I began writing this post three times and then stopped what I was writing, deciding against each of the subjects. They were all too inflammatory, in one way or another. So, I decided that I would write about nothing, or close to nothing: Hollywood films.
I watched "The Social Network" last night. It was slightly more adult than an after-school special, but had the same tone. The only thing that made it more interesting than an after-school masterpiece was the subject matter, Facebook. I've recently encountered some social problems on Facebook so it made for fun and informative viewing. People who are partially dehydrated seem to hate Facebook and what it represents. They fail to understand that nobody really wants to get to know them any better than on that level. They wrongfully assume that human interrelations were far preferable when people were forced to avoid them in real life. They ruminate with artless surmising that they actually do have much more to say than can be conveyed in a single sentence.
I'm amazed at the films that get nominated for Academy Awards. None of them seem very good. But I am supposed to keep quiet about that. I already have far too much of a reputation for being a nay-sayer when it comes to these things. It's no wonder that Jack Nicholson hasn't been to the award ceremony in the last few years. He's trying to keep his prestige untainted by the new wave of cinema-of-uneventfulness. Things don't-happen in film now with far less impact than when he was not-doing things. Five difficult pieces, to watch.
I mean, "The King's Speech"... really? I thought it was okay but it wasn't a film that deserved "best picture." The "best" that can be said about it was that it was a watchable piece of reflective history. The climax was not only dialed in, but it was the triumph of what? A king had to speak to his subjects, to convince them to die for their country, and then did so with the help of a charming commoner? An Australian no less? The way people were rolling over themselves about this film you might have thought that the king had actually enlisted to fight. What an absolute triumph of the eternal royal spirit. Out of seeming necessity he befriended the only mortal man that was able to help him.... A victory for all of humanity. Kingly catnip.
I really started noticing this trend of overtly flimsy filmmaking with "Juno" winning the best original screenplay a few years back. If that's the best that the film industry has to offer then it's no wonder that what's her name (Legally Witherspoon) and the other (Sandra Bullock) have won best actress in the last few years.
Don't Sarah Jessica Parker and Sandra Bullock's faces look like shaved knee caps? I did a search to verify how much I don't care for S. Bollocks and in most of her online images she just looks like a tired demon, a worn-out Barbizon gargoyle.
Holy crap, I just looked back at the last 11 years of "winners" and here they are, in order: Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Reese Witherspoon, Helen Mirren, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Natalie Portman... The best actor category is no better: Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Adrien Brody, Sean Penn, Jamie Foxx, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth.
I was going to comment further on that lineup but it speaks for itself. A smattering of good performances among them, but mostly just adequate roles, written and performed adequately. Forest Whitaker should be neutered and Russell Crowe should be spayed. Wait. Maybe I got that backwards? Which actor was born with male sexual organs?
So, Darren Annoyingofsky
"Black Swan"... Daronoffs (as his pals call him) shoots most of his films as if they are horror-suspense thrillers, but without the horror (he probably feels it's beneath him), and the suspense is always far too heavy-handed (nothing ever really shocks because every scene is shot as if it's a remake of an an entire Hitchcock film condensed down to music video length and style).
"Requiem For A Dream" was actually a very straight-forward horror film that substituted drug-use for gratuitous hockey-masked murder. It rendered the same effect, but with moralistic overtones that were, and long have been, cinema's version of fundamentalism. All drug users suffer a similar fate: double-sided anal dildo sex for money, while revealing a sustained inner forlornness. There is no way to feel ambiguous about that film. The best one can do is to defend themselves from it by looking away and humming a battle hymn. This is not from the incapacity to look, but from disinterestedness in being a willing accomplice. Or from the fear of getting a inconsolable lonely erection.
The film exploits the subject that it pretends to explore more fully than almost any other I've seen.
There were rumors that Russell Crowe had to be gently escorted from the Soho hotel when he rented it on pay-per-view. Witnesses queried why he was wearing his Gladiator chains.
"The Wrestler" was pure horror, at least to me. It was about an individual's inability to accept any other life other than the one they had chosen previously for themselves. Even though that life will most certainly bring about their demise. If this doesn't scare the shit out of every person who saw it then I congratulate you on a life well lived and choices well made. They made a remake of it called "Crazy Heart" except the main character finds jesus, country music and AA at the end. He is rewarded with massive publishing checks and a new pair of boots and blue-jeans for having done so. Unsurprisingly, the lead actor won an Academy Award for being so cinematically penitent. I mean... the victory in the film is that a sloppy drunk finally goes to AA... That's not a great film. It's only an important part of driver improvement school.
"Black Swan" was just plain silly, again. I only made it about an hour into the movie before I fell asleep under the dancing eye and doleful hand of uber-uncertainty-cinema. I almost held on for another scene of Natalie Portman playing with herself (I knew there had to be another one coming) but the image of her running across the sand in one of those later still-born Star Wars films kept playing across the theater of my mind. It's like hearing a girl fart when you first have her alone. It's difficult to ever really care about her after that.
Does anybody remember Natalie's awkward run? It's a shot in one of the Star Wars films? Suddenly they all need to make jedi-haste because there is some ripple in the force, so they take off running across the sand. Her run is so exaggerated and false that it's pricelessly laughable. Anybody? Wait, what am I talking about? I know guys that have probably just soiled themselves at the mere mention of it, Star Wars.
Star Wars. Just seeing the two words together brings them galactic genital pleasures. STAR WARS...
Where were we?
Yes, American films of the last 10-20 years have been mostly awful, with only occasional glimmers of hope. There have been some good films here and there and an isolated great one (though I can recall none off the top of my head) but the big Hollywood stuff is just boring. All of that money and no ideas. Once they started focusing their energies on doing biopics (Aviator, Ray, I Snort The Line) then the whole industry just became the big-screen Reader's Digest. Is that reference too old? Probably. Does Reader's Digest still exist? Yep, I checked.
Well, you guys get the idea. We're out of time. And this was the condensed version...