Thursday, March 25, 2010

12 Monkeys, or Bruce Willis' naked butt.

12 Monkeys directed by Terry Gilliam

Okay, so Bruce's butt does not play that prominent of a role in this movie but it was featured in about 5 more scenes than I tend to prefer. If you do the math that may end up as a negative number but I feel that this accurately portrays my feelings about seeing pasty white Bruce Willis butts on my television screen.

Enough about butts. There also happened to be a movie going on. So this starts out in one of your post-apocalyptic futures where everybody bemoans the way life used to be. Why do so many stories contain this element? Perhaps it is a jab at current society, telling us to stop complaining and enjoy the life that we have. Anyways, so Willis' character, James Cole, is sent back in time to procure a pure sample of a virus that will eventually wipe out humanity. He doesn't need to prevent the plague, it seems to be accepted as an inevitable fact, he just needs to find the virus before it mutates beyond control so that the future scientists can create a cure.

This film explores some interesting ideas, some common to time travel stories and others not so common but inherently tied into time travel. One unique idea, at least an idea that I hadn't encountered much, is the effect of time travel on a person's mental functioning. When first sent back in time Cole is arrested and placed in a mental institution because everything that he says sounds crazy. Matched against the disturbingly realistic insanity portrayed by Brad Pitt, Cole and even the audience start to doubt the validity of this whole traveling from the future story. At one point Cole is even convinced that he's imagining the future that he thinks he's from and admits that he's just plain crazy.

Another idea is the question of causality. Just about every time travel story out there treats this in a different way. Probably because causality can only be studied in the past. Gilliam (or the writers) take causality and really try to blow the viewer's mind attempting to understand the movie in a standard, linear-time point of view. Let me just say this...they succeed. I spent the rest of the night trying to wrap my head around the causes and effects presented in this movie and I started to get dizzy. And this is the kind of movie that I enjoy for some reason.

Anyways, if you watch this movie, make sure that you're holding onto something secure, or that you're wearing a hat because we don't want you crashing or your brains exploding everywhere and making a mess.


  1. Truly, I laugh every time you write a post. You are hilarious. :) Keep it up. Anyway, I'm in agreement with you about Bruce Willis' naked butt...and anyone's naked butt, really. Not appropriate for my television.

    Also, I just started thinking...what if he WAS imagining the whole thing? Really - what if that was the end-all truth at the end of the movie? Everything he experienced at the beginning came back throughout the movie - he could easily have made it up after having witnessed a traumatic event as a child. Hmmm...

  2. Oh my goodness, you're going to make my head explode.

  3. I think Bruce has a very nice butt