There’s “wasted time”, and then there’s something that’s somehow even beyond that.
And it’s not like my time is all that all important either, but still.
See, I’m not much of a movie watcher. Probably has something to do with my attention span. Mind you, my attention span seems perfectly fine when it comes to say, woodworking projects or that kind of thing.
Movies? Meh, not so much.
Every so often though, I decide that T.C. and I should watch something together since, you know, that’s what that whole “pair bonding” thing is supposed to be all about. Isn’t it? I’ve only been at it for 30 years, I’m new here.
So yesterday afternoon we thought we’d watch “Meek’s Cut-off”. This is a film that came out in 2010, and don’t ask me how we can get to watch these kinds of things, and I’ll tell you no lies. However, if you’re thinking of heading out to the theatre and plunking down some actual cash to watch this stinker, all I can say is, DON’T BOTHER.
I don’t know that much about the Oregon Trail, or at least I didn’t know that much about the Oregon Trail, until about half way through the film when, during a particular dry spell, and I’m referring to the plot, not the fact that they were in the Oregon High Desert, I thought I’d take a look on line, and see what I could see. It turns out that, not only was the film pitifully, pitifully boring, but wasn’t even close to being anything based in fact. Hell, if I’m going to watch something that’s complete fiction, I may as well watch Iron Man 2, since even though it’s completely unbelievable, at least it’s entertaining.
I didn’t expect a “shoot em up” Cowboys and Indians type of thing, since thankfully Hollywood is no longer quite so willing to exploit that particular stereotype, but heading off in the complete opposite direction and relying on some sort of “character study” that doesn’t ever happen, is simply a waste of three wagons, some livestock and everybody’s time. Including mine. I just hope they all got paid up front.
The thing is, being on the Oregon Trail for weeks at a time was in fact, boring as hell. No need to convey that boredom to the screen, thank-you.
I apologise here for making you move your eyes back and forth, but I have to get this out of my system. The following is an except from a Wiki article which I would consider to be a reasonable approximation of the truth. (Hey, there’s footnotes and stuff.)
“Meek continued on ahead of the company, and when he reached Sherars Falls on the Deschutes River he was warned that a father who lost two sons along the trail intended to kill him, so with the help of Native Americans a rope was sent across the swift river, and both Meek and his wife were guided through the water with ropes tied around them. They hurried to the Mission at The Dalles where they convinced Black Harris, a mountain man, to return to the falls with a crew and equipment to help the emigrants cross. In this way Meek made his escape, and the crew sent to help the pioneers arrived in time to help the over 1,000 people cross with their wagons. The wagons were taken completely apart to facilitate the dangerous crossing. Some of the emigrants crossed from the low banks, using their wagon box as a boat and guided by ropes over the swift current. Others used a rope and pulley system above the high walls of the narrows about two miles downstream. It took nearly two weeks to cross everyone in the wagon train. The starving and exhausted emigrants finally reached The Dalles beginning around the 2nd week of October, having suffered 23 known deaths and probably many more.”
Oh, he had to escape? Really?
Was any of this in the film? Hell no! Would that have made it maybe a bit interesting? Possibly. See, there were no “1,000 people…with their wagons”. (200 by the way) There were only three wagons, three sets of oxen, a mule and a couple horses, and a half dozen actors. And that might have actually been OK, if there had been any kind of ending. Or plot. Or character development.
You know, just ordinary ‘story telling’ stuff.
Oh, and in spite of all this sparseness of equipment and characters, this was a film with a production budget of 2 million bucks! Oh my. How do you blow two million bucks in the Oregon high desert over a couple weeks? Maybe the catering budget was enormous.
Like I said, I hope the actors got paid up front. I’m sure though, they could have squeezed in at least one river crossing in there some how? I mean please, give me something.
I need to stop now or my head will explode.
And yes, Stephen Meek was an actual person.
So I guess that’ll be it for me and movie watching for a while. I’ll try not to do any more reviews. I ‘promise’.*
It’s only that well, when the weekend is a tad boring, and I’m sitting here with a blank screen, you get to suffer right along with me. There you have it.
Keep those sticks on the ice.
Thanks for stopping by.
*that’s like one of those “political promises”, and you all know how they work.