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Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
Same Planet. Different World.
Director: Eric Brevig
Science Fiction

On a quest to find out what happened to his missing brother, a scientist, his nephew and their mountain guide discover a fantastic and dangerous lost world in the center of the earth.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

Dibs on the Guide

It is all about intent, isn’t it?

If you have a film intended to reach some depth, the intent can be simply what the artists trust and if they are deep themselves AND good artists we get something valuable. I would never discount this, and many of my favorite film experiences are from films that are smarter or more emotionally worthy than the filmmaker’s explanation would be.

But many times what you can get out is no more than what was put in by design, depending on the type of film. This is such a type. Hollywood is quite capable of doing things that have value, that thrill. And to my mind, merely advancing the cinematic vocabulary is good enough. “Speed racer” and “Transformers” are worthwhile on this account.

But here the intent has only two dimensions. The first is obvious, to bring all the old, more blatant 3D effects from the 50s and 60s to the modern audience. I saw nothing that thrilled me on this score, nothing.

The other intent is more interesting. If you want to have a PG film and appeal to young males, you have to have sex in there somehow, right? I can envision the script doctor conferences on this. There’s the selection of the girl of course: blond, fit. She reports that they auditioned her 25 times, and considered hundreds. Her primary asset seems to be her mouth, carefully made up to resemble Cate Blanchett’s. Look at photos of her from elsewhere and its pretty obvious the work they did.

There’s the script devices to tease, and the images. The story is pretty obvious, capable, strong woman. Desirable, resourceful. There’s some competition between the adult Frasier and the 13 year old, which I am sure was engineered and thoroughly tested. More subtle are the images: the vaginal flower that threatens. The fish that threatens to bite her tightly clad butt. The image of her thrusting to drive the train through an exhilarating ride. The subsequent episode where she negotiates through a stormy sea with snakelike monsters threatening. Do not suppose any of this is accidental.

Posted in 2008

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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