Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Faulty Product

I saw Flightplan on DVD last night. (Wait! This will become relevant, I promise).

In case you don't know the plot of the film, IMDB sums it up thus: "A bereaved woman and her daughter are flying home from Berlin to America. At 30,000 feet the child vanishes and nobody admits she was ever on that plane."

The premise sounds intriguing, and that's what hooked me in to renting it. But the execution is very poor.

One reviewer (again on IMDB) comments that: "the plot ultimately makes no internal sense... you find yourself sitting in the theater snorting at the improbability of what's happening. The big twist that's supposed to shock doesn't make sense."

Another says: "the fantastical, convoluted storyline cannot be realistically reconciled. I left the theater feeling somewhat cheated... the more you think back, the more you become frustrated with how inconceivable the whole charade was"

A third reviewer, listing the plot holes, reckons "we may have some sort of record."

So my question is... could any brand get away with being so bad? Could any product (other than perhaps a book) be released that was so unfit for purpose?

How come we tolerate movies that are poorly made - basically defective - and fail to entertain us, whereas we are quick to complain about a glue that doesn't stick or a battery that won't power a torch?


Rob Mortimer said...

I think thats a very good point.

Windows Me comes to mind...

Dylan Trees said...

I watched Flight Plan on US TV last week. I agree. It's really really bad, and totally fails to even slightly live up to its potential (although I did like the plane).

Go and watch The Departed in atonement. That will see you right.

Stan Lee said...

Unlike a real flight, where I struggle to take a nap, I fell asleep during Flight Plan. My wife stuck with it though.

I asked her at brekky how the movie ended. She rolled her eyebrows and said, "Just be grateful you fell asleep."


Anonymous said...

You watch films or read fiction for entertainment, and that requires suspension of disbelief throughout. We didn't come up with the idea or have a hand in the execution nor are we looking for it to be a practical solution. Whether or not we like a film depends on individual tastes. At best it might make us feel a few emotions, at worst we feel nothing.

If we buy one of the products you suggested, we need it to do what it says on the tin when we apply it to our issues (reading under the sheets anyone?). If it doesn't do what it's supposed to, it pisses us off and we complain because it's an inconvenience that has more impact on our lives than a dodgy film.

And then there are just those who are cynics from the start(me), who sit there shooting holes in the plotlines and looking for obvious formulaic film making and then cursing the fat Hollywood execs who are just in it for the money.

FishNChimps said...

Good point. A bad movie experience is probably worse than dealing with a bad off-the-shelf product.
If you eat a Wagon Wheel and the taste makes you want to vomit, you can go eat a Flake. Instant wipeout of a bad taste.
A bad movie means you've wasted 2 hours of your life, rather than 30 seconds.

Make the logo bigger said...

Flip the question and you have to ask: why do so many bad movies keep getting made?

Because even the bad ones do what they're supposed to: make money. Someone somewhere will buy a ticket or rent the DVD.

As much as people seem to hate this movie, it's a step up from the predictable Red Eye in the same genre.

Still, both did well at the box office globally, even better than the over-hyped Snakes on a Plane.

But people watch movies for many reasons. Is it good taste, or even bad taste that explains their choices? They like a certain genre? Maybe they follow a particular actor no matter what he's in? Perhaps they have a favorite director?

Just a hunch, but I think as long as people can find something, anything redeeming in a movie, then the experience isn't a total loss for them.

How many times have we all left a movie and said, plot was lousy but so-and-so was really good, or the ending sucked but otherwise it was ok.

It’s different for most store products though. They have one purpose. Either they work – or they don't.