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The devil is in the detail

The Omen


Year: 2006

Director: John Moore

Length: 2hours

Category: Drama

Media: Film

Rating: 0 out of 5

So I went to see the remake of the 1976 classic, The Omen. I have always liked the original, and have seen it a number of times. The remake is an almost verbatim remake, with little in the way of additions or improvements. On it’s own it may have made it, but in comparison to the original, it is a pathetic recreation. It appears much of the script was lifted directly from the original, most especially noticeable in the scene where the photographer and Mr. Thorne are in the abode of the now dead priest.

But my venom is not mainly for the production of a remake, or of the quality of the remake. It is the laziness of the post-production. Did anyone, at all, involved in the making of the film, not actually watch it once if was finished?

You may not believe me, but the gobshites who made this film managed to produce it in a way that meant the microphones are visible in the early scenes. And no, they are not actually meant to be there, they are actually part of the making of the film. At first I thought it was a brief mistake, then it kept happening, until at one point I thought the lead actress was going to get clobbered on the head. As another reviewer notes:

When it first appeared I thought…hmmm are there reporters in this scene or is that just a little flub? No… the camera pans back, no reporters in sight. Must have just been a mistake. I figured it was a small mistake. But then, it appears in the next scene, and the next scene, and the NEXT scene, and then in almost every single scene from that point on. At one point it almost HIT the actress head while shes sitting on the couch yelling at the nanny to take damien upstairs. It got so bad that you could tell the producers even tried cutting it out of some scenes. Suddenly this dark black fuzzy line appears at the top of the screen attempting to hide the mic. Unfortunatly even the black fuzzy line couldnt keep this thing out of the shot. It dips down below the line many many times. How do you take a horror movie seriously when the microphone is in all the shots??

Surely someone spotted this? Surely someone suggested removing the mics with some digital wizardry?

It spoils the entire film, and there were mumbles of questions and disbelief from other people in the cinema. Some even laughed, and I don’t blame them. There is simply no excuse for it. It’s lazy and unprofessional, it’s rule number one of film making – don’t let the audience know it’s actually make-believe.

United 93

I went to see it today. An emotional rollercoaster, and well worth seeing.

But I found Flight 93 to be a better film overall. There are two chief differences between the two films.

First, Flight 93 shows the people at the other end of the phone. We get to see a wife’s or mother’s reaction to their loved ones calling them. There are protracted heart wrenching conversations between families, during the course of the hijacking. This makes Flight 93 a far more emotional experience. Much of the film is devoted to these phone calls.

Second, Flight 93 showed very little military reaction. The film instead centered on the passengers and the hijackers. No scenes of the planes hitting the WTC, only word coming through on the phones. The early parts of United are almost entirely devoted to air traffic control and NORAD reactions.

Two different approaches to tell the same overall story, I found Flight 93 to be the better of the two.

X-Men 3

Cian didn’t like it, but given the comments, it seems he didn’t stay until the end of the credits to see the last scene.

I have to say I did rather like it as special-effects extravaganzas go, especially since almost none of the filming was done in San Francisco, and yet almost the whole film is based there.

If you do go to see it, do stay until the end of the credits, it is a rather critical scene.

Cian has incidentally moved to a new home over at

United 93

I meant to blog this earlier, but has anyone else seen United 93? I haven’t seen much discussion of it in the Irish blogosphere.

I actually didn’t realise it was released straight to DVD last week until I spotted it in Xtra-vision, whereupon I instantly rented it.

And I have to concurr with the reviews I have read from bloggers in the States. It is a film done with taste and and with a rather unnatural sense of familiarity. At many points you do feel like one of the passengers, and there appeared to be various devices used by the director to hook the viewer into associating with the film. Anyone who has travelled on planes will find themselves questioning themselves, and what they would do in that position.

In some ways it is like the discussion of the Falling Man picture earlier. It is compelling to watch.

At times it is difficult to watch the phone calls between passengers and their families, but I recommend United 93 nonetheless.

Update: Thanks Simon, got mixed up between the website URL and the film title. But it is the one that was just released in the US.

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