Re-Watching Into The Storm – Not Much of a Twist

Apart from Michele lobbying for this film in the wake of the horror of Hannibal, I wouldn’t have considered 2014 disaster flick Into The Storm for a rewatch, had ITS not been on Irish free TV at the end of January. That already preempts my verdict to some degree.  You see, I don’t think that it is what we call “ganz großes Kino” in German [great cinema]. To stay with the metaphor, it’s probably more along the lines of “ganz großes Damentennis” [great women’s tennis]. Ok, those are in-jokes for those who can speak German. Very bad form, Guylty, very bad! What it means is: ITS is not a triumph of early 21st century cinema. And this is why:

Recap

It’s an ordinary day in Silverton, OK, where single-parent assistant principal Gary Fuller herds his teenage sons Trey and Donnie to school. Trey is documenting the day with his camcorder; Donnie, the elder of the two, is pissed off with his dad. Daddy Gary at the same time is distracted by the preparations for the afternoon’s graduation ceremony. Meanwhile, a motley crew of ‘storm chasers’ have come into the area because they expect a strong hurricane to landfall. And it does – but it’s the mother of all hurricanes, a monster storm that wreaks havoc in Silverton, scatters the graduation, and, worst of all, traps Donnie Fuller together with love interest Kaitlyn in a disused mill where they nearly drown – if it hadn’t been for Daddy Fuller, the quirky brother, and some unexpected help from the storm chasers. But all’s well that ends well: daddy comes to rescue, the youngsters are saved at the last minute, the nasty career-storm chaser gets his comeuppance but simultaneously redeems himself, and the Fuller lads are one happy family again.

So, we’ve got the ingredients for a regular summer blockbuster here: (natural) disaster with opportunity for big time CAD, vaguely topical issue (global warming), family dynamics (dad vs son), small little love story (Donnie & Kat, Gary & meteorologist Allison), nasty slave-driving boss getting what he deserves, single-parent mother separated from her child because of work, two country-bumpkin eejits for light relief, major, nail-biting drama and a happy ending. Maybe some of what is wrong with the film is already visible in that list: There is too much in it, and it doesn’t *quite* know what it wants to be. It takes on too many things, and instead of just being content with being a two-dimensional, silly disaster movie along the lines of Sharknado, it wants to take itself seriously, attempting “issues” in order to attract viewers. The strength of disaster movies is usually the special effects or the computer design of the catastrophe. So why obscure that silly fun with serious issues? Global warming as the cause of intense weather phenomena? Of course, we know that. But do I look to a summer movie to learn more about the effects of climate change? Eh, no! Just as much as I don’t want to get into a subtle subplot about single-parent issues and the strains of having to separate from your child in order to earn money. Just get on the with the disaster, throw around a few 10-ton-trucks and jumbo jets, and I’ll be happy.

Not sure where this gif comes from – credit to the maker

In that sense, the strongest scenes in the movie are the action/disaster sequences. When Gary runs across the street after his car is inadvertently crashed, and a pick-up truck smashes into the pavement about ten feet beside him, then that is great (disaster) cinema. Armitage clinging on to a car door for dear life – and to save met lady Allison from being sucked up into the tornado: predictable but essential ingredient to a disaster movie. And bonus: wet bum shot. Of Armitage! Not the woman! *That* would be sexist! A whole group of helpless humans, huddling in a massive drain for shelter against the storm, being thrown around by mother nature – great both in terms of providing scale as well as giving more opportunity for heroics. But all that sentimental crap about Allison not being with her daughter, Gary and Donnie’s relationship being strained, and Pete the storm chaser pressuring his underlings into risking their lives – unnecessary and not believable.

 

Cardboard Cut-outs

Not least because the characters are mere cardboard cut-outs, stereotypes, and as such just a cheap trick to offer a quick n easy way to identify or engage with one of the characters. Yet I found it strangely difficult to get invested because the characters were just too stereotypical: The hard-working father who is trying his best to bring up his sons; elder son has an issue with dad being over-protective. Young son OTOH is happy-go-lucky popular kid. Met lady has small daughter who lives with grandparents because mum has to travel for work: I should’ve latched on to these people immediately because I share one massive characteristic with them – I am a parent. (Happy mother’s day, btw.) But that one facet in a person is not enough for me to connect and engage with a character. I understand that ITS is a film that is basically telling a story in real time. So there is no opportunity for massive insights or for character set-up. Or maybe there would’ve been if the film had concentrated on fewer characters. Apart from Pete the head storm chaser, did we need Allison and the other storm chasing crew? We certainly didn’t need the town eejits, and we probably could also have done without the burgeoning love story between Donnie and Kaitlyn. If Gary Fuller was the main character, then the film should’ve focussed on him – and his heroics. That would’ve done the trick.

As for Armitage in the film: No complaints as such. His performance is solid – as it always is. You can sort of tell that this is basically his first time playing an American character. The accent doesn’t sit well with him – it just doesn’t sound right imo: When he speaks, his whole voice changes. It’s deeper in tone, and not as melodious as usual. Which is a pity, because his voice (and his vocal talents) are always an asset to any show. Otherwise he gets away with portraying the great looking, fit and healthy athletic All American dad, right down to those beautifully regular white and shiny front teeth. I do buy his act as a dad – in fact more so than his act as the vice principal of a small town high school. The man just is too gorgeous for such an existence. Casting fail *grins*.

The effects in the film work well – once you suspend your disbelief, everything is possible, and the fire tornado or the monster hurricane that bounces jumbo jets around as if they were matchbox toys, look reasonably real. The climactic storm scene – with Pete’s (literal) comeuppance – OTOH is designed straight from baroque altar pieces (see right).  Towering clouds fading into white… You almost expect the eye of providence to pop up on top of the screen. And so sickly sweet with its bright clouds and shining light and predictable that it spoils the otherwise hair-raising disaster porn.

For me, the greatest regret of the film is that its concept obviously changed at some point. The initial idea of basing the majority of the film on “found footage” – was actually a great idea, both in terms of aesthetics as well as story telling. But that concept eventually is thrown out of the window even though little brother Trey, who executes the concept at the beginning of the film by shooting a ‘time capsule project’, continues to carry the camera with him. From the middle of the film found footage is not happening anymore – which makes the film strangely asymmetrical. One wonders whether the film was significantly reshot after screen testing? There definitely were reshoots, as can be seen as early as the first scene of the film when Gary’s hair is definitely shorter than a scene later…

Miraculous hair growth. Well, RA has mentioned before that he has won prizes for growing his beard faster than anyone else… Looks as if the Armitagean follicles are stuff of legend and miracle!

Final verdict

Unfortunately, the second time ‘round, the film doesn’t improve. When I watched it in the cinema – summer evening, teenage son with me, bag of pop corn at the ready – it really did what it set out to do: It was a meaningless summer flick, more aimed at the boys than the girls, easily whiling away 89 minutes with lots of rain, thunder, assorted farm equipment flying through the air and the occasional jumbo jet twirling across the airport concourse. Four and a half years later, the film hasn’t exactly become a cult classic. And it’s easy to see why: It’s neither excruciatingly bad, nor exquisitely good. Maybe the audience wants to see even more extreme effects – or the opposite is true and in light of global warming the audience *doesn’t* want to be reminded of the havoc that the climate can play with us. And without any particularly exciting human interest story in the film, ITS has been laid to rest in the mid-week movie graveyard. That’s not what Richard Armitage deserves – who gives his best as he always does. Maybe all it was for him, was an elaborate screen test. He certainly comes across well. And at least he has ticked another genre off his list.   

What about you? What do you think about the film? Comment below or write a post on your blog and link back to me so we can discuss! 

PS: April is coming! And we need a new re-watch. Suggestions?

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131 thoughts on “Re-Watching Into The Storm – Not Much of a Twist

  1. I think that the movie shouldn’t be compared w Sharknado even in jest. It wasn’t a XMen type of film nor was it probably intended for that. Also Gary and Allison I think we’re never intended as a potential love interest and it did bring up many relevant and for some relatable social issues. In the end Pete atoned for his slave driving ways although I didn’t read it describing him that way. I had a ton of notes but I see it would be a waste to discuss this. I thought it would get a proper discussion so I am sorry for lobbying for this. 🙁😥

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    • What? Sorry Michele, but I don’t get why you are personally affronted by my review? I have never made it a secret that I am neither particularly fond of the character of Gary Fuller, nor that I like the film. I don’t think that I have been offensive or particularly mean in my review at all, so I do not understand why you are so angry. You are welcome to start a proper discussion anytime – and I am happy to discuss my opinion with you.

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      • I guess b/c the Hannibal discussion and analysis was so even marked even though I did not partake in it b/c I just couldn’t watch it at that time I thought this would be similar not a series of post but a general discussion and I just didn’t think some of the tone of your review where a discussion could be had as compared to Hannibal. I’m not personally offended as such I just am more surprised by the nature of the review. It’s just IMO of course so if everyone else thought the movie was banal then fine. I just thought it deserved a little more openness for discussion. I’m not trying to step on toes here

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        • Not quite sure what you mean by “even marked” – something like ‘balanced’? Or ‘fair’? Or ‘benign’? Or simply ‘extensive’? I think the latter is what sets the Hannibal rewatch apart from this one: Hannibal was a multi-episode show. It was aesthetically a totally different league than this. (It’s actually unfair to compare the two – but just to explain.) ITS is simply a quick summer flick. There is nothing wrong with that – they have a reason for being, and that is fine. At the time of watching the film in the cinema, I thought it was a perfectly fine film – for the genre it was in. I don’t really think that the film was ever meant as a serious comment on global warming or single parenthood. Those issues were singled out for marketing purposes when they did the press junkets. They are marginal for the plot and point of the film.
          Anyway, rather than me regurgitating my points – why don’t you write a review for your own blog and argue why you think ITS is much more than a mere summer flick? I am open for discussion, as I said!

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          • Ok that’s not a bad idea. I’m sorry if I sounded irked well more than irked. I enjoy these discussions and thought it would be more balanced which is the word perhaps I was looking for. I certainly did not mean anything personal.😘❤️🤗 I won’t open the door on disaster porn he took the role for some reasons and he seemed to have fun!! The boys still keep up w him!! 🤣🤣👍👍

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            • Sorry to be repeating myself – but that sounds as if your expectations didn’t match what I delivered. And I am surprised about that because I have never been enthusiastic about this film.
              You seem to think that I am implying he shouldn’t have taken the role or that he didn’t have fun shooting it. I do not think either – I believe that he is *always* right in choosing the projects he does, and he definitely knows better than any of us what he *should* do and what he shouldn’t. And whatever project he works on, he *always* seems to enjoy it. So absolutely no complaints there.
              Last word on the comparison with Sharknado – a total cult classic! Which is a good thing, imo!

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              • No no I’m not implying that at all. If anything I was just making an aside comment since the two actors playing his sons had commented a few months back on his mystery role. It doesn’t matter what I think here anyway. But I’m transparent. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I write the same way. I just thought something more balanced would happen. My bad…

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                • There’s nothing wrong with being transparent or with wearing your heart on your sleeve – or your blog. Isn’t it the same when I express my honest opinion about this film on my blog?
                  I had a whole defensive paragraph written here, but I think that is undignified. I look forward to discussing the film on your blog.

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                  • I just thought it would be more like Hannibal. I knew your aversion to Thornton I didn’t really know what you thought about ITS before and of course your blog your thoughts and rules. I don’t want this to get out of hand. I’m sorry not my intention at all.

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              • The fact that we all know Sharknado speaks for itself. A cult classic doesn’t have to be classically good. It just needs to engage the audience to a high degree. And it certainly does that.

                Your review is absolutely well considered and also not in any way derogatory. And much more thorough than I could get myself to be about this wind film.

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                • Full disclosure: I have never seen Sharknado. But I guess that’s a case in point: I know (of) the film even though I haven’t watched it. It’s kind of a success – because it was so outrageously bad. (And no, I am not saying ITS is bad on that level…)
                  LOL – well, but it’s great that we talked about it.

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                    • Just to satisfy my curiosity, I looked up some stats on both films:
                      ITS (2014) had a budget of $50 million (most of which probably went to CGI) vs. $2 million for Sharknado (2013). We cannot compare box office revenue, because Sharknado was a made-for-TV movie that had no theatrical release.
                      On Rotten Tomatoes, ITS clocks in at a meager 22 % with the following verdict: “Clumsily scripted and populated with forgettable characters, Into the Storm has little to offer beyond its admittedly thrilling special effects.”
                      Sharknado can boast an 82 % approval rating and the following conclusion: “Proudly, shamelessly, and gloriously brainless, Sharknado redefines ‘so bad it’s good’ for a new generation.“

                      So that’s the tea. One does exactly what it sets out to do and does that very well. The other one maybe needed to look at what it’s trying to do a little harder and then commit fully to doing it.

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                    • OMG, considering that kind of budget difference, Sharknado is an absolute winner 😂. The Rotten Tomatoes verdict is harshly voiced – but ultimately true. The characters are not big enough to withstand the power of the storm. And even in disaster movies, the audience needs characters they can identify with, I guess.

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                    • That’s a great way to put it: “the characters aren’t big enough to withstand the power of the storm.” I almost want to revisit Twister for comparison.

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          • Rachel you’re so sweet! I don’t think it’s worth it here to discuss so maybe I will blog about it as a review as Guylty suggested, it certainly is timely and it flips some of the social relationships around single father raising teenage sons and time capsule into the future
            I thought the premise of the movie was clever and again took Twister and modernized it w a spin. The eejits were comic relief and many like them are out there on YT

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            • I look forward to reading your opinion in a post of your own, Michele. I completely agree that it makes more sense to do so on your blog than here, where it is lost in the comments.

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              • Well again I am sorry if I came out guns blazing I didn’t mean to do that. Yeah I would like to discuss it some more but clearly not here. Sharknado maybe a cult classic as a satire farce not a disaster movie and it has spun off what 7 or 8 more whereas ITS hasn’t. No it’s not Shakespeare but IMO there’s a little more there worth chatting about.

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  2. If I were inclined to do an entire post about this, my title would be ”RA goes XXX”

    Because the most exciting thing one can say about this ‘masterpiece’ is that it shows The Armitage in a really saucy role—one review called it ‘rock solid disaster porn’ and well , they’re not entirely wrong.

    It did have some funny lines, but my overall verdict is “it didn’t unduly annoy me.”

    Not loving the accent, and did you notice he gets less American when he’s yelling?

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    • LOL I didn’t really notice that this was a “saucy” role at all – apart from the bum shot 😂But disaster porn is absolutely right!
      The film didn’t annoy me either. It also didn’t upset me, or disappoint me. But it definitely also didn’t wow me. Summer blockbuster movie. That’s all. Nothing more. Nothing less.
      I have to admit I am not great on the accent changes, mostly because I am not that familiar with US accents…

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  3. Ganz großes Damentennis 😂 Du bringst mir immer wieder noch was Neues bei…..
    Ehrlich, diesen Film so zu umschreiben ist dem Damentennis wahrlich nicht würdig. Aber ernsthaft: ich erinnere mich noch, wie wir im Vorfeld des Filmes die ersten Bilder von RA in seinen sexy 80er Klamotten besprochen und belacht haben (ich erinnere mich an unsägliches Fangesabbel bei Serv). Oder war das 90er Style? Anyway, die Hose bis schön übern Nabel und so. Und was haben wir ihn trotzdem geliebt. Aber als dann der Film endlich bei uns ankam, war das schon ein wenig schwächlich. Chapeau, dass du dir das jetzt nochmal angetan hast.
    Also, wenn ihr demnächst mal N&S rewatched bin ich gerne mit dabei 😃

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    • Oh Gott, CraMERRY, ich hätte jetzt fast lauthals hier losgelacht – Hose bis über den Nabel. Genau. Überhaupt, diese unsägliche Opa-Hose. Insofern kann man nichts Besseres tun als diesen Film ganz schnell wieder zu vergessen…
      Das mit dem Damentennis ist übrigens ein ganz, ganz fieser, total sexistischer Vergleich, den ich nie im Leben benutzen würde…
      Ok, dann haben wir hier also die erste Stimme für N&S. Ich werde das mal sammeln.

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  4. i’ve only watched it once and that was with the OH (who didn’t recognise RA until about 20 mins in and only because he was the ‘tall guy with the big nose’)
    It’s a bit disappointing, mostly because RA is best when he’s acting and this film was mostly him running around. The best bit only bit, that showcased his acting was at the end where he’s joshing with his kids.
    Otherwise it’s standard disaster film fare, the only bit that really was innovative was the fire-tornado.
    My biggest issue was they didn’t do enough to make you care for any of the characters except possibly the two redneck/Jackass lads who surprisingly managed to survive the film!
    I didn’t dislike it or love it, though maybe it will grow on me on another watch-but as i’ve only just watched it-i won’t re-do that for a while

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  5. I liked ITS. It was a simple, summer, bash ’em up movie middle America tends to love. My son loved it but he’s a huge TORNADO fan!

    I can commiserate with Gary, I have a lot in common with him. My biggest problem was finding ANY chemistry between Gary and Allison and I’m rather glad they didn’t try to start a relationship with the two. As for the youngsters, well I think they were catering to the teens the movie was probably going to draw in.

    Gary had so much potential. I think the problem most of us had was the fact we were looking at the day and the characters through a narrow tube of life.

    Which reminds me, I should pull out Raising Nemo…

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    • I don’t disagree with you Zee. Simple summer flick – check. Gary & Allison not needed – check. And I definitely agree that Gary *has* potential. Hey, *any* character played by Armitage has potential *grins*. Because Armitage has the skills to give the characters depth. Same here – I think if the film had had less characters (with their marrginal stories, it could’ve given more room to the Fullers and especially to Gary.
      But in the end, I don’t think that the makers wanted that. They wanted a disaster movie – and the real star of the film was the tornado. All the human interest was just accessory.
      Thankfully, for my in-depth needs, there is fan fiction. And there is some very good, very convincing Fuller Fiction, authored by yourself. I prefer that to the film!

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      • “The real star was the tornado.” 🌪

        That is spot on. It should’ve gotten top billing.

        Movie trailer voiceover:
        “This Summer, don’t miss Into the Storm, the new disaster movie starring ‘The biggest tornado of all time!!’ Also starring Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Beavis And Butthead, the storm chaser version of KITT and Richard Armitage’s wet pants. Rated PG-13.”

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  6. I have watched it twice.Didn’t like his accent.Was bored except for the tornado scenes. If I want a romance, I’ll read Zees Raising Nemo.

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  7. First up, I generally avoid disaster movies like the plague, but, as usual, RA had me paying for a ticket to see ITS. Twice. The first time, there were only about five or six people in the Wollongong cinema and I think that had a lot to do with me not enjoying the film at all – apart from the scenes with Gary in them of course – lack of atmosphere. Honestly, I couldn’t wait for it to finish.
    The second time I saw it was a few days later in Sydney with the meetup ladies and the cinema was full. What a difference that made. Every time Gary came onscreen there was a palpable reaction from the ladies in my row lol and there were obviously enough special effects and suspense to keep the disaster movie fans happy, judging by the noises from the audience. It was never any more than what it promised, “a simple summer flick”.
    RA, wet RA, RA as dad, dirty RA….uhmmmmm…..sorry Michele & Zee, that’s it for the positives for me. 😏

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    • Really interesting – the difference between watching the film in an empty cinema, and in a sold-out venue. I am not surprised, though, that the film came across much better when seen together with fellow Armitage appreciators – there is a whole different vibe when you watch communally. Maybe because we already anticipate what we are going to talk about later 😉
      Simple summer flick indeed. RA did well with what he was given. And provided a few new fandom tropes along the way. But I don’t think he – or anyone else – ever thought it was going to win any gongs.

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  8. Ah yes. ITS. Not my favourite movie and I will confess that I didn’t do a rewatch. I bought it a couple of years ago on iTunes and watched it once by myself and once with my younger son. It was reasonably entertaining, but for us, sad to say, part of the entertainment value was giggling at the not-so-great American accent. I enjoyed wet, muscular Armitage rescuing the guy, was it out of a car? I think. Nice show of strength. The guys who played his sons were quite appealing and relatable as teenagers and of course Armitage did a fine job acting, with what he was given. I liked the two yahoos for their comic relief. As a disaster flick, it could have been better… I mean, it did not measure up to say a Jaws or a Towering Inferno. But I liked some of the special effects, particularly the fiery one. I’m not a fan of Armitage in a brown suit, or maybe of brown suits in general. Gary, as shown in the movie, is not a favourite character for me, being too bland, although I do enjoy Zee’s Nemo story — more please! See here’s the thing… I already have a guy who’s a dad at home, and he even does some coaching at the high school. So, maybe that’s not what I’m hoping to see. (The Stranger character is a dad too, but I’m hoping his character will appeal to me more.)

    I wouldn’t mind a rewatch of The Impressionists. I see 3 parts on YouTube.., is it only 3 total?

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  9. Just reread my review you reposted from SDCC four years ago? Anyway, I did say the tornado was the star of the film at the time. And I have seen Sharknado and some of it’s sequels. I was writing as a fan, for other RA fans, so I did not cover anything but RA related observations. I do think the movie was ok, and he was ok in it, but it’s not a film I want to see multiple times, even for free. I don’t think he was given a lot of material to work with and his wardrobe for the role was the worst. My favorite part is the end with his “sons” in the front yard. They seemed to have a genuine rapport with each other and RA was in a t shirt and jeans. A very nice, but very brief scene.

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    • You are spot on with the tornado as the star of the film – it’s scary and awesome, and its CGI is great. RA’s role was all in reaction to whatever was thrown at him (quite literally), which probably also isn’t quite what I want to see. The little add-on at the end with the two sons was cute – not least because he looked so much better in jeans and polo shirt *hehe*. Yep, totally superficial here.

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  10. I’m adding my two cents too. ITS is not a great movie. It’s a great movie when you’re sick at home and want to watch something that doesn’t need much brains to get through. I have watched ITS about four times I think, first time in the movies and then with my youngest son and then alone bc youngest one just groans if I suggest watching ITS 😀

    I was disappointed in ITS in many many ways. RA was doing his best but even he can’t save the film. The biggest problem is as you say that it hasn’t got a point (or it has too many points). I really disliked the two clowns, probably bc I don’t see any humor in home videos, and I’d wanted Jeremy Sumpter have a better outcome, poor boy. From Peter Pan to this.. Well.

    I didn’t see any kind of romance budding between Daddy Fuller and the lady Allison, she was cold as a fish imo. The scene with the young couple being trapped was just plain boring and only wet hot daddy could save it.

    As Kathy above said the last scene with the Fuller’s on their yard was the best and what I’ve seen in twitter the boys and Richard had a genuine relationship which comes through.

    Yeah.. not my fave movie but watchable when in the right mood.

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    • Four times! I am impressed S!!!! 😁Yeah, I didn’t even dare suggest ITS as a communal watch with my family. I think my dear husband would have seriously considered divorce had I forced him to sit through this.
      You are right of course – there is no budding romance between Gary and Allison. That was me overstating a point, and I should take that back.
      The movie is probably an easy entertainment option when you need to waste time. That’s not a bad thing to say – it is entertaining enough. It just isn’t high cinematic art, that’s all.

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  11. I have no evidence for any of my thoughts but I was disappointed by the film because a, I saw ITS as a sweetener because The Hobbit had evolved into 3 parts and it probably meant no more money! and b, he was talked about as ‘the break out star’ so much while The Hobbit was being made.
    Also I was expecting more depth to his character because of things RA had said in interviews, sadly those bits fail to make it to the screen either because they are written out or were only part of his thoughts about the character.
    ITS is okay for a budget summer film but a let down if you are expecting to see RA in a leading role.

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    • Even though ITS was definitely not what I had hoped for, it was probably a quick filler and money maker for the period after the Hobbit. Strategically a good move – on the back of TH, riding the movie wave. If this is what he was offered, then fair enough. He did his best, and that’s fine. The movie just about came out even between production costs and box office proceeds. As such that is not even too bad a result imo.
      Oh yes, thanks for reminding me – RA *did* hint at more character development in his interviews. He referred to Gary as an everyman and ordinary hero. And maybe he was on paper, and that was also what RA played – but it was edited out and the focus of the film changed? Since RA doesn’t like watching his films, maybe he simply did not know what the film ended up like…

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  12. Aarrggh! I missed the rewatch, after digging out my copy and all. Nor will I get a chance till tomorrow at the earliest. All I can remember at present is Mr A clinging grimly and wetly to the door of the Tornado-o-bile and the Jumbo jet spiralling up into the air — it seemed to me that it jumped the Sharknado at that particular point.

    But I agree, Raising Nemo is the Newfie’s unmentionables on the other hand. I’m convinced Gary has a superhero outfit on underneath his dad duds. Plenty of room to hide a folded-up cloak in those pants.

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    • Jenny you win the best line “Jumbo jet .. it jumped the Sharknado at that particular point” hahahahahaha!! Please rewatch if you can… Zee and I are alone here and would love some company even if it is Gary is a hot daddy in ugly brown trousers!!

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      • I mean to do so as soon as I can, Michele. Disaster movies are not my thing, but I liked Gary. There was a lot more they could have done with him, so I’m grateful to Zee for stepping in.

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        • Jenny you and me both!! Thank you though for your heartwarming comments this morning and giving me a huge smile at your visuals! I really needed that! Zee will vouch for me there!!!

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    • Spot on, Jenny. I just wish Gary had taken off his beige suit, flexed his muscles in the blue-and-read superman outfit and whisked everybody off to safety… Well, there’s an AU waiting to be written.
      And hey, you can still rewatch and add further insights tomorrow!

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  13. Sorry Michelle, I agree with the majority here about ITS and Gary is not one of my favourite RA roles. It is generic, he could have been played by anyone and it certainly didn’t play to Richard’s talents. I don’t know if I imagined this but I could swear that he intimated somewhere that he made this film for contractual obligations (even possibly that he didn’t want to do it or it wasn’t his choice – does anyone else remember this?) although he certainly did good press and fun interviews after. It’s odd that he struggles with the American accents, particularly then, because he is astonishingly good and wide-ranging at others.

    There were not enough close-ups of the Armitage. Outrageous! I agree that the brown woollen suit isn’t flattering and can’t forget that apparently it smelled when damp. But apart from awareness of his fear of water, it’s always a pleasure to see a sopping wet Armitage, the way the clothes cling to his body. And he looked really good in that cheesy scene at the end.

    Yes the documentary/ found-footage sequences seemed to vary, although the special effects seemed very good to me – but then I have a high tolerance of them and am still awestruck by those little flicker books that make matchstick figures move.

    The relationship between Gary and Alison was odd. It followed film conventions of romance without it developing into anything ( and they also stuck to the convention of cowardly and bad characters dying).

    Finally, I think ITS reached number two, possibly even number I in the USA box office when it was released, which was great to see with RA’s name in the mentions. It was a perfectly serviceable, short film, just not remarkable and Richard could have done so much better after the Hobbit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane, it’s okay. “Brown woollen suit” that apparently smelled when damp! Love your intel!! Not enough close-ups of The Armitage outrageous indeed!!! You made me smile today so thank you. I know you don’t know what for but thank you anyway!!!! (check your e-mail)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, interesting, J, that RA hinted he was not really into the film other than fulfilling some sort of contract. Mind you, do you remember what he said at RDC? That he was never ever sorry about the projects he took on (or declined) and that he felt there was a reason for doing them? At the time, I remember thinking that the film was probably strategic – in the sense that a) he wanted to prove himself in the US film industry (as opposed to SPJ’s NZ setting) and b) possibly needed to work on something in order to keep the green card going.
      You are absolutely right about the relationship between Gary and Allison. There was no real romance happening, of course, but I had the impression it was no coincidence that the film paired the single-parent dad and mum in some way. But hey, that’s again where fan fiction comes in…
      Was the film really that successful? That’s pretty impressive.
      And yes, I do think that RA definitely had the looks, skills and name for something bigger than ITS after TH…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Mixed Bag Stuff | Guylty Pleasure

  15. I watched this once as a preview for men in cinema with my nephew and that was fun.
    For me the movie is nice ‘Popcorn-Kino’ and not memorable as so many of you stated before. It lacks the charm of ‘Twister’.
    I also think the movie makers wanted to much (entertainment on one serious society questions on the other hand) and therefor failed to delivere a homogeneously story.
    Maybe that’s the ‘tragedy’ of RAs gigs after ‘The Hobbit’: lots of ambition that fail to get these ambitions translated to the screen *sigh*

    Liked by 2 people

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