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I resisted watching Life of Pi because the trailer made it seem as if the entire movie would involve a kid in a lifeboat with a tiger. I figured a plot that thin would be a waste of two hours of my life. But the movie won some awards, and friends said I should see it, so I took a chance on it. And now I don't mind admitting that I was wrong. Very wrong.

And by that I mean the movie did not waste two hours of my life; I walked out after 45 minutes. So technically I'm only reviewing the first 45 minutes of the film. 

I have four absolutes when it comes to movies. I won't watch a movie that has any of the following elements:
  1. Prison theme.
  2. People at risk of drowning.
  3. Animals in jeopardy.
  4. Someone gets tied to a chair and tortured.

Life of Pi came close to including all four of my absolutes. Watching a kid trapped in a lifeboat with a tiger is a lot like a prison theme. Spoiler alert: I assume that by the middle of the movie the tiger turns Pi into his lifeboat bitch and trades him to a porpoise for a pack of cigarettes. That's how I would have written it.

The movie also has plenty of drowning, and risk of drowning, and plenty of animals in jeopardy. And as I watched the movie, I felt as though someone had tied me to a chair and tortured me. I literally walked out of the theater shaking. I didn't feel right for about an hour.

I won't say Life of Pi (first 45 minutes) is the worst movie I have ever seen. But that's only because I have also seen Les Miserables, Titanic, The English Patient, and I love You Phillip Morris. There's a lot of competition for the worst movie of all time.

Just to be clear, I think Life of Pi is extraordinarily well-made in the filmmaking sense. That was no surprise because director Ang Lee also made my favorite movie of all time, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That accomplishment was largely cancelled out by his next award-winning movie, Brokeback Mountain. But still, the man knows how to make a movie.

The natural problem with reviewing movies is that every moviegoer has a unique set of preferences. To be fair, I can easily imagine Life of Pi appealing to certain types of people. For example, serial killers are known to enjoy watching animals get injured. If you're a serial killer, or you just hate animals, this is definitely the film for you.

Sadists and sociopaths will also enjoy this film. The 3D technology is used so effectively that it's like you are right there watching people and animals suffer. The only way it could be better is if you were causing the suffering yourself while making the loved ones of the victims watch. So on that level, Life of Pi is a great film.

The movie isn't as unpleasant to watch as it could have been. If Steven Spielberg had directed it, the film would have been three hours long and Pi would have needed to surgically remove his own infected eye using nothing but saltwater and an oar. Spielberg likes to include at least one scene in every movie that makes me never want to see another movie as long as I live. I call it the Schindler's List scene.

A recent exception to the Schindler's List scene is Spielberg's movie Lincoln. I highly recommend Lincoln. But be advised that the film is more like the best documentary you've ever watched than a typical movie. If you aren't interested in politics and history, it might not work for you. Personally, I loved it. It has no prison theme, no drowning, no animals in jeopardy, and no one tied to a chair to be tortured. That's what I call a movie.

[Note: I realize that many of you will say I should have stayed to the end of Life of Pi because that's where the payoff is. For those of you who would recommend that approach to moviegoing, you should try banging your head against a brick wall because when you stop, WOW, it feels terrific.]


 

 
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Jan 28, 2013
Thanks for the friendly warning! Though I totally disagree with you about Les Miserables, I can't stand seeing animals in jeopardy, even in movies.

"Worse things happen at sea." Indeed!

Helm
 
 
+23 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 27, 2013
Hi Scott. I don't know if chains are being deliberately yanked here for your own personal amusement, but I might add that another "natural problem with reviewing movies" is not having seen the movie.

Your apparent distaste for seeing CGI animals in jeopardy caused you to walk out because you can't cope with that sort of imagery, and the film is about coping mechanisms of horrendous events. Delicious irony :)

I have to wonder why you watch any film, given that you refuse to watch films that genuinely engage your emotional responses. I'm pretty sure you must have seen the trailer for this film, and so might have realised that the film DEFINITELY had at least two of your listed reasons to walk out. Did you go just to walk out? I suggest you might have.

Life Of Pi isn't about animals in jeopardy, or people drowning, it only has them as background. If you cannot get further than the premise or the CGI representation of jeopardy, then review the trailer. It also does not contain the actual reason Life Of Pi exists as an entertainment.
 
 
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 24, 2013
@mouffett

Ditto, I'm afraid. The otherwise enjoyable Robot Scott isnt wired to respond to concepts of humanity in depth.

This is a unusually strong story of symbolism and personal mythology as a coping mechanism to a horrific experience. Everyone could benefit from this approach everyday in some small way.

My apologies to Robot Scott - If a hand held device didnt tell him it was meaningful, it will never be known. That said, continue to be entertaining *click-whirl-pop* in your fashion.
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 23, 2013
Biased, squirmish and succumbing to peer pressure. All these traits are not the traits of a legitimate movie reviewer. Don't give up your day job Scott!

First you caned Les Miserables a movie which you clearly missed the point of and now this one. I will still read your amusing cartoons but I'll skip the 'movie reviews'.
 
 
Jan 23, 2013
Scott,

You should really watch The Piano and Freddy Got Fingered. Those are the best movies I have ever seen. Take it from a friend, they are worth watching.

Your friend at the CDC
 
 
Jan 23, 2013
Well, I have to admit, if you can't take a movie in which animals die or people drown or might drown, Life of Pi isn't the movie for you. For people without factors that disqualify a movie, or people with different such factors, Life of Pi is a pretty good movie.
 
 
+16 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 23, 2013
Wow, Scott, you are one miserable bastard.

Don't get me wrong. You're a supremely gifted cartoonist, premier modern philosopher, and clearly gifted moist robot. But you're a vegetarian, constantly frustrated by poor design and execution in much of everything, and you don't appear a fan of popular entertainment.

You, sir, are slave to your higher functioning brain. You know the rest of the world hasn't caught up to you, live in an inferior place surrounded by inferior beings. You are destined to a life of endless frustration and ceaseless unhappiness.

But keep up the good work. I enjoy it.
 
 
Jan 23, 2013
How would it be If Doctors Know that you are in trouble with the help of apps? for more information

http://www.trendsfair.com/how-would-it-be-if-doctors-know-that-you-are-in-trouble-with-the-help-of-apps/

The diabetes, depression or some other patients may get trouble anytime. At that time, if they are alone, how can they be treated and who takes them to doctors for treatment? Doctors will treat only when you are in emergency room in hospitals....
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 22, 2013
There is a reason why we already have "Movie Critics" ..please don't dabble in to it. That is a specialized craft that, apparently, you don't have any clue whatsoever..
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 22, 2013
I realize most readers of this site wouldn't much care for the religious symbolism and I didn't particularly either but after your positive review of This is 40 (It might have been sarcastic, I'm still not sure honestly), I'm starting to wonder how the hell your brain is possibly wired.

When I go to a movie big screen, the only thing I really want from it is to look nice. If it doesn't look nice, I'll see it on a small screen because who cares? Life of Pi looked freakin' nice. Like Avatar freakin' nice. And if you try to argue that than you are a stupid, rotten liar who will die a stupid, rotten liar death.

If you're not into seeing CGI animals hurt and the idea of actors getting wet upsets you then I can see why you might not like it. We all have our preferences and our things that make us squeemish. I, for instance, am unable to watch uncomfortable, awkward humor. I empathize too closely with embarrassed people to the point I need to change the channel. The Office totally destroys me a lot of the time.

Fortunately, I have a hunch a lot of people agree with me on only seeing attractive movies big-screen so as pirating continues to rob movie sales, the only things people will still be going to see are movies that lose too much by being seen on your own tv/monitor. So big, colorful epics, here we come.
 
 
Jan 22, 2013
@dquinn1968

[Eraserhead by David Lynch is my pick for worst movie ever. Try it out Scott, I think you will love hating it.]

OK. Read up on that movie. Looks pretty bad but have never seen it so I can't agree or disagree with you.

My pick for worst movie I have watched all the way through would be Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The book was fun and I loved it. The BBC miniseries was fun and I loved it. Watching the movie I could practically hear the folks making it say 'Okay, fine, we went and made this movie, are you happy? Now leave us alone.' It was obviously expensively made but it was badly done and written expensively made. And the acting was sometimes bad too.

If Im allowed to include movies I only saw part of the way through before being repelled by the sheer awfulness of it and switching it off I would go with Leonard Part 6. The only films Ive seen partly through that were worse were intended for younger viewers and, therefore, don't deserve the designation.
 
 
Jan 22, 2013
This is why I never go to a movie unless I know what it is about. I'm the kind of guy who reads the last few pages of a book first to decide whether I want to read it or not. It saves a lot of time.

As such, I have no desire to watch or read Life of Pi, if for no other reason than ***Spoiler Alert: The tiger is a metaphor for the kid's will to survive, or something******. I don't need stories like that.

I suspect, Scott, that you are more like me. You don't believe in free will anyway, so what harm can it do knowing the end from the beginning. Why would you like surprises when statistically speaking half of them are disappointments?

 
 
Jan 22, 2013
Scott,

Unrelated to this movie, I find it hard to believe you wouldn't love The Shawshank Redemption which violates your rule #1. Maybe this would be the exception that proves the rule.

[I hated The Shawshank Redemption, Cool Hand Luke, and every other prison movie. The worst of the worst is I Love You Phillip Morris. -- Scott]
 
 
Jan 22, 2013
[ 5) commercials before the movie starts (I hate commercials) ]

I pray for the day that Congress gets off its collective heinie* and does something useful: mandate that theaters either post the actual time the movie starts, or post two times, one when the commercials/trailers start, one when the movie starts. On the rare occasions when we do go see a movie in the theater, I will drive my wife nuts by counting the number of trailers and how long after the posted time the movie actually starts. For wide release movies, it is usually 15-20 minutes these days. The last movie we saw ("The Hobbit") set a new record, not starting until 24 minutes after the posted time.

Thinking of trailers reminds me of another deal-breaker: movies with words that fly. Out. AT. YOU.

By the way, I write "commercials/trailers", even though they are one in the same, to clarify to those people who say mystifying things like "the trailers are the best part of the movie" that I specifically do NOT mean when the trailers start.

* This charmingly old-fashioned curse word brought to you by Bob's Unreasonable Profanity Filters.
 
 
Jan 22, 2013
Eraserhead by David Lynch is my pick for worst movie ever. Try it out Scott, I think you will love hating it.

[I have seen Eraserhead and I heartily agree with your assessment. It is indeed the very worst movie ever made. I was psychologically scarred after seeing it. I was actually angry that it was legal for a film do that to innocent viewers. -- Scott]
 
 
Jan 22, 2013
I am LOVING your movie reviews. Seriously, this material could, by itself, be a popular website.
 
 
Jan 22, 2013
Scott, I take it you hate movies like Jaws and ones where the animals are the antagonists and have to die.

About the payoff at the end thing: the opposite of that is the original Evangelion series. Great start, horrible ending, transformed the genre. In some ways for the worst because of the ending. I don't think I could sit through a bad movie for a "good" ending. I'd be too pissed off to enjoy it.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 22, 2013
Have you ever seen "Iron Sky", the crowd funded finnish movie?
 
 
Jan 22, 2013
@emptc12

[I seldom see movies in the theaters. Too expensive. I wait for them on DVD and get them from the local library. If a movie is so superficial that it must necessarily be blown up in size to be appreciated, I do not need to see it.]

I too dislike the whole modern moviegoing experience. The expense is one of my lesser reasons for going with other movie viewing options. On top of this there is also:

1) to see a movie in the theater you have to spend maybe an hour commuting and maybe another half hour waiting in line and waiting in your seat.

2) your legal choice of food is limited

3) bad seating

4) the potential of being crowded

5) commercials before the movie starts (I hate commercials)
 
 
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
Jan 22, 2013
Great Review, even if I haven't seen the film. I would love to read more of your reviews and I don't mind which movie you choose. This shouldn't be too difficult for you now that you've learned 40 minutes to be sufficient. To use your time most effectively you could try to decrease this time amount even further. Or maybe you could try to write a review of a movie you didn't bother to watch ?
Anyway, I'm looking forward for the next one ....
 
 
 
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