Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Does one wish people "Happy Earth Day"? Or does one just shrug one's shoulders at what started as an interesting way to raise awareness about conservation and pollution prevention, but that has now become an excuse for the likes of Al Gore to spread pseudo-science and neo-fascist politicians to push their outrageous "cap and trade" proposals.

At any rate, here's a movie you might be considering as viewing material for your Earth Day celebration. (Assuming you are so crass as to watch movies during your Earth Day celebration. You should just be frolicking naked in a grove of trees.)

The Happening (2008)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Ashlyn Sanchez, and Betty Buckley
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

The trees are tired of humanity tying swings to their branches, cutting them down, and filling the air with the C02 that they need to survive, so they get together and start making a neuro-toxin that causes people to kill themselves.

If you take a 1950s-style monster movie and replace the giant animals or rampaging mutant dinosaur with poison-producing trees, you have "The Happening". You also have a monster movie that's about as visually thrilling as "The Sound of Terror" where the menace was invisible dinosaurs. (Actually, a little less so, because you don't even get Ingrid Pitt and Soledad Miranda putting their assets on display. All we get in this monster movie is Zooey Deschanel coming across like she's just woken up from a long nap, or as if she's on Oxycontin.)

With the exception of evoking the vibe of the classic monster movie, "The Happening" doesn't really do anything else. "Boring" is the best word to describe it, because it isn't anywhere near as clever and insightful as Shyamalan and anyone else involved with it thought it was. "The Host" or "Godzilla" have more coherent and better-delivered environmental messages than this one... not to mention more interesting monsters.

And then there's the problem that everyone in the picture is as wooden as the trees that menace them. (Except John Leguizamo, but I suspect he would hog a scene if he was hired to play a corpse.)

So, on this Earth Day, you can allow yourself to be lulled to sleep by the non-happening "The Happening" while weeping into your pillow that the DVD copies of the film will be in land fills for thousands of years before degrading.


  1. This goes way back...the founder of earth day Ira Einhorn was a criminal, and Hitler was a greenie and a teetotaler.

  2. I should have tied Earth Day into the "Nazis Quit!" mini-blogathon. :)