Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Goodbye Noughties

It is 2010, and I thought it would be fun to look back at what blighted the Noughties.


The highest grossing movie of all time, Transformers II, is practically unwatchable due to what I like to call, "Visual Tourettes". This decade saw one of the worst gimicks in movies catch on: the shaky cam.

Shaky cam has been used sparingly in the past for two reasons:
1. To give a amateur documentary feel (e.g., Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield). Note the "amateur". No good documentarian would have that much trouble holding the camera steady. Its not like the camera is balanced on their head.
2. To shoot fight scenes in movies where the director was too lazy to actually train his actors. Shaking the camera hides the fact that punches are landing 3 feet from the other guys face. A perfect example is Bourne Identity vs. Bourne Ultimatum and Bourne Supremacy. The former has good fight scenes where you know what is going on. The latter would be better viewed while riding the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Two ridiculous things that must be mentioned:
A) Shaky cam in CG shots. The robots fighting in Transformers look like a bike and a garbage can rolling down a hill.
B) Shaky cam in scenes when nothing is happening. The hero may be faxing a letter and for no apparent reason, the camera is bobbing and weaving like a drunk got ahold of it.
C) Shaky cam to simulate POV shots of people running. Next time you go for a run, see if everything looks shaky. People's eyes naturally focus on a point, and will adjust as you run. Things might look shaky if you're running down the street with your hair on fire.

I hope this "technique" dies off because many many good movies have been destroyed due to these ADD cameramen.


Three shoe styles have come out this decade which need to be called out.

Uggs - Never has a shoe had a more appropriate name. To be fair, these shoes don't look terrible when new. After a while, these things slouch and begin to look like kid's nasty winter boots. And women will wear this things with tucked in sweat pants, rolled up jeans, or with mini-skirts. I know, I know, they are comfortable, but you look like you robbed a hobo.

Crocs - Better living through chemistry! Crocs, plastic bags, and water bottles are not biodegradable. They also share something else in common: they shouldn't be worn on your feet.

Fitness Shoes (eg., MBT anti-shoe, Sketchers Shape-ups) - These shoes are so mind-bogglingly ugly that I thought I'd make them the symbol of the year. These are like wearing a pair of rocking chairs on your feet. I had some weird shoes growing up (Reebok Pumps that actually pumped up, shoes with springs in them to make you jump higher) but the only fitness you'll get wearing these Frankenstein shoes is running away from people with pitchforks chasing you.

Okay, that's it. Those are my two nitpicks for an otherwise good decade. Of course, if you wear or like any of the things I talked about, I wasn't talking about you.