaring error in the final scene. We all have our crosses to bear.

Isn't it curious how a country's films reflect the defining characteristics of people from that country? French films are ridiculously cerebral and obsessed with adultery. German cinema, on the whole, is rather steady and dull. American films are stupid and obvious. British films are so sparse as to seem practically to apologize for their own existence.

My musings were interrupted by Her, who sneaked up behind me and pinched me extremely hard on one buttock. "'Ello, you" she said, completely unabashed. I gave her a Look, then we linked arms and went to our film, just late enough to avoid those moronic Orange adverts that the fools around me bray at so sycophantically.

She was asleep in 10 minutes. But that is no commentary on the film - it's her usual modus operandi for any non-horror flick. This film? The start tried hard to be clever and, but for a rather badly done transition from a dream to waking, managed it. The first 30 minutes burbles along nicely, hitting all the standard colony cliches. All these people in uncomfortable jumpsuits - I was getting flashbacks to Logan's Run. The security in this maximum security clone colony is such that you have to borrow a key and climb a ladder to get out. A key which is never returned, and never asked for back. But this is all nitpicking - you don't go to a movie like this for the plot to make sense, unless you are a complete fool. If it does, it's a bonus. You go for the visceral thrills, the spectacle. And they were quite good in this film, I have to admit. Instead of being awful, I was pleasantly surprised to find it almost mediocre.

McGregor's faux Americana accent was a source of constant delight for me. I knew he was capable of some very poor voice approximation, as shown in the recent Star Wars films, but every garbled syllable, every contrived and mangled phrase filled me with a malicious glee. Ho ho ho. I could only wonder what went on behind the scenes with, you know, actual Americans. Did they pretend it was good? When he asked them for their opinion, did they slap him on the back and tell him he sounded great?

Anyway, the film turns the stupidity up to 11 when McGregor and the intensely fuckable Johannson escape into the real world. Mercenaries are called in, supposedly ex-soldier types who look like Hell's Angels, and the predictable chase section of the movie kicks in, albeit a bit better done than usual, if again highly stupid, providing a lot of high speed future tech thrills, stuff smashing towards the camera to make you flinch, lots of vehicle collisions that people walk out of unhurt. It would be an excellent 3D film, if only I had red and green coloured cardboard glasses. By far the most fun thing is the complete and utter disregard for the concept of collateral damage. Buildings fall on innocent passers by, horrendous car smashes royally fuck up uncomprehending commuters and our intrepid clones don't really notice, and the mercenary king carries himself as some sort of honorable warrior. I assume this character is a sports star in the states or something - he certainly isn't an actor.

The film wraps up predictably, and I was left with a sort of wistful feeling of opportunities missed. What if, for example, the characters were not so clearly delineated into good guy / bad guy? What if there was hint of moral ambiguity in the heroes or villains? Could the film have actually confronted some of the interesting issues in the whole business of having a clone grown? It implied at some sort of quasi-spiritual theory that an organism's memory is more than just the result of its genes, but left this hanging as nothing more than a justification of some of McGregor's abilities. Overall, too many parts of the film didn't quite work. Some plot holes were the result of laziness, where a bit of imagination could have circumvented them. Some bits were quite funny.

I woke up the wife and we walked back, her comforting warmth huddled up against my arm. I used the rare silence to think more about the film, which shows it made some impact on me. Would a clone of me have my unique and special Butcher abilities? Would it be able to assimilate into my life? The dozy sow on my arm certainly wouldn't notice. Would it preside over the meetings of the Most August Fellowship of the Red Hand on Wednesdays, and like me, rule every week that neither of the Brake Bros. or their father had reached the required skill to join? Who knows?

The miasma of the film finally cleared from my mind. Overall, I had to judge it reasonable entertainment. A haberdasher or a draper might have thought it wonderful, but we Butchers are a more intelligent breed. So make your decision, dear reader, and I hope I was of some utility. Now home, to reverse engineer my competitor's sausages, bought through a proxy, and due to be taken apart in the dead of night in the blacked out shed in my garden. The life of a Butcher is a fulfilling and wonderful one.


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The Island: A Butcher's Review | 78 comments (67 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Superb +1FP {NT} (1.20 / 5) (#1)
by Elvis Priestley on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 07:02:58 AM EST

Buy clothes that will make you cooler
Exactly +1FP (1.00 / 3) (#7)
by CalebMatthews on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 02:34:16 PM EST

[ Parent ]
One of the (2.00 / 5) (#2)
by stuaart on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 08:20:25 AM EST

best k5 stories I've ever read. Excellently written, funny and interesting. Well done.


Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective

+1 FP (1.20 / 5) (#3)
by hackle577 on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 08:53:29 AM EST

Spinal Tap reference

Yeah, that's right. "Turd Ferguson." It's a funny name.

Please review more crappy movies (3.00 / 8) (#8)
by rusty on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 02:35:16 PM EST

I haven't seen The Island, but I'll rent the DVD eventually, and after it wastes two hours of my life I will look back on this review and think about how much more entertaining it was than the movie.

Not the real rusty
This is offensive. Fix your site Rusty you have to (1.07 / 14) (#12)
by The Honorable Edwin Lister on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 04:38:31 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Ditto (none / 0) (#31)
by ae on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 03:09:51 AM EST

I've also resorted to renting films. Especially considering in Australia it costs a whopping $15AU a movie at the cinema. Whereas most DVDs you can actually buy, for only 20 or so odd dollars. Some stores discount them for as low as 10 bucks.

If you have a good set up at home it's just as cheap really, and on top of that you can watch it over and over. But once in a while, I guess the good ones are still worth going to the cinema for.

[ Parent ]
right (none / 0) (#37)
by QuantumG on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 07:54:55 AM EST

like I go to the cinema because I want to see a movie. It's like people saying they don't bother going out for dinner because they can cook better meals at home. It may well be true but it completely misses the point. We go to the cinema for the experience of going to the cinema. Unfortunately, it's this is the kind of argument that killed the drive-in cinema in Australia. People saw renting a video as a cheaper and less hassle alternative instead of seeing the two as complementary experiences that didn't need to compete. Comparing renting a DVD vs renting a video as competing technologies makes sense. Comparing renting a DVD vs going to the cinema does not.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
are you suggesting (none / 0) (#38)
by fleece on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 08:34:34 AM EST

there's a difference between one's experience, and one's perception of one's experience? I'd argue there isn't by definition. It sounds like you're saying we're too stupid too know when we're having a good time.

I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
that's pretty much it (none / 0) (#48)
by QuantumG on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 06:48:42 PM EST

You go to the cinema and rather than just enjoy yourself you sit there and twist your ticket around your thumb and think if only I could get this experience for cheaper and then go spend thousands and thousands of dollars to build your own "home theatre" which doesn't even deliver the same experience but makes you feel better.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
yeah you're probably right (none / 1) (#57)
by fleece on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 07:38:06 AM EST

but it reminds of the time when Mo on The Simpsons said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Rich people, they think they're happy, from the day they're born til the day they die, but they're not!"

I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Things changed (none / 0) (#68)
by ae on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 12:41:37 AM EST

I used to go to the movies at least once a week. This was back in the days when the tickets were somewhat more reasonably priced, and I could afford to do it, while still feeling sane.

I guess the advent of the DVD, along with a general increase of life expenses and other economical fuckups, caused a general trend towards staying at home and watching films. This in turn means the 'demand/supply' for going to the cinema became lower, and hence the price went up.

...Either that, or they just want to make more money.

Personally I'd still go once a week if the prices came back down to a reasonable level where I don't feel like I'm getting raped every time I see a film. This is something they're pushing here. Besides, as you mentioned, it's the experience you really go to the movies for, which tends to be hard to emulate at home, even with plenty of spare cash.

The debates on the movie industry topic are countless. Should actors even be paid that much for what generally turns out to be a shitty performance anyway?

One thing stands though. At the risk of sounding cheap, food at the cinema is the biggest rip-off.

[ Parent ]
"I'm not shy, (none / 0) (#39)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 09:17:17 AM EST

I just prefer to be by myself at home when I watch movies."

[ Parent ]
Great story (2.50 / 2) (#9)
by partialpeople on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 02:52:33 PM EST

But as far as American movies with Ewan MacGregor goes, Big Fish was a pretty good one.

-1 Irrelevant (1.33 / 6) (#14)
by osm on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 09:14:19 PM EST

March of the Penguins was far better. It is the end of Hollywood as we know it. Thank God.


Good. (2.00 / 3) (#15)
by livus on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 10:20:22 PM EST

I liked this article, and I'm not even remotely interested in The Island or in what strangers off the interweb have to say about it.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Are Butchers aware... (1.40 / 5) (#17)
by QuantumG on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 03:37:31 AM EST

that no-one actually likes sausages, they just buy them cause they're cheap? Seriously, if all your care and attention is going into making sure your sausages are top shelf I'm afraid you've wasted your life.

Now steak, that's something you can make some form of quality statement about. Of course, 99% of your customers take your finely prepared meat home and freeze it.. which just completely screws a good steak no matter how they cook it.

BTW, ya know how you felt about Kill Bill? With your average person having 9x as much blood as normal and this being the fundamental attraction of the film? Well guess what, that's exactly how the rest of the world feels about any movie based on the US's fear of cloning technology.

Oh yeah, and you mispelt "know" on the last sentence of the second last paragraph.. Not that it matters cause this article has no chance of being posted.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.

This story currently has a total score of 15. (1.50 / 2) (#19)
by Monkeys from Outer Space on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 01:00:05 PM EST


[ Parent ]
I love sausage! (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by LilDebbie on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 05:58:39 PM EST

Not gay, seriously.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Rinderwurstchen, I think it's called. (none / 0) (#67)
by Russell Dovey on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 03:32:08 PM EST

German beef sausage, with sauerkraut and onion and hot English mustard. Sold from a little stall shaped like a house from Heidi, at the Folk Festival every year. Saved me from freezing to death one year.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 1) (#30)
by ae on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 02:55:58 AM EST

I do admit, most my sausage purchase is driven by the fact that they're low cost... and I certainly would never pass eating a good stake. So I'll have to agree with you there. But mate, what the hell do sausages have to do with any of this? I actually found his post rather well written. Do you absolutely love the film, or are you offended by somebody else's' opinion. Maybe you just have a grudge against intellectually stimulated butchers... And by the way, you misspelled 'misspelt'.

[ Parent ]
what I do have something against... (1.33 / 3) (#32)
by QuantumG on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 03:12:03 AM EST

Is movie reviews that don't review the movie, claim to have a unique perspective and then don't apply it, and read like a diary entry getting posted to the front page. Not to mention insulting his wife in a public forum. It just lowers the standards of the site.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
*cough* Standards? (2.00 / 2) (#34)
by bakuretsu on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 06:46:09 AM EST

You must be thinking of a different site...

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
Personal rebuttal: (none / 1) (#36)
by hummassa on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 07:01:15 AM EST

I love sausages. Then again, I live in a state (Minas Gerais) where we do 15 different type of pork, beef and chicken sausages called "linguiças". We eat them in barbecues, at lunch & dinner, with beans, with eggs, in sandwiches, inside "pão-de-queijo" (small cheese loafs).

[ Parent ]
You live in some sort of bizarre sausage-poverty (3.00 / 5) (#56)
by A Bore on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 04:31:06 AM EST

A good sausage is a joy to behold; it is a tasty snack that fits in your hand. It is simple to cook, and ideal for the breakfaster in search of something more filling to provide energy. Clearly you have only ever had sausages from a hypermart abomination, or simply look down on them due to some sort of absurd prejudice.

In fact I suspect you are a snob, probably used to using two silver forks to tong a kipper onto a prewarmed breakfast plate at 8 o'clock sharp each morning. To you, a wannabe member of the aristocracy, a sausage is a common thing. But to real people who make a contribution to society, the humble sausage is a friend who never stops giving.

[ Parent ]
Nice try (none / 1) (#58)
by QuantumG on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 07:45:06 AM EST

I've had good sausages (great sausages!) and yet I know for a fact that no-one goes to the butchers with the aim to buy sausages. It's something they tack onto the order at the end cause they've got money left over (or the butcher throws in for free because he's delusional like you). It's a filler.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
As a matter of fact.... (none / 0) (#60)
by jwdb on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 08:55:40 AM EST

I regularly go to the butcher specifically for sausages - they're one of my staple foods as a student trying to learn to cook.

[ Parent ]
Why is it that anomalies always have to talk? (none / 0) (#62)
by QuantumG on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 06:43:43 PM EST

If I say "you have no chance of winning the lotto" someone will undoubtably say "my cousin won the lotto" or "I've won the lotto". You're an anomaly. It doesn't change the essential truth of my statement.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Consider the possibility you are simply wrong (none / 0) (#64)
by A Bore on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 04:45:03 AM EST

Don't take my word for it - listen to these words from the British Pig Executive:

Britain is already a nation of sausage lovers, with 90% of households putting bangers regularly on their shopping list, and the country consuming a staggering 266,500 tonnes in the last year

It hardly sounds like an afterthought now, does it? Please, educate yourself. Kurofin deserves better.

[ Parent ]
No yuo <nt> (none / 0) (#66)
by bml on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 05:22:06 AM EST

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
Anomalies are interesting. (none / 0) (#79)
by grargrargrar on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 12:11:24 PM EST

So are certain statistics. Saying "this is how it is" is not interesting. Facts > opinions.

[ Parent ]
Commercial movies are so lame (1.20 / 5) (#20)
by Goth Girl on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 04:33:52 PM EST

unless they have something dark in them.


Spiders swell with vile disillusionment
A black cat quivers blackened requiem
Spiders destroy Elysian prayers
Sorrow eviscerates tainted twilight

you mean like Blair Witch II? (nt) (2.00 / 2) (#28)
by circletimessquare on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 10:24:13 PM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
That movie was pretty cool. (2.00 / 2) (#41)
by Goth Girl on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 11:02:18 AM EST

I also liked Ginger Snaps.


Spiders swell with vile disillusionment
A black cat quivers blackened requiem
Spiders destroy Elysian prayers
Sorrow eviscerates tainted twilight
[ Parent ]

So why no meat comments? (2.50 / 2) (#25)
by rpresser on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 09:20:28 PM EST

Why, as a butcher -- excuse me, Butcher -- did you not comment on the quality of the meat in the clone-building scenes?
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
Well (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by A Bore on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 04:11:40 AM EST

My expert thoughts on grain, fat content, animal diet and colour may well have struck some chord with Kurofin's butchers, but they would be wasted on most of this crowd.

[ Parent ]
awesome (2.85 / 7) (#26)
by circletimessquare on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 09:54:06 PM EST

stream of consciousness movie reviews

are you listening rusty?: we need a whole category for this, and we should have monthly submissions

ps: i liked "the island" for one reason: michael bay may be a hollywood hack, but he has great faith in amtrak and the future of american train riding

did you see that futuristic train?

and if there was such a futuristic maglev amtrak, WTF WAS THE MEANING OF THE SCENE WITH THE TRAIN WHEELS FLYING OFF THE MACK TRUCK BED???

this is merely illogical scene #23,4109 from that movie, but when the oil shocks of 2007 hit, and driving a car at $24.00 a gallon causes the suburban riots and food shortages and war with china over oil supplies, we will desperately need our forlorn neglected rusting train industry, something us americans pioneered and promptly abandoned to have an expensive short-sighted love affair with the fucking pollution belching and foreign fundamentalist funding gas-driven automobile... meanwhile the french, japanese and others have nurtured their train industry

so i'm just glad to see michael bay, a player in american hollywood, with still such great faith in amtrack

we are out there, buried in small pockets in the suburban sprawl of america, we are few, but we still exist: the train lovers

fuck the car, embrace mass transit

thank you michael bay, we hear your desperate love for amtrak, and we are with you, listening to you, waiting for more signs: make trains, not war!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Fantastic Rantage /nt (none / 1) (#49)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 08:15:49 PM EST

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
I assume (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by A Bore on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 04:13:56 AM EST

..the train wheels were being taken to the matter reactors to be atomised. Obviously the maglev train had been invented only the day before the escape.

[ Parent ]
Jesus Christ People It's a Diary Entry (1.54 / 11) (#27)
by QuantumG on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 10:21:12 PM EST

-1 right now. If you already +1'd this I suggest you ask Rusty to disable your account.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
Michael Bay's trade mark style from IMDB (2.50 / 2) (#29)
by demi on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 12:24:14 AM EST

Intense slow motion shots of characters

Films often feature a US President giving a major speech before a major action is to be committed.

Has the camera moving during most scenes. Very rarely uses static shots.

(2001) His last 3 films all share: a) two male leads at odds with another; b) a cataclysmic event as the narrative's fulcrumic point; c) the film's lead female character has i) been a long-haired brunette, and ii) watched the film's climax from a control room

Actors/characters in his films are almost uniformly shot in tight, emphatic close ups, framed under the hairline and above the chin.

Often uses lightflashes (i.e. lightbulbs and cameraflashes) to enhance scenes.

Often has over-the-top visuals (i.e. key events taking place at sunset or dramatic events taking place behind actors doing routine activities).

Nice review (none / 1) (#33)
by echarp on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 06:18:51 AM EST

Went to see it yesterday, not expecting much, and I was disapointed with the non intellectuality of it, but awed with the special effects. So many opportunities missed :-(

No chance a real clone would have the memory of his donor without any mind scrapping technique. Plus if you can grow humans up to a certain age, there must be a way to grow particular organs withouth the remaining parts, particularly the brain.

The mercenary king used to be a french fashion model, but then he also acted and was nominated for a globe award (for amistad). At least he managed some of the bad guy/good guy blur you seemed to long for.

Please use Word next time. (1.60 / 5) (#35)
by bakuretsu on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 06:51:43 AM EST

Your piece is rife with grammatical errors that makes it appear to be striving toward a unique fluency, one that it fails to achieve.

If you mean to portray the author as an oddly erudite butcher, at least try to build sentences with all of the appropriate prepositions in them.

If, instead, you really meant this to be a brutish summary by a man whose charge is the disassembly of Earth's creatures, try to exaggerate the illiteracy here. We're falling somewhere in between.

Are you German? In English, we only capitalize proper nouns. "Butcher" is not a proper noun. Nor is "thought."

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004

maybe you should not try to (none / 0) (#46)
by nietsch on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 02:10:26 PM EST

make a paragraph out of one long sentence. Yes I am capable of understanding what it was about at de dot, but that does not mean you should make every sentence as long as you can. People like short sentences. That makes for quicker reading. And a dot is not always a prelude to a </p>.

[ Parent ]
Kill The Marketing Department (3.00 / 8) (#40)
by EXTomar on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 10:21:44 AM EST

What bugs me about The Island is that the first half (maybe quarter) is some interesting sci-fi mystery going on. What is really going on in this place? They drop hints and other cues that a viewer should discover. Anytime you involve the audience in discovering the story it makes for a better experience.

However, if you watch any of the promos, ads, and read anything said by the stairs in promotion of the movie you know exactly what is going on in the movie. They've killed the suspense. Instead of a minature adventure of discovery, you watch the first half of the movie waiting for the shoe to drop.

Why has the marketing department for so many studios become so desperate to tell people the content of a movie in 30 seconds? Are they so desperate for people to come to the theater that they willing to sac one of the strongest features of the film? Given what is in the rest of the movie they need all of the muscle they can get.

In any event, after the "shock" of the secret is revealed it degenerates into your standard Hollywood Flick(tm). In retrospect, it could have been worse. It could have been Stealth.

Why tell people the content of a movie in 30 secs? (2.60 / 5) (#44)
by CorwIn of Amber on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 01:24:56 PM EST

Because that's the time anyone who owns at least half a brain needs to understand ANY Hollywood movie.

-Do you realize the suicide rate we'd have if people killed themselves just because they're stupid?
-Yes, an acceptable one.

[ Parent ]
Nice sig BTW (none / 0) (#50)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 08:16:27 PM EST

Nice Tasty

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Thank Something Positive (none / 0) (#71)
by Shajenko on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 01:55:45 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Sometimes it doesn't. (3.00 / 4) (#51)
by grendelkhan on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 09:29:56 PM EST

One good thing has come of that---trailers that really look like they're going to spoil the plot... but don't. See the Serenity trailer for an example. It spoils about the first fifteen minutes of the film... which I'm fine with. Or see the trailer for Danny the Dog (Unleashed in the States), which looks like it spoils the movie... but no, the movie doesn't go down like that at all, and if you saw the trailer, you're even more surprised at the events. Man, that was a refreshing change of pace.

-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

Those who can't write review? (1.20 / 5) (#42)
by kero on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 12:40:26 PM EST

As I typed the above subject line I reminded myself that I needed to check in on the weekends to vote down this kind of wankery.

bizarrely appealing archaic backstory, +1FP (1.75 / 4) (#43)
by CodeWright on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 12:55:48 PM EST

A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

Check your MST3K Archives (2.83 / 6) (#45)
by ewhac on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 01:36:45 PM EST

Perhaps unfairly, I imagined the film to be the bastard son of the traditional McGregor/Hollywood fuckup, and the traditional sci-fi/Hollywood fuckup.

It's even worse than that; it's a remake. The original film is The Clonus Horror, and it's about on par with The Island, sans the special effects and photogenic actors.

Editor, A1-AAA AmeriCaptions. Priest, Internet Oracle.

THANK YOU!! (none / 0) (#61)
by Altus on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 03:34:04 PM EST

Ive been trying for a month and a half to figure out what the movie was that this was ripping off and where I had seen it.  Its been driving me nuts!

ah... The Clonus Horror... now THAT was a bad movie... I cant imagine this one is actually worse... but then, I cant imagine that it is any better!


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

THX 1138 (none / 0) (#77)
by Zetor on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 06:24:13 AM EST

What about Lucas' THX 1138? The Island pretty much continues from where THX 1138 ended (except that the chick did not manage to escape in THX).


[ Parent ]
Just my own little gripe (2.80 / 5) (#47)
by garote on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 06:22:29 PM EST

Forget all that jazz about cloning and holographic fields and flying motorcycles ... and suppose for a minute that you're a truck driver.

Your job is to haul a dozen gigantic steel wheels - bigger and heavier than anything you'd find underneath a train - across the city on a flatbed trailer.

1. Like a bonehead, you load them on the trailer horizontally, so that if they were to come loose, they would casually roll off the back of your truck.
2. Like a bonehead, you lock them down with only a couple of cables.
3. When they start rolling off, and completely destroying the hapless vehicles behind you on the freeway,


Uh huh.

80 million dollars in SFX, and no brains in sight.

I wouldn't stop (none / 0) (#76)
by anno1602 on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 02:19:37 AM EST

When they start rolling off, and completely destroying the hapless vehicles behind you on the freeway,

If the gigantic steel wheels on the trailer have come loose, I wouldn't stop the truck. Think about it. Obviously, what's holding them in place is inadequate. What's going to stop them from rolling over the cab I sit iin when I slow down?

"Where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit." - Murphy
[ Parent ]
Essay on Criticism (none / 1) (#52)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 10:03:21 PM EST

'Tis hard to say, if greater Want of Skill Appear in Writing or in Judging Ill; But, of the two, less dang'rous is th' Offence, To tire our Patience, than mis-lead our Sense... 'Tis with our Judgments as our Watches, none Go just alike, yet each believes his own. In Poets as true Genius is but rare, True Taste as seldom is the Critick's Share; Both must alike from Heav'n derive their Light, Those born to Judge, as well as those to Write. Let such teach others who themselves excell, And censure freely who have written well. Authors are partial to their Wit, 'tis true, But are not Criticks to their Judgment too?

I drank what?

I liked it (none / 1) (#53)
by bsoft on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 02:11:40 AM EST

As far as I'm concerned, it's a pretty damn well executed action film with some sci-fi overtones. It's promoted as such, and in that, it delivers.

As for the train wheel scene, who cares if it's plausible? That's the whole point of film - it doesn't necessarily have to be plausible to be interesting. You look at a futuristic spaceship that travels through time and don't even blink - yet train wheels being stacked implausibly somehow are so damaging.

Moreover, that scene was damn impressive. The DTS soundtrack rocked, and there were some cool CGI explosions. I was on the edge of my seat laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the whole thing.

Actually, that was the entire 2nd half of the film. We even had the cliché "who's who" scene that you just know they have to add. And the MSN Search product placement was hilarious.

Critics don't get it: a film doesn't have to meet some high standards of excellence to be worthy. Sometimes it just has to be a good time - which, incidentally, The Island is.

lol (none / 1) (#59)
by warrax on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 08:20:24 AM EST

spaceships travel through time all the time. Some astranauts have actually experienced less time go by than you simply because they were accelerated to enourmous speeds. This is normally called "traveling into the future" and it happens. (Note: The amount of time traveled amounts to a few seconds at most, perhaps even less than a second, but it still happened.)

-- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
[ Parent ]
The amount of time traveled (3.00 / 2) (#69)
by wurp on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 12:09:57 PM EST

into the future by astronauts is mind-bogglingly small.  Something like quadrillionths of a second.  The difference between how close a car goes to light speed and how close an orbiting spacecraft goes to lightspeed is so small as to be almost immeasurable for purposes of relativity.

That said, I have standards for consistency within a movie, and it sounds as if this one fails miserably.  I agree that it is much easier to suspend disbelief seeing spacecraft travelling vs. seeing someone borrow a key to get out of a super-maximum security facility.

More about time dilation:
let t be the time seen to pass on a moving platform by a stationary observer, let t0 be the time that passes for the stationary observer, v be the velocity of the platform and c be the speed of light.

t = t0*(1-(v/c)^2), assume v is about mach 20, i.e. about 12k mph = 20k k/h = .6 k/s = 600 m/s.  c = 3*10^8, so v/c = 2*10^-6.  (v/c)^2 = 4*10^-12

So the time that passes for someone moving at mach 20 is about .999999999996 times the amount of time that passes for someone stationary (from the stationary observer's point of view).  Assuming I didn't screw up those off-the-cuff calculations.  At any rate, the difference is very very tiny.  You would have to go about mach 20000000 before the differences started to be something you could really even notice.
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

I guess I stand (none / 1) (#73)
by warrax on Sun Aug 28, 2005 at 06:07:34 AM EST

corrected, but I do seem to recall some programme on the BBC where they mentioned that one particular astronaut (can't remember who) had aged something like a second less. I guess either they or my memory could be wrong. Anyway, the point was that it actually does happen, the amount isn't all that relevant. :)

-- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
[ Parent ]
another way to think of it.... (none / 0) (#63)
by Amarok1 on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 01:23:47 AM EST

Wanted to point out that the 'insurance policy' wasn't just a clone to replace the original. He was created for the harvesting of organs. The questions of whether or not a clone of you would possess your similar skills etc. is not necessarily accurate to this particular movie.

Actually, I disagree (none / 0) (#65)
by A Bore on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 04:49:25 AM EST

McGregor had to know how to use various vehicles, obviously skills he wouldn't have normally possessed. I take it that was the point of the part of the movie concerning the 'defective' Echo line of clones.

[ Parent ]
true (none / 0) (#70)
by Amarok1 on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 01:12:56 PM EST

True, the insurance policy definitely did possess his parents' special artistic ability (and even the same artistic visions) but if he hadn't outsmarted him (and how did THAT happen? -similar to your question) he would have died on an operating table after the removal of his kidneys like the football player at the beginning of the movie.

Thinking further into it, was the defection that some of these clones were created smarter than their parent organism or just too similar? your thoughts.....?

[ Parent ]

Ick... (2.50 / 4) (#72)
by Jack Johnson on Fri Aug 26, 2005 at 05:36:34 PM EST

Way too much sickeningly smug quipping, not enough review.

I don't understand where this style of self-centered rambling came from or how it has become so popular. I see it everywhere on the web and I hate it.

This isn't a review, it's a long dull, late night talk show monologue.

lol @ the island (none / 0) (#74)
by lotzik on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 06:34:19 AM EST

Well, i think that the creators should have respected the term "realistic" abit more. U can't fall from a 200m high building and just fall on some wire fence that saves u. The truck with the railway wheels should have stopped FFS! (we all heard about stoned truck drivers though, or mayb it was supposed to be robotic?) The scenario was full of holes indeed. They should have expanded the idea better. Anyways, i really didn't understand the review m8 (if it is one). Bit of dull and i was losin u most of the time.

Yeah, right. (none / 0) (#78)
by jungleboogie on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 04:44:39 AM EST

"What if, for example, the characters were not so clearly delineated into good guy / bad guy? What if there was hint of moral ambiguity in the heroes or villains?"

Face it.  These are interpretations that you attach to the movie and the movie's characters.  I try not to be so self centered all the time.  I do that so I know when I'm transposing my thoughts and feelings onto the subject at hand.

By making this logic fault repeatedly throughout your article, you display exactly how your feelings look and possibly how you program your mind to respond to these issues.  But, unless you are talking to your shrink, then actually just fail communicate useful or interesting information to the rest of us.

On the other hand, you might make people actually think you are the objective kind of movie reporting and that your opinions actually reflect  a sophisticated, cosmopolitan view of today's prole entertainment.  Oh shit, I'm starting to sound smug.  I must be doing the same thing.  God damn it.

The Island: A Butcher's Review | 78 comments (67 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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