02 August 2008

... and what this guy says, too.

A quick update expanding on my screed against The Dark & Boring Knight -- it's a piece from Michael Atkinson ('writing on cinema, culture & anti-imperialist dudgeon in a blindly Godless world') which says a bit more eloquently what I was getting at below. In short, like this:

'The Dark Knight epitomizes the problem specifically not by simply being a Caped Crusader trifle masquerading as Paradise Lost, but because it failed to do the simplest things movies have always done: tell a fucking story. The film is quite literally one violent set-piece followed by a 20-second snatch of exposition, to explain what significance the set-piece is supposed to have, repeated again and again and again, for over 2.5 interminable hours.'

Read more here in Zero for Conduct.


26 July 2008

As I was saying ...

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile -- I've had a cold.

So to get back to it: seriously, The Dark Knight is *really* one the best movies of the year, with an 'Oscar IOU for Heath Ledger'?!? (btb, did you hear that the guy who played The Joker died this year? It's true!)

I mean, what the fuck ... the guy who made Memento made this dismal, leaden, cliched ball of gas?
Where 'the' Batman speaks like a constipated Nathan Explosion (Dethklok, baby!)?
Where Harvey Dent looks like half the Cryptkeeper or Ahnuld in Terminator 2 Electric Boogaloo (really, wouldn't that eyeball dry out and pop in about 30 minutes, and wouldn't sepsis take down the rest of his face)?
Where the Joker says he 'chooses chaos' and compares himself to a dog that wouldn't know what to do when he catches the car he's been chasing, yet clearly has planned 1000 intricate contraptions to all happen 'just so' and bring down Gotham City?
Where the line 'That's too much power for one man to have' is uttered and the movie is not Malcolm X?
Where Batman pummels the Joker in the interrogation room -- even breaks a window with his head -- and the Joker doesn't even bleed, much less fall down or stop talking (when a single Batman punch to anyone else in the movie instantly knocks them unconscious)?
Where Eric Roberts' character is dropped from a building and breaks both legs, and then is next seen lightly hobbling with just a cane? (Also, Eric Roberts' real face is scarier than Harvey Dent's burned one.)
I could go on ... and on and on, just like the movie does, but then we all lose.

As my wife put it: 'You know, Space Chimps was a horrible movie also, but at least it was over in 75 minutes.'

Look, I *LIKE* dark movies -- but this movie confuses being underlit to being *heavy, man*!! Personally, I enjoyed Heath Ledger's scenery chewing -- he was about the only thing worth watching in the entire movie, but if you take out all his scenes you've still got another 90 minutes of dismal (we left the theater calling it 'The Dark & Boring Night').

And this isn't the hype's fault -- Batman is about the only cartoon guy I find interesting (and that's almost entirely from 1980's Batman books from Alan Moore and Frank Miller), but I wasn't lining up at midnight to see this movie, or the last one. However, the critical acclaim on this thing has been nearly unanimous -- 'masterpiece!', 'brilliant!', 'Best. Superhero. Movie. EVER!!' and it's just baffling to me.

Dis/agree? Tell me about it, and I'll get back to you in about 16 months.

PS: On an unrelated note, after seeing Children of Men and Sin City, I owe that ol' croupier, Clive Owen, an apology...

14 January 2007

And so it begins...

For about 20 years (starting in high school), every Friday I would go see whatever movie had opened that weekend. Soon enough my wife joined me in this habit, and I would reckon we saw about 50 movies a year that way, which -- if my math is right -- equals about a million movies. Of course most of these slipped from my memory shortly after leaving the theater*, but some have burned certain lines and images into my consciousness forever, and they can still spring to mind when triggered by an unexpected play of light and shadow, or an offhand and overheard remark.

But then, as often happens, a creature came along (who now has her own blog !) and then another, and suddenly we were lucky to get out to a movie a month. After five years or so of this (all the while I continued to buy special-edition DVDs which we never seem to find time to watch) we broke down and joined Netflix. The theory was that I would be somehow magically more compelled to watch, say, Michael Apted's 49 Up if that little red envelope was sitting atop the DVD player beckoning me every night, than if I just filled up another 1% of the DVR taping it or put it in the movie cabinet next to the other unopened DVDs. And lo, it is true -- to my surprise and delight it is true. Since December 2006 we've watched six films: two docs (the amazing '49 Up' and the Pixies reunion film 'loudQUIETloud'), two popular favorites ('The Devil Wears Prada' and 'Little Miss Sunshine'), the indie flick 'Junebug' and the hilarious and aptly named 'Jackass Number 2' (which -- to set the adult tone of this blog right away -- is gayer than 4 guys screwing 5 guys).

Later, I will discuss, dissect, muse and snark about all these films (and so much more) , but for now I welcome you to my little corner of the blogosphere. And never forget: only an asshole gets killed for a car.

*In certain cases more drastic measures were necessary: for example, the first movie I ever walked out of was 'Saturday the 14th' (when I was 15), which I remember now fondly for the sole reason that it starred Richard Benjamin, who went on to direct one of the movies I love and quote often: 'My Favorite Year'. Also, the Christian Slater movie 'Mobsters' was so terrible that we immediately snuck into another movie just to help wash that one off our poor eyes...