Oh, you guys, this was a tough one for me. This movie really drew a strong negative reaction out of me when I saw it back in 2007. I'm usually either on board with something, bored, or don't like it. Anger is rare for me as a reaction to a film, and this is on a short list right next to The Village. I'm on board with the premise, the monsters, and the survival aspect, but there were a few things that violently upset my sensibilities. The first one was Marcia Gay Harden's character. I was glad that Patrick saw some of what I saw, and that it wasn't all just my own sensitivities. I'm one of those Christian people, but I take great pride in being a free thinking, questioning person who doesn't see the world in black and white, but in shades of gray. Yet, it feels like most of the time, when a Christian is portrayed in a film, they are just bat shit crazy, zealous, bigoted, and all around hateful. To be sure, those people do exist (Westboro Baptist Church, anyone?) but I rarely meet these types of people, and most of the people I meet who profess themselves to be Christians are just normal people who are trying to aim high. Now, Marcia Gay Harden's character was really one dimensional and obviously in the film to fulfill a very particular sort of position, and at the end of the day I accept that. That's the movie we were given, and that's the script that was written. And maybe I'm overly sensitive to it because I want so desperately for people to NOT think that all Christians are that way. Maybe it's a case of feeling like that role is how a lot of people see Christians. Hey, maybe that is how a lot of Christians really are. That's a sobering thought. But for Patrick to notice the same thing made me feel like it wasn't just me, and that the demonizing of the character was a little one dimensional and heavy handed. I wonder, if the character had been Muslim, or Hindu, if it would have made it into the movie in the same way that it did. I mean...maybe? But Christians get associated with that fire and brimstone shit that goes back to puritanical days...I mean, it's not like Christians ever went on any sort of holy war and killed other people for not being Christians. Oh, wait, they did. Those were the Crusades. I get it. I really do. It just felt way too hamfisted in this movie. I mean, she's so evil! She might as well have had bible verses tattooed onto her like Guy Pearce did in Memento. Actually, I haven't seen the movie since 2007, and don't remember all the fine details. Maybe she did. Damn. I have to divide this in half. I'll be right back.
Hey...it's me again. The other thing that really bugged me is something else that got mentioned in this episode, which was the abrupt suicide decision. I have no problem with the characters committing suicide if that's the way they want the film to end. I have no problem with the downbeat Twilight Zone ending. In fact, I kind of love it. I just wish they'd waited a little longer, or that the film had conveyed some passage of time, because here's how it felt to me:Thomas Jane - Well, it looks like the gas is getting low. Anybody got any more of those donuts?*car sputters, dies, and rolls to a halt*Thomas Jane - Oh, fuck. Well, we gave it the old college try. Hey, look out that window. Is that a Denny's over there? *gunshots*I mean, it was so fast! It was so fast that I felt like it almost betrayed the time that you'd spent getting to know these characters. Remember how quickly War of the Worlds ended? By the way, there's another Tom Cruise movie for your conversation. But it resolves itself in the space of about 36 seconds. This felt like that to me. You spend all this time with these people fighting to survive, then when it really matters, they just throw in the towel. You know, I thought I didn't like the movie, but what this episode has done for me is to help me realize that I really like the premise and the story, and that I really cared enough about it to be let down by the execution. If I didn't care, none of this would have mattered to me. So I guess that's a success in some sense. And I really feel like I should watch it again and see if time has softened some of my violent reactions. Anyway, thanks as always for the episode. I get so much out of the podcast, and I especially love when an episode calls me to reevaluate something that I had dismissed or written off. I'm waiting for after episode 100 to submit a request of my own. Anyway, I know this was long, but I felt compelled to share. I hope that's cool with you guys and I wasn't overbearing.
I haven't seen The Mist but I will after listening to this podcast. In regards to the ending, I wonder if having the characters commit suicide is the director's way of saying that a different kind of faith might have served the characters better. Perhaps if they'd placed more faith in humankind and each other (as opposed to the kind of faith Marcia Gay Harden's character was espousing) they would have been better off. Maybe it was their lack of faith in humankind, as shown early on in the film when they scorned the woman who ended up being saved, that is ultimately punished. Obviously I can't comment on the whole timing of the ending but thought I'd share the hypothesis that maybe the director is suggesting we replace religious faith with faith in each other. I'm catching up to the more recent podcasts and you guys have me thinking critically about movies and wanting to watch more things I wouldn't normally seek out. It's weird listening to the old podcasts and wondering things like "I wonder when Doug is going to move to LA or when JB's son will leave for LA or when Adam will start appearing or when will the whole damn thing move to LA". Ok, so that last one hasn't happened....yet.
Well said, regarding the Mrs. Carmody character.It's a weak spot for me, though as well played by Marcia Gay Harden as the one-dimensional script allows. Imagine a better-written charcter, one who seduces with, ahem, devilish charm rather than threats of damnation.