However, I want to write about this new movie, the Ledge. I managed to catch it last night on HD on Demand before it hits theatres. What I'm about to say is likely to be a bit spoilerish, so please proceed with caution. This is a thriller and if you don't want the ending spoiled, you should just know it's pretty good: Liv Tyler manages to do a better job acting than in the Lord of the Rings, and not much else. For the rest of you, I'm going to try not to spoil the ending too badly, but I fear what I will say will give it away to any clear-thinking person.
So, the "ooh, shiny" thing about the Ledge is that the main character is an atheist. And he's not the bad guy. The fact that he's not a scientist, this isn't science fiction, he's not deeply cynical about life, and he's not a homocidal maniac,... that any of this should be "big", well, that tells you the state of affairs of Hollywood story-telling. Atheists are weird, like black lesbian prison guards. So the fact that an atheist is portrayed as a normal human being is, unfortunately, a big deal.
If you've seen any of the previews, you know the bad guy is a crazy fundamentalist freak. If the first thing--a sympathetic atheist--wasn't enough to spawn crazy right wing hatred, that surely will. Of course, when atheists look at most right wingers, we see carbon copies of that nut in the movie, so from the atheist perspective, there is nothing unbelievable about it. And really, the guy isn't hating on the atheist because he's an atheist, it's because he slept with his wife... his religion is just an excuse.
This isn't the problem, though. The problem is that there is a massive hole in the plot. (Here's the spoiler... stop reading now if you don't want spoilery stuff...) If I'm an atheist, a member of the reality-based community. I also don't just accept my fate. I take advantage of every opportunity to save myself... like tell the police guy trying to talk me down off the ledge what's really going on so they can try to find the crazy lunatic threatening me so that I won't have to jump. You don't wait until the last fucking minute. I'm sorry, but that's just bad writing. You tell the cop about it, and if they don't find him, then you jump. Jesus H. Christ!
As a writer, I'm flabbergasted this got through. Are people that dumb?
Anyway, not a bad movie generally. Go see it. Atheists' Brokeback Mountain? Whatever. I didn't think that movie had gross plot holes, though. But then, I do know gay people who hated it, so what do I know?