Friday, September 11, 2009
I ran into a friend last week who had already been to see “Inglourious Basterds” three times.
While I also was enamored with Quentin Tarantino’s latest effort, I couldn’t help but think, “You have time to watch the same movie over and over in a theater?”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I barely have time to go see any movie once. More often than not, I’m cursing the fact that four or five flicks come out each month that I swear on attending — but the duties of work and family inevitably interfere.
If only there were a way to compress the viewing time of a screening to where you got the essence of the picture without all those troublesome subplots and secondary characters.
Such is the thinking behind a feature called 5 Second Movies on the entertainment site That Guy With the Glasses.
The site takes a theatrical release — such as the war epic “300,” for instance — and breaks it down to its conceptual core. In this case, it begins with King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) declaring, “There is no reason we can’t be civil.”
This is followed by quick scenes of digital-enhanced impalements leveled by his Spartans on their enemies.
Finally, a fellow Spartan replies, “None sire,” as he drives his spear through a prone opponent.
Having endured “300,” I can honestly say that pretty much sums up the movie.
Launched in 2008, 5 Second Movies is the brainchild of Douglas Walker (who often stars as That Guy with the Glasses) and Michael Michaud. Known as some of the heavyweights in the “hyperediting” trend, so far they’ve delivered 137 of these shorts, which are ingenious in keeping a simple idea fresh.
Two of the best examples include “Spider-Man 3,” which begins with a shot of the brooding hero followed by nine different characters all in various states of anguish and/or tears.
Cut to newspaper publisher J Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) sarcastically requesting, “Miss Brant, get me a violin.”
The other involves Oscar winner “Million Dollar Baby.” What’s wonderful about this piece is how it genuinely conveys the plot of the boxing drama:
Hilary Swank: “Thought you might be interested in training girls.”
Clint Eastwood: “I don’t train girls.”
Swank: “I want a trainer.”
Swank: “Will you train me?”
Swank: “You won’t never regret it.”
Punch to Swank’s face. Head hits stool causing career-ending injury. She flatlines in hospital bed.
Few of the videos are actually just five seconds long — most range from 15 to 30 seconds. But as Walker himself explains in a segment called “Explanation of 5 Second Movies,” “The point is not how long they are but the fact that they are short, funny, to the point and enjoyable to watch.”
That’s also perfect advice for whoever is producing next year’s Oscar ceremony.
— Entertainment editor Jon Niccum explores facets of pop culture that have established a unique niche on the Internet in Net Worth. He can be reached