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The Hangover Part 2

Well…. I was hopeful, but I was let down. Hangover 2 is the sequel that can’t even call itself a sequel, because it’s an EXACT CLONE of the first movie.

*SPOILER ALERT*

(but really I’m not spoiling anything; if you’ve seen the first movie, then this one’s already spoiled for you)

I have to admit that I’m a little offended that the writers ( Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong) didn’t even try to differentiate the sequel from the first movie. It was beat- for- beat, The Hangover– complete with Ed Helms singing another ‘bard’s tale’ about their adventure and the wolfpack’s revelation of the whereabouts to their lost friend, unfolding in the same way, to the exact same score.

What makes it worse is that these guys weren’t even the original writers! It’s as if they just copy and pasted their material into someone else’s screenplay outline.  Really? They couldn’t be bothered to get off their asses to at least change the beats? All they did was change the jokes and insert them in the same spots as the first movie! Give the audience SOME credit; we’re not that stupid.

But that’s not to say that the film itself wasn’t entertaining; of course it had its moments. But it was just so predictable and recycled, that the few entertaining moments, weren’t worth the time spent watching them.

The thing that made the original Hangover so great were the unexpected risks it took; every moment was a surprise. But when you just recycle a screenplay whose major selling point was shock and awe, you lose the magic that made it great. Even  a ‘surprise’ photo slideshow of their shenanigans played during the credits!

During The Hangover, the theater howled with laughter as the slideshow played, and people took a moment to collect themselves before exiting the theater. During The Hangover 2, people silently watched, then flooded the exit once it ended.

I can’t say that I didn’t expect this movie to fall short of its predecessor. But what really disappoints me, is that now the original is cheapened. To put it in perspective, I feel this sequel did to the original what many felt Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did to Raiders or what Phantom Menace did to A New Hope… When will Hollywood realize how shameful it is to ruin a great thing by trying to capitalize on it with uncreative sequels and remakes? When will they learn?!!! If Hangover had been allowed to just be, one great film, it would have been untouchable as comedies go. In the years since its release, many have tried to replicate its ‘Je ne sais quoi’, but all have fallen short. I’ve heard many a convo exiting comedy screenings, in which audience members have lamented, “…well, it was no Hangover…” That’s such an achievement! The Hangover was something to be aspired to!

But Hollywood is a devilish succubus of a woman; greedy…always craving more.  Once she gets a taste, she can’t control herself. She pimps a new film every week as if parading a new lover. And inevitably, there’ll be that ONE film who she’ll love so fiercely that she’ll have no choice but to drain the life from it. WHAT A BITCH. Well Hollywood, I hope you’re satisfied. You’ve done it again. You’ve killed another celebrated lover. But don’t worry. We’ll forgive you and come back for the next unnecessary sequel that you pimp to us. Why? Because just when we start to lose faith, we discover there’s…. A NEW HOPE.

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CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

I just saw Werner Herzog’s new film Cave of Forgotten Dreams. If you haven’t seen it- SEE IT!

It was beautiful; moving. I actually fogged up my 3D glasses with tears…

Besides Werner’s ability to move you via his storytelling, I was moved by the humanity- by humankind itself. It’s not often that I find myself marveling at the beauty of humanity, but that film didn’t just tell the story of cave paintings, it stripped human kind down to its purest form.

While watching the film I felt like humanity’s true purpose was revealed: CREATION.

We’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. Creating- telling stories, listening to music, and shaping the world around us. Communicating with those we’ll never see. Leaving a bridge to the past for future generations. These cave people weren’t working themselves to death, trying to make money, or coveting trivial things. They were exploring, learning and creating. That’s what separates us from “lower” lifeforms. The ability to create IS humanity.

So go out into the world and CREATE something.  Imagine the world that you want to see around you; shape it to your liking. It is our responsibility and our privilege as humans to do so.

So happy movie watching and happy creating everyone!

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/463722/Cave-of-Forgotten-Dreams/overview