HOLES

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Holes. Something you can twist your ankle in, bury nuts or gold in, ruin your car’s alignment driving over, get sucked into in space.

They’re also a regular ingredient and good friend of movies. Movies and holes have been acquainted a long time, engaged in a relationship approaching matrimony but settling in the long run for common law.

But since movies embody the strange and terrifying, the penetrating and passionate, our Pavlovian response to most of them is to check our brains at the door. Suspension of disbelief works well.

Included in a small handful of examples of some of my favorite movie “holes” are:

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Edge of Tomorrow starring Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise, a kind of action/adventure military version of Groundhog Day. We saw this a few times before hubby pointed out that Tom Cruise’s character is SO famous and well known that it made no sense that nobody recognized him and that the Master Sergeant didn’t believe anything he was saying.

It pulls you in so fast, though, that you’re immediately caught up in the situation and don’t realize something like that until later.

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Wandering around in a gigantic corn field at night, the leaves rasping and whispering in the dark, with God knows what (aliens, of course) stalking you and tormenting your family was one of the best moments in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs years ago.

Remember Signs?

I kinda liked that movie, mostly. I’ve since come to dislike M. Knight as a director (for reasons I won’t get into here), but Signs had its creepy moments, for sure.

However, I guess everyone’s familiar with the complaint by now that the water-fearing aliens had chosen to conquer a planet (Earth) that’s covered by…what? Three-quarters water! Isn’t that sort of like a race of perpetually menopausal beings deciding to relocate to a lava planet or aliens who have a religious objection to and superstitious terror of dancing landing on Planet Fosse?

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What about this: you’re floating in the Atlantic Ocean on top of a door that can EASILY fit two people. Yeah, Leo DiCaprio, in “Titanic” was cold and tired and having a hard time pulling himself up to where Kate Winslet lay safe above the freezing waters. But, really, couldn’t she have helped him? Did she even try? I don’t remember anymore. I suppose that isn’t a HOLE as much as lazy writing: Kate humming and doing her nails atop the door while poor Leo slowly freezes to death in the icy sea. So they can get their tragic romantic ending.

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For those of you who haven’t seen Gone Girl, spoiler alert ahead. You can skip this whole paragraph so as not to taint your future experience.

So you’re really pissed at your husband because you saw him kissing another woman. You mastermind an amazing revenge package and deliver it to his door overnight, no delivery charge. You’re not worried. The price of your package will be repaid in spades and THEN some over the weeks to come. And pay, it does. Once you decide to end the adventure and return home, guess what. Same exact issue as Edge of Tomorrow. With your face plastered all over TV, there’s no way the two village idiots you got to know in the cabins (and who later robbed you of every cent you own) wouldn’t recognize you and probably tell somebody, and then you’d be in a shitload of trouble. Come on, David Fincher!

What about more questionable alien decision-making? Or is it just convenient writing? If the aliens in A Quiet Place possessed fantastic hearing that was a gazillion times more sensitive than a bat or an owl, what in the name of all that’s holy were they doing on planet Earth? Our planet has to be one of the most unrepentantly clamorous, deafening and jarring places in the universe.

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So the aliens land and open their doors or hatches or whatever and the first time a jet blasts by overhead or someone’s car alarm goes off or the fire department races by toward an emergency or a month-old baby in a nearby house screams at the top of its lungs…wouldn’t they just quietly get back in their ships and leave? What could possibly convince them to remain here while their aural orifices were bleeding and a crippling migraine was turning their brains into jelly?

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Nothing. Hole. BIG hole, I think. Big enough to break more than an ankle in. Big enough for several elephants and all their ankles combined to be very badly injured. The upside of super-hearing “we love quiet so shut your pie hole” aliens that decide to take on our earthly uproar?  A blissful end to those horrible leaf-blowers that always seem to come on early in the morning or right when you’re trying to take a nap. Now, that’s the kind of quiet place I can get with!

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What are your favorite HOLES?

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “HOLES

  1. EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014) is one of the most original and captivating movies to be made this decade. As for M. Knight Shyamalan, unfortunately I’ve always found his movies – along with their supernatural themes and so-called ‘twist-endings’ just plain ridiculous and puerile. I could never really see the ‘genius’ in them that others claimed to be fans of.

    Holes-wise, I go back to the arrival scenes in both TERMINATOR (1984) and TERMINATOR 2 (1991)

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  2. Lol. That is quite the literal hole, isn’t it? I just wanna know one thing: where the hell is that with all the trash on the ground? It’s like a sea of discarded newspapers and other paper products!

    Totally agree with your M. Night assessment. His first movie, Sixth Sense, was really good. But that was it, pretty much. I kind of had a soft spot for him after that because although his stuff is really slow and boring at times, I enjoyed the buildup. The endings were actually the worst part of the rest of his movies, in my opinion. Then when he took beloved characters from The Last Airbender and removed their ethnicity, he was dead to me.

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    • Yeah, and PS, Edge of Tomorrow WAS one of the most innovative and captivating movies in the last decade, as you say, wasn’t it? I was very, very, very happily surprised by it. So rare these days.

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  3. I agree with you about “A Quiet Place.” A lingering thought from the first few scenes onward was “what if someone sneezes?” “or snores?” “or coughs?” It was just too hard to believe that those people had done none of those things in the entire time that the creatures had taken over.

    Another one that’s so full of holes it’s ridiculous is this series that I’ve been watching on TV for awhile now. I’m too embarrassed to even say what it’s called, or that I still watch it every time it’s on. The next season is coming up and I’m really hoping that it’s the last. The show is about this guy who’s a total scam artist – not even a good one – and enough people fall for his snake oil sales pitch that they actually elect him President of the United States!!! Even more absurd, he displays the most deeply ugly of character traits constantly throughout his Presidency, like a human embodiment of the seven deadly sins, and no matter what he does, his supporters – some of whom call themselves “Christians” – still think he’s great. Who’s writing this crap? Like I said, the show is a total insult to the intelligence, but I can’t stop watching: I keep thinking “OK, with all the cons that this guy is running, he’s got to get impeached or arrested or SOMETHING soon.”

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  4. Curious as to why you’re no longer a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. You don’t have to get into it if you don’t feel like it. I’m just curious, that’s all.

    Yeah, major hole in GONE GIRL, for sure – But I’m thinking maybe the village idiots were just that – idiots, who didn’t want to get involved…I saw the movie, left the cinema with a barrage of questions in my head, so I purchased the book, read it in less than a week and felt satisfied that my questions were answered. 💁‍♀️

    For a QUIET PLACE I guess the aliens decided to stay on planet Earth despite the noise and crazy havoc so they could eat us all. 😂😂😂

    Have you seen “Us”? Several holes there but it’s supposed to be a horror film so I can’t even bother with the analysis.🤦‍♀️

    Fun piece, Stacey! 🙂

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  5. God, it’s taking longer and longer to be able to get back to folks. I don’t think I’m managing my time very well! 🙂

    Anyway, thanks, Rakkelle! Hey re: M. Night, it took many years, but over time I started realizing that he didn’t make much of an effort to diversify with his casting. Do I think every ethnic writer/director/whoever should make sure to include diversification? Not necessarily. There may be other difficulties/constraints from many other areas that complicate the situation. Do I think it should always be on their mind? Definitely. Does another part of me think it’s an ethnic person’s responsibility to think about/want to/try to diversify? Definitely.

    Eventually when M. Night removed the ethnicity from the two main characters in The Last Airbender, that was the last straw for me. The fan base of the series, kids, were even trolling him online about it! What have you done to our beloved characters?! And as someone whose roots are from East India, a country that’s more concerned with how *light* skin is, almost, it seems, more than the U.S., and all those issues, it feels like he should have doubled down on remembering where he came from, not just discarded it.

    Being a person of mixed race and raised by a black family (my background’s a little complicated) these issues I admit are on my mind more than others. Others have the luxury of not thinking about it/caring/being concerned, but I think *lightening up* the main characters from a beloved animated series sends the wrong message to everyone, especially children, since that’s when the subconscious and even very conscious messages began to be planted in their heads of: this is what you SHOULD look like, this is what everybody prefers, this is the acceptable standard of beauty. Get used to it.

    So that’s why M. Night’s on my sh** list! Lol. It took a long time, but he got there eventually!

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  6. PS: Have not seen Us yet, but looking forward to it. Yeah, holes are to be expected. I feel like as long as they don’t completely destroy the premise, they’re fine. ‘Cause we’re there to be entertained primarily, and if that’s happening, then the artist succeeded! 🙂

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  7. Well, the fact is that I used to love movies, and in a way still do, just do not have the time to watch them anymore but occasionally.
    I am glad not to be the only one who caught the irony that on the Titanic movie, for a long time I even commented laughing at the scene, and saying to Kate Winslet ;
    -“Whatever you do, Don’t let go!” -“You must do me this honor… promise me you will survive… that you will never give up… no matter what happens…
    She promise him back to never let go, and of course the first thing she does, she let’s him go, and he gives up! 🙂

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  8. Lol !! Thank you for the clip, Burning Heart! Irony at its very best !!
    Also thanks for your comment on my pulp culture ruminations which pale in comparison to why our hearts must be like a polished mirror….but when you really think about it, everyone WAS trying to become “a better person” and to symbolically make an upgrade to their hearts and their perceptions in all those examples…except for Silence where there really were no personality arcs at all. 🙂

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  9. My Hole is this one……why did Xander Berkley’s Secret Servixce betray the President in “Air Force One”??? It was never establsihed why did nor were any ties to the hijackers. After they were killed and they were all trying to be rescued,why did he keep after the President when he could have gotten away scot-free and been looked at as a hero? Arrrrrrgh!!!

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    • Eeewww! That’s a BIG one. I’m sure that must have passed through my mind when I saw it, but it’s been SO LONG, I no longer remember. But wait–let me get my big 18-wheeler out and rev the engine, ’cause your hole’s definitely big enough for me to drive my big rig through. BLEH

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  10. Well, that’s a pleasant after-effect to some seriously lazy writing! And at least you also knew you weren’t alone. I sometimes think I’m being way too hard on some movies. Then…no. It turns out I’m being LENIENT, lol !!!

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  11. That question invites a funny answer , but I won’t 😂😊 I remember a movie actually called Holes. It was about giant earthworms with teeth I think! Always made my laugh but kept me glued to the screen 😎

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  12. LMAO!!! “What are your favorite holes?” It DOES invite a funny answer, doesn’t it? Ha ha. You’re bad! (And if I’m completely wrong about what you mean, then, uh….never mind!) 🙂
    Hey, I know the movie you’re talking about–Tremors. With Kevin Bacon, right? There were giant worms that
    lived underground in that. It’s a fun movie. The movie called “Holes” stars Shia LeBeouf (guessing at spelling!) but I never saw it. Something about troubled teens, I think. Back before Mr. LeBeouf went off the rails from too much stardom too fast.

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  13. Interesting idea for a post. I’ve been wracking my brain and I can’t come up with anything other than something painfully obvious. The movie Tremors is full of stuff like you describe, but it’s not fair for me to pick on Tremors. The holes in it are due more to budget issues than laziness or gaffes. I have to confess, I rarely see these holes in films, but my husband sees all of them–or so it seems. He has Superman vision when it comes this stuff. For me there’s a contract that I make with a film when I decide to watch it. I either buy in or I don’t. Personally, I have a problem with a lot of action films because I’m skeptical going in. Like Mission Impossible. I’m never going to buy into Tom Cruise hanging onto an airplane wing by his fingernails and living to save the day. That said, I love Die Hard. Go figure.

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  14. Yeah, I know, same here! It’s my husband that usually sees the holes. These are things that have come up over time and usually after several viewings. I’ve caught a few myself, but I do go into movies like you, with the idea of just giving myself over to the story. Sometimes when I have low expectations, I’m pleasantly surprised.

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