10-27-05 - 4


We wandered into two really rotten movies last week - "Domino" and "Elizabethtown". I don't usually go see movies without some idea of whether they'll be good or not, and I got punished. It sucks that if you're just spontaneous and trusting, 99% of the time you get shit.

"Domino" (Tony Scott) was by the far the worse of the two. It's done in this trying-to-be-modern-edgy-MTV style which is pure bollocks. It's all fluff and no content, with these stupid gimicks like replaying fragments of dialog which is just annoying and gives it all a plastic music video feel. The story is so ridiculous and Domino's character is so over the top, I was just grimacing in pain the whole time. They keep trying to force it to be exciting with shots of helicopters and quick cuts and jumpy cameras. The sad thing is that a good version of the real life of Domino Harvey could be really interesting. You could make this movie about a spoiled rich girl who gets into drugs and partying, doesn't get enough thrills there so gets into lots of odd jobs, she hates the proper world of her parents, and she's quite androgenous, not a really pretty sexpot, more a tomboy, as a bounty hunter, her boys have to bail her out of trouble often, and of course bounty hunting is not really glamorous, but she gets to steal drugs from the perps; in the end she can never get the thrills she needs and she commits suicide overdosing on drugs. The only saving grace of the whole movie are two really hillarious moments - the Jerry Springer bit and the nymphomaniac lecture. Both of those are just grafted-on comedy bits, but they add much needed value.

"Elizabethtown" (Cameron Crowe) is not so revoltingly bad, it's just sort of a mildly stinky turd, which has a few moments of light. Orlando Bloom actually does a pretty decent job, but his character is such an inactive pussy it's impossible to like him. There are lots of moments that are just ridiculous and unbelievable; Susan Sarandon is just horrendous, so over the top playing herself, her huge speech scene made me wretch. Kirsten Dunst was also okay, but her character is just so inconsistent and unreal she seems like a ghost, and the things she does are impossible. The road trip sequence is very short and insignficant in the movie; I love road trips, but this was just too stupid, that she's mapped it out so exactly and he can see all these things in such a short time.

Capitalism doesnt work when the product choices are so limited. Movies are so expensive to make and so few are made, that the desired movie is not usually available. It leads movie producers to make the wrong decisions too, because they'll see that A did well and B did not, so they'll make more movies like A. But what about all the movies that didn't get made - C,D,E, F,G,... maybe those would have done better. In particular, we're almost always restricted to choose between cheezy, predictable, stupid, over the top big Hollywood movies, or low-budget indie movies without stars or excitement. What about the smart, action-packed, realistic, uncondescending big-budget movies? We almost never get that choice, so any capitalist selection of movies made can't function.

Many of you know Rockstar is making the video game remake of the old movie "The Warriors" , but did you also know that Tony Scott is making a remake of the movie? That sounds like some very well timed synergy if they actually pull it off.

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old rants