Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Everyone's Gone to the Movies

Now we're alone again.

So an innocent throwaway referencing a recent film drew the ire of a friend of mine and I wondered what button got pushed there? She hate hate hated it and I didn't understand why why why? Got a pretty succinct explanation and everything's fine although I like like liked the film in that in a bouillabase of crappy summer boy-teen movies, it featured adult(erous) characters that kind of talked like real people. Oh and stuff happened that didn't involve spaceships, monsters, guns and car chases.

Plus, not being a wine snob, I just kind of glossed over those parts. What's wrong with Merlot?

Not that spaceships, monsters guns and car chases are necessarily a bad thing. All of the above have their place and when you put down the copy of The Virgin Suicides this evening, by golly you just may want to pop in Bourne Identity because futher cranial activity will not be warranted.

Just kind of depends what kind of mood you're in.

That's the thing about films; they can be great presentations of fine acting, beautiful cinematography, elaborate sets and so on and they can very simply blow or they can refuse to hold your appeal. I can't watch anything with Helena Bonham Carter ritzier than Fight Club because at one point in my relationship with a woman, I was dragged to every period piece filmed in the eighties.

From an artistic point of view, sure, I can appreciate, or try to, everything in these films but for crying out loud, grass growing is considered action!!!

I love Emma Thompson. But Remains of the Day had me running to the lobby for toothpicks to keep my eyes open with. I was lured into the film under false pretense. I was told it was a war picture. Well, yes. A war was fought while the prinicple characters were polishing the silverware, but even Sir Winston could be boring at teatime.

My friend Scott Meyer wrote a book entitled The Guy's Guide to Guy Movies. He collected what he considered to be the best guy flicks out there and, while he ostensibly presented it as a guide for guys, his secret hope was that the women in the house would pick the thing up, thumb through it and start figuring out what appeals to us and why. My guess is that if they did that, they'd kind of have a primer when they wiped the pizza and beer stains off the cover.

I suggested that he (and I) write a mirthful (his original book was also mirthful, he and I being adherents to the idea that we are only one evolutionary hiccup from All Stooges, All the Time. Filmwise, at least) guide to Gal films for the guys. I.e. what is actually going on, why its important, what to say to her to prove you were in fact paying attention and then the extra added bonus of when the underwear scenes come up so you can get something out of the next two hours.

He declined, preferring instead to write a book on Bingo in America.

He does have a unique sense of humor, that boy. Not limited to comments such as "Nice shirt, now we'll know where the body landed." He was referring to a new yellow cycling jersey I wore whilst mountain biking with him. He is pretty good with first aid too. I know this from experience.

The most interesting thing about film that I can think of are the three questions that Ernie Schier, late of the Philadephia Bulletin, told my film criticism class back in the cretacious era when I was in college.

We were all high minded budding art snobs who couldn't wait to pooh pooh our first Disney flick.

Ernie let the air out of our tires by having us review episodes of Benny Hill. His three questions were:

-What is the artist saying?
-Is he successful saying it?
-Is it worth saying?

Therein, you have a criticism. Oh, and remember to know what you are talking about when you answer the last question. You are quick to be a horse's ass there. (Ernie would then light up one of the forty two cigarettes he smoked in that hour and a half.)


Reason one for shying away from being a critic. I can be a horse's ass without paying six bucks for the Godzilla Tub 'O Golden Popcorn.


Blogger Kathryn said...

dare ya to ask me what I thought about the English Patient (book and movie)

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Constant Weeder said...

Around our house we refer to guy movies as "dick flicks." Is that offensive? Gosh, I sure hope so.

8:18 AM  

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