Sunday, March 20, 2011

At the Flicks

So, I just don't watch all that many movies as of the last six months. Maybe I'm burned out, maybe my DVD collection is too large, maybe my other entertainment options are too solid, or maybe it's because most movies suck.
Here's the thing- I can name you all the feature length movies I've seen since Christmas. Machete, Get Him to the Greek, and The Book of Eli. Done, that's it. This, despite having Netflix, on Demand, HBO, Cinemax, a blockbuster kiosk within walking distance, and no less than 10 theatres within 50 miles. Of those, I liked Machete, but only because I'm a Rodriguez FANATIC, like, unreasonably so. Get Him to the Greek? I kinda liked Almost Famous, and it's basically the same story, only robbed of any warmth, and stripped of any likable characters. Jason Segal can write a funny song, but I honestly would have preferred 90 minutes of Segal with a piano, playing the same songs. The Book of Eli was filmed digital, like how Rodriguez films, but clumsy about it. Furthermore, the "Twist" felt cheap, and unnecessary. Denzel did his best, and Gary Oldman chewed scenery, but you could tell they both had two words flashing in their minds, the whole time- "Mad Max", and whispered underneath, like a call and response- "Was a better movie".
So, if Movies just plain suck, what do I want? Here's what- I want movies to tell recognizably human stories, but told in a way to show me things I could not otherwise see. What I mean is that I don't want stories that involve motives, and actions that humans just don't have, but I do want to see people I don't know, places I haven't seen, doing things I cannot do. A good example is that I really liked The Fighter. Everyone in the movie was recognisable as a human being- no clowns, robots or aliens. However, I'm not a talented boxer, I'm not a crack addict, and I'm not from Boston, so these are people I cannot be, doing things I either cannot or would not do. See? Pretty simple, really. So, Get Him to the Greek features non-humans. As in, the Aldous Snow character has no motivations I can recognize. He's a cartoon rock monster. The other characters are so formless that I bet you cannot name them without help, or resorting to the actor's names. Ask your friends who've seen it, I bet they run into the same sort of trouble. See what I mean? Non humans.
Meanwhile, The Book Of Eli barely even names the characters. Then, it never gives any of them a recognizable motivation. The Protagonist is doing things he doesn't understand on direction from an inner voice I believe we're to take as being from God, while the Antagonist wants power, but already has power, and has better, shorter and more sure routes to power than the convoluted reasons given for him to be an antagonist. Because of this I cannot care about the people, and therefore the story becomes absurd, and it's just random images. Go on and tell me that you don't feel roughly the same about most movies as of late.
So, no, no links, no raves, no I haven't been talking about movies, even though I am fully aware of them. (Please- The King's Speech? That's a movie? No, it's not- it's a fashion show for the over 50 set who worship the BBC. Likewise? The Social Network? Again, not a movie. It's a self-congratulatory smirk for the under 40 set. Don't bother me with updates....)
Yeah, I might talk about music too much, but I think I'm already saying too much about movies.

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