Ever since the first moving pictures graced the silver screen, movies have been categorized due to their content. Sometimes this categorizing can be difficult and can lead to the emergence of new genres. Most of the time, movies can be portioned off into subsets based on common themes and motifs. Since this trend of categorizing films has gone on for so long, it was only a matter of time before they became self-aware. I’ve coined the term “self-aware” to describe these movies that realize what genre they’re in and uses this realization to poke fun at the genre. Ironically enough, this week’s two self-aware movies were released in the same year, which just goes to show the state of the movie industry at the time.
Shoot ’em Up
Length: 86 minutes / 1.43 hours
Action movies have a notorious tendency to be light on plot, heavy on explosions. The entirety of the genre relies on high-octane action sequences in order to make bank. Shoot ‘em Up (2007) is no exception. There’s enough plot to incur multiple gunfights and creative uses for carrots as weapons, but not much past that.
Clive Owen plays a man by the name of Smith who happens to get caught up in a national conspiracy involving babies raised for their inherent medical properties. To protect one of the babies, Smith calls on the services of Donna Quintano (Monica Bellucci) as they run from Hertz (Paul Giamatti), a hitman who is in charge of cleaning up this mess. Throughout the film, Shoot ‘em Up adheres to the action movie stereotype of the hero always hitting his mark (while the bad guys continuously miss), corny lines, and ridiculous setups. However, it is able to do this while at the same time making the fun of the whole genre by being as campy as possible.
Length: 107 minutes / 1.78 hours
For decades, Disney has been cashing in on the “Princess” movie market. Such titles as Snow White (1937), Cinderella (1950), and Sleeping Beauty (1959) tell the story of a damsel in distress and the Prince Charming who comes to save her. Enchanted (2007) takes this concept and pokes fun at it while at the same time falling into it.
Enchanted starts out as a classically-animated story where Giselle (Amy Adams), who sings of true love’s kiss, falls in love with Prince Edward (James Marsden) at first sight. The setting then shifts into the real world when Prince Edward’s evil mother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) sends Giselle to New York. It’s in this backdrop where the absurd customs of cleaning animals, spontaneous singing, and utter naiveté are brought to life. In the end, Enchanted relies on its storybook ending to poke fun at the “happily ever after” genre.
2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 cool for their own genre