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Don't Touch My Daughter (1991)
Although I'm not typically a movie critic and am generally satisfied with most movies, this movie did even catch my attention as an example of bad pacing. All of the critical plot twists occur early in the movie, fizzling any development.
It could have been loaded with suspense; did this man she's following around actually do it? Is she breaking into an innocent man's home? How can they be sure it's him? ... but no, within 10 minutes he's making harassing phone calls, and there's no doubt it's him.
It could have been loaded with drama; how will she protect herself and her daughter? Are her actions revenge or self defense? Does she actually carry though as judge, jury, and executioner? But only halfway through the movie, all this has been wrapped up.
Perhaps next time.
Falling Down (1993)
An excellent psychological story
Frustrated with the hundreds of tiny injustices we suffer daily, we all at some point consciously restrain ourselves from over-reacting to that final straw.
The most frightening aspect of Falling Down is the vivid exploration of that fateful day that we can no longer restrain ourselves... the fear that possibly one day, although we consciously know the difference between right and wrong, some uncontrollable aspect of our emotionality will lead us into regrettable actions, while we mentally sit back and helplessly watch our own self do something unreal.
Bill Foster consciously knows the difference between right and wrong... he knows the wrongs of society, and he knows what should be right, and halfway though he even admits his transgressions. But he has lost the emotional strength to enforce his beliefs; his moral shield has been slowly eaten away by decades of pain and misery, from his job, from his failed relationship, from society in general. One day, he cracks.
Falling Down makes us question whether there will be a day that we don't have the strength to hold ourselves together any longer, and we become a Bill Foster ourselves...
Nowhere to Land (2000)
Paint-by-number airline bomb story (predictable spoiler)
No properly designed bomb is complete without a big red countdown timer. Also, the device must be placed such that the timer is plainly visible at all times to the public. The construction of the bomb must include wires that have universal significance of their color pattern and connection methods.
But not only did the bomb maker read a step-by-step How-To guide, so did the story writers. Every suggestion beyond defusing the bomb was met with a singular one-line excuse to the contrary, without a second thought. The inevitable Hollywood last-second wire cut. Many simplistic and safer possibilities weren't considered... toss it out an opened door? Break a few windows to blow the gas outside? Simply pop out the test tubes before detonation? Tape (and seal) the lid shut? One or all of these ideas in combination?
Oh well, back to my Hollywood How-To guides.