Thursday, July 17, 2008

dvd eve

I spent the evening watching The Patriot on DVD. I guess it was the whole Mel Gibson film, caricature of good and pure heroes vs. sadists and buffoons impression I got of the story that put me off since it's in a pseudo-historical context. I dislike historical fiction that wanders so far off into the "fiction" department that it comes off like a skewed propaganda film. So I'd avoided it until now.

That said, I decided it was time to watch it since it's a film with Peter Woodward in it that I hadn't seen yet. And to my surprise, I quite liked it, despite it's living up to my initial pessimistic impressions of the plot. I had to decide going into it that I was going to watch it as a "fantasy" film, rooted in no way in actual history, which helped.

Of course I enjoyed Peter Woodward's performance as General O'Hara. That's a no-brainer. But how is it I'd never heard before that along with Mr. Woodward, it also has Jason Isaacs in it? Or Adam Baldwin, Rene Auberjonois and Heath Ledger? That's what I get for ignoring it based on it being a Mel Gibson flick.

And as for Jason Isaacs... his performance as the vile and dastardly Colonel Tavington was yummy... er I mean very well done. Can't really root for Tavington... he's too good at being dag nasty evil for that, but he makes you love to hate him.

I would have liked to see where the heck the film was trying to go with Adam Baldwin's character, Captain Wilkins. Wilkins seemed to be rolling along on a trajectory toward a climax of character development of some sort, but it felt to me like that ride never quite made it to its destination.

So for the film in general, how to rate it? Out of 5 points I'd say it gets negative 3 for historical accuracy. The plot is predictable and disappointing, so no points there. But for yummy villains it gets a 5. So if my math is right that ends up with a final score of 2.

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