June 21, 2007 at 4:48 pm #1286
Okay, it’s time to go on a rant. A rant about the one thing that drives me fuckin’ crazy. The movies. We all know that if I used my passions for something more, shall we say, important, then maybe the world would be a better place, but alas, you can’t change what you can’t change.
To me, the kiss of death when it comes to movies is when someone utters the phrase, “It’s good for what it is.” You know what? Fuck that. What that means to me is that the movie’s not good enough. It means that someone somewhere took a short cut. Or it’s a movie that only works on one level. It’s bullshit.
Jurassic Park is one of those movies. I can understand how people like it. Most of them have never read the book. The CG is very impressive, I admit, even for 14 years ago, but it still isn’t great. And why? Well, someone along the way said, “Well, we shouldn’t bring up evolution that much, or people might get confused.” Or, “We shouldn’t go into the science of how this works, because people might get confused.” Movies that only work on one level, like Jurassic Park or Independence Day, are only as good as that one level can provide. The action in itself, after a while, gets boring.
For those that might say that summer blockbusters aren’t meant to be thought provoking, I point to Minority Report, The Matrix, Signs, The Sixth Sense. These are movies that work on multiple levels, which make them utterly watchable, time after time. There’s an intricacy to the plotting of each one, which makes them classics.
Now, the reason I bring this up is because I just read a review of Transformers, and guess what — “It’s good for what it is.” So basically, the spectacle of seeing fuckin’ huge robots battle each other is worth the price of admission, but in a few years, no one will care, because there’s no depth. And that, my friends, is disappointing to me.
Now they could be wrong — some people can watch The Matrix movies without ever stopping to think about the philosophies behind it — just basically tune out when the Architect starts talking in Reloaded — I can understand that, and it’s fine for them. To me, that one scene in Reloaded is worth the price of admission for that movie. A lot of people will disagree — most people thought that Reloaded and Revolutions were pieces of shit. But what I love about them is the fact that other things, especially in the previous movies, make more sense because of scenes like that. I rather think that a lot of the action in those movies takes away from the ideals they tried to make clear, and that is my only criticism of those movies.
About the Star Wars prequels — I’ve been able to rewatch all of the movies, in order, and guess what — they really are all the same. You could argue that the reason that the prequels don’t work is because there’s no Han Solo character. But there’s a big reason why these movies weren’t as popular with the fanboys, and it’s the fact that we grew up. Period. Watching all of them together makes you see that there’s no better acting in any of them, it’s the fact that we grew up — movies themselves grew up. Movies like the Lord of the Rings movies prove this, but are they really any better? When’s the last time you watched any of those movies?
So what I’m trying to say is, it’s hard to make a movie that will resonate well with the time. Who would have thought that Napoleon Dynamite would have made such an impact? You can’t predict things like that. But assuming that since you’re releasing a movie during the summertime automatically means that you can cut corners — well, that’s just lazy filmmaking. I hope I’m wrong — I hope that Transformers kicks my ass. But for now, especially since it’s apparently “good for what it is”, I’m going in expecting, like I said before, Independence Day.June 21, 2007 at 5:18 pm #15144BingParticipant
Christ, I’m gonna miss this shit…June 21, 2007 at 7:38 pm #15146El RustirinoParticipant
The forum’s will hopefully still be around, Bing..
Rob, the whole “good for what it is” concept it worth a little merit. Some people like pointless action, and for them, that’s great. When movie reviewers say “good for what it is”, I’m guessing that they’re mainly saying it to the people who think that way. Now, reviewers who don’t say anything else piss me off, because they don’t speak their mind about the movie. I don’t like “reviews” in general, what I do like are well-constructed opinions, which are rarities on many review sites, since most spew the same garbled crap, not saying whether they liked or disliked the movie.June 21, 2007 at 8:24 pm #15136
To me, it’s an excuse. You shouldn’t let a movie off because it’s got no depth. Just say that — “It’s entertaining to an extent, but there’s no depth to the story.” Instead of “it’s good for what it is”.June 21, 2007 at 10:19 pm #15123Version3Keymaster
I’d like to point out that Rob on occasion DOES use this phrase, but at least he’s never satisfied leaving it at that and restates it, or dives into why. Or he ends the conversation with the person he didn’t want to talk to about the movie in question by just telling them “it’s good for what it is, now blow me or fuck off”.June 21, 2007 at 10:20 pm #15124Version3KeymasterRusty wrote:The forum’s will hopefully still be around, Bing..
Rob, the whole “good for what it is” concept it worth a little merit. Some people like pointless action, and for them, that’s great. When movie reviewers say “good for what it is”, I’m guessing that they’re mainly saying it to the people who think that way. Now, reviewers who don’t say anything else piss me off, because they don’t speak their mind about the movie. I don’t like “reviews” in general, what I do like are well-constructed opinions, which are rarities on many review sites, since most spew the same garbled crap, not saying whether they liked or disliked the movie.
Rusty, why don’t your voice mails come off this thought out? 🙂June 21, 2007 at 10:50 pm #15130
There is a balance to be met but in general it doesn’t even make financial sense to make a shallower film. If you invest the story and the characters with some truth the movie will continue to generate income for years. If not then it gets dated real fast.
What I mean by the balance is that you can go too far the other way and concentrate too much on message and meaning and it can render the film impotent because it overrides plot and character. I see films like Signs and War Of The Worlds being guilty of that, having a nice premise and some good characters but deflating at a point because the message overrides the story with some shoehorned-in dramatic device. They tried to have depth, and I’m glad they did that rather than just going for big and dumb, but after making half of a really great movie they undermined themselves by losing track of the truth of their own worlds and disappear up their own plotholes. That pisses me off more than the Big Dumb Fun of Bay and Ratner because Spielberg and (maybe) Shymalan should know better, they understand the art of it but they still drop the ball sometimes.
It’s like all Bay and Ratner can make are hotdogs, and they’re good enough hotdogs most times, but Spielberg and someone like Ridley Scott know how to cook a beautiful fillet mignon, it’s just that sometimes they’ve gotten distracted by the political channel and not noticed they’ve burnt one side. The bottom line I guess is that I’d still rather eat overcooked steak than hotdogs, but by now there’s not really any excuse to burn the meat.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.June 21, 2007 at 11:06 pm #15135
But by that rationale, a big dumb movie like Independence Day should cost less than going to Saving Private Ryan.
I don’t really follow…but I sure am hungry now.June 22, 2007 at 1:13 am #15129
The (shitty) food analogy wasn’t about price of hotdog vs steak it’s about aiming high vs aiming low and wearing a pretty apron while in the kitchen or editing room.
What I mean is, Bay and Ratner aim low and achieve what they aim for. It’s not admirable or respectable but it sells, at least in the short term. Spielberg and Scott aim higher, and have more credibility as artists because of that, but because they promise more then their failures hit harder. I’d still rather have them aiming high and failing than having only hot dogs to eat, but it pisses me off when seasoned pros like those guys miss the mark.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.June 22, 2007 at 2:40 am #15134
No, I understood, Bucho — I was just trying to be funny.June 22, 2007 at 3:04 am #15131
No, I don’t think you do understand Rob, because the hotdogs are made out of reticulated pigknuckle gristle and goat placenta and Spielberg is wearing Kelly Preston’s edible g-string! Rob!! And no, I won’t get off your back!
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.June 22, 2007 at 3:04 am #15141digitaltopiaParticipant
I’m pretty easy going when it comes to movies. It’s pretty easy for me to enjoy a movie, even if it’s not particularly good, and even if not a lot of other people enjoyed it. There are some exceptions, of course.
My problem with the new Star Wars movies wasn’t the movies themselves. It was who they chose as the actors. Specifically, Anakin. That kid was so whiney and annoying, it made it hard for me to enjoy the rest of the movie.June 22, 2007 at 3:34 am #15128
It’s a fair enough call that there was some bad acting, especially Mark Hamill, in the original films and not all of the acting in the new films is bad, Ian McDiarmid is badass and MacGregor does pretty well. The only really horrible bits are the Jar-Jar scenes and Anakin/Padme scenes, there’s still a lot of cool stuff in the prequels.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.June 22, 2007 at 3:41 am #15133
I really think that everyone except Harrison Ford and Alec Guinness were bad. Peter Cushing, too, but, hey, aren’t we splitting hairs at this point?June 22, 2007 at 4:10 am #15127
Carrie Fisher has her moments, she’s only bad half the time. Frank Oz is awesome all the time in all five films. So, yeah, splitting hairs, but. Some of the problem with the prequels is that even if the acting quality is on par with the originals at least the originals had a kind of camp vibe that meant the acting styles fitted the films. With the new ones they take themselves far more seriously and try to be quite a bit more profound and that jars with the hammy dialogue.
And if you’re a big Han Solo fan you can’t help but miss that rogue element, I mean, not only no Solo but no Lando? That’s a big helping of suave and dangerous charm that’s missing right there. Even so, as frustrated as I might still sound with Big George I don’t mean to bag the prequels, I’ve still grown to like them for the most part and I have high hopes for the TV shows even though he’s up to his neck in them.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.