Friday, August 26, 2011

Are We Not Men?

So, speaking of mainstream stuff, this past week I went to the movies, and saw the new " Rise of the Planet of the Apes" re-boot. Umm, yeah.Spoilers ahoy- stop now if you really want to let the plot unfold for you.
It had some moments, mostly those involving John Lithgow, who is an under-appreciated genius of a character actor. Also, the CGI is pretty Whiz-bang.
The story is predictable, , even beyond the fact of the movie having already been made.
If I seem reluctant to talk about the plot, it's not because I want to keep the films mysteries, because it has none. As much as "Hobo with a Shotgun" or "Snakes on a Plane", if you know the title, you know where this is going.
No, I'm reluctant because of how it differs from the Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. That film was a satire of just how polarized, and how close to real Totalitarianism America was teetering in 1970. This film is almost an apology for fascism. The protagonist is the Ape, named Caesar, and at one point, he illustrates his plan by literally making a roman fasces. Then, in the end, the film gives a cheap out to fascism, by removing the murder and bloodshed that real-life fascism always involves- instead trying to blame the victim ( the chemical that forces the evolution of the Apes is a virus, so the wiping out of humanity is not accomplished by our benevolent Ape overlords. Yes that's a huge spoiler. But does it surprise you, really?) So the plot repulses me, completely and utterly.
I think we're nearing the end of the Hollywood movie. At least, I fervently hope so. Yes, there should be a place for big, dumb action movies. I love big, dumb action movies- but I'm sick of remakes, reboots, reimaginings, and other recyclables. I'm sick of comic books as the sole source of inspiration, and the endless baby boomer bullshit of trying to bring out everything from the late sixties and early seventies. I'm sick of being subjected to shite that's genetically engineered for 13 year old boys. I'm sick of virtually everything Hollywood does, and I think they are sick of it, too. That's why the award shows load up on films no-one saw because no studio promoted them- not even the studio that produced it. That's why almost anyone worth their salt has migrated to TV, Cable TV, or online. So, if Americans really were a bunch of rugged individualists like the Tea Party would have us believe they themselves are, Rise of the Planet of the Apes would be the nail in the coffin for hollywood that it deserves.

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