Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A poor investment

I am one of the few people who have gone to see the Taylor Lautner film-“Abduction.”  I went because it was filmed in Pittsburgh and I want to see how the hometown looks in a movie.  I have no idea why others would go.  The story is about how a young man finds out that his parents were not his birthparents and that somehow it relates to some international espionage thing.  I couldn’t really follow it but no matter.  Lautner seems like a nice person, but he simply doesn’t have the gravitas to enable him to carry an entire picture.  His voice sounds a bit boyish, but he does have great biceps, His girlfriend is played by Lily Collins.  She has hairy eyebrows and hair that has that needs-to-be-washed look. Her father is Phil Collins, but he wasn’t in the movie.  John Singleton was the director and he wasn’t in the movie either. Alfred Molina plays a heavy because he is heavy.

The house where Lautner’s character lives is located in the Mt. Lebanon suburb of Pittsburgh.  The house appears to be mid-century but is decorated with cheap round lights from IKEA.  Really.

A particularly funny portion of the movie involves the two lead characters taking a train from Pittsburgh to Omaha.  That would take just short of a week, given the train schedules of both cities.

The cinematography is pretty bad.  The colors are over saturated with little softening of the focus.  Thus, on close-ups, it’s plain to see that Lautner needs Pro-Activ, even when his skin is covered with makeup.

In one scene, our leads must swim into one of the famous Pittsburgh rivers.  After their dunking, they fall asleep on the shore of the river.  The next morning they wake up but now they are beside a rust colored stream.  Who is responsible for continuity? The two also are running through a wooded area and just at the margin of the shot are two discarded tires.   Couldn’t they have picked them up before the shot? 

So how does the ‘Burgh look?  Actually I didn’t think it looked so good.  Because of the style of photography I thought it looked sort of like Mr. Lautner’s complexion, that is, it needed bit of soft focus.   It’s fun to watch how filmmakers juxtapose areas in a city that are nowhere near each other, or how buildings that have one use are made to have another for the storyline.  I noticed also that many of the close-ups were angled to take advantage of the city’s great architecture.  I will give Singleton credit for that anyway. 

I realize that watching this movie cost me 2 hours that I will never get back. 

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