Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Movie I Love - A Movie I Hate #1

I know I'm a film snob, and everyone I know is aware of this fact.  Most of my peers who can't understand my likes and dislikes when it comes to film often try to come up with reasons to help sway my opinion more closely resembling theirs.  Often times, they use bits of jargon to describe my thought process that is far from the truth; claiming I am unable to get into the emotional aspect of a film, or I don't understand film and storytelling to begin with. Typically, their attempts come off more as feeble and are ridiculous forms of persuasion that honestly don't help their viewpoint.  It's only successful in the fact that it makes them feel better about themselves and somehow causes them to believe that my opinion is wrong and theirs is right, making them feel justified in acting the way they do just because I don't agree with them.

So as a way of honoring these folks, I've decided start a new regular addition to the Heretic's Blog titled "A Movie I Love - A Movie I Hate."  In this I will pick a few movies I can't stand and attempt a contrasting viewpoint alongside them with some movies I love.  In doing this, it is my hope that these select individuals who scrutinize my film reviewing techniques and my love for certain types of film in general that, as hard as they may try to belittle my opinion, I will always stay strong with my opinions.  (But really...this is just my way of saying that they only like movies where stuff blows up, or ones that are are severely lacking in any intellectually stimulating content.)

Genre: Action Films! (Bang! Pop! Boom! Ka-Plow!)
I Love...The Spirit
Here's the issue, most people hated this film.  Whether you are or are not a comic book fan is irrelevant because most people hated this film in general.  But for me, this film sits in a very special place in my heart.  Why?  Because it's an incredible display of Film Noir at it's Best.  Bad karma floods this entire film with people dying, sex appeal, and corny one-liners that are welcome in a classic detective story.  But it had a flavor that doesn't typically come along with the modern day film experience.  It was weird and unorthodox (except for it's unrelenting circus of female eye candy) and presented the story in a not-so-pleasant fashion.  This doesn't sit well for most film goers...but for me it does.

I Hate...Avatar
Would you believe I hadn't even heard about this film in the least until me, my wife, and my family walked up to the theater and bought our tickets for it?  Well, it's true, I hadn't even heard others talking about it.  Which is weird because EVERYONE seemed super excited for it.  And this is strange to me because, unlike films and shows like Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica, TMNT and Batman, Avatar had absolutely NO cult following.  There was nothing connecting it to any fanboyish theme, nor was it a continuation of any popular TV show or book.  Yet people began getting excited about almost a year before it had been released!  Why? Because James Cameron knows how to appeal to film goers "stupid" slice of the brain.  Sure, it's flashy and a monumental achievement in CGI animation...but what else was there?  Acting was sub-par and the script was a laughable piece of shit.  Throw out good film making and give fans regurgitated storylines (that were never that good to begin with) and you have Avatar.

Genre: Drama (Life is hard, I must cry about it and give an Oscar winning speech to prove it!)
I Love...Doubt
Why is this film amazing?  (Aside from the fact that it has Meryl Streep) Because it's written well!  It might very well be one of the BEST written scripts for a drama in the history of film.  Now, this could be due to the fact that it was a live stage production, which means a lot of thought and detail was put into the dialog, but its adaption onto the big screen was expertly done.  The performances by the cast went beyond my expectations.  (And believe me, I was expecting A LOT!)  But even more so, the story itself is so thought provoking it almost hurts.  The idea that a Nun, someone who devotes her life to God and living a Christ-like life, has doubt.  It is an incredibly emotional and heart clenching idea that no one wants to accept the reality of.

I Hate... Brokeback Mountain
I don't actually hate it, but I never felt the story went forward with what it claimed to be.  It will only become a landmark within Hollywood film making merely because it's the first film that really shoves the homoerotic strain within American Culture right into people's faces.  But the story itself is lacking much in substance.  It goes to great lengths to show the struggles that a homosexual male have go through in a world that doesn't accept the lifestyle, but nothing is learned, and everyone remains with their original viewpoints no matter where they stood.  The main character dies, his lover is sad about it, but no one learns anything from what transpires.  The life of the story doesn't extend past feeling bad that two homosexuals live hard lives.  The story is never given a chance to transcend beyond it's plot base, which makes it rather incomplete for me.  I'm not saying I needed the two men to run off with each other and live happily ever after, it wasn't that type of film and didn't need it.  But the film never becomes more than it's premise.

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