"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong... So you must always be skeptical – always think for yourself." --Linus Pauling

10.19.2004

Movies.

The 2004 summer movie season is over. There wasn't much I wanted to see this year. Logic tells me it's been over for quite a while now, but it's Indian Summer in my head, so shut the fuck up.

On the whole, I was pretty bored with it. You're probably saying, "Well, Jack, you're thirty-four. Of course Big Loud Stupid Action Extravaganzas don't interest you. You're getting older, and your tastes are maturing. By the way, enjoy your last year on planet Earth as part of the 18-34 demographic. Soon no one will care about you or what movies you want to see."

Yeah, yeah. But here's the thing: I like Big Loud Stupid Action Extravaganzas. I'm just wanting a more intense, less stupid, vastly more creative versions of same. And when I don't get it, I become a more than a little cross. To a certain extent, it's like the movie going experience is personal, and the lesser movie I have been forced to endure is... a betrayal.

That probably sounds a little bizzare, and I owe an explanation. Fine. Try this on for size: I think it's possible that I experience story on a much deeper level than most people, maybe the way a lot of others listen to music or take drugs. In a way, it's rather like I ingest the narrative; let it inside, and at the same time lose myself in it.

So when I've consumed said story, and it's fucking lame, my entire being rejects it like food poisoning. With something this important and intense, you have to be really good at the culling of material --otherwise you could end up strung out on some bad shit, like Michael Crichton (ick!), Robert Jordan (ulp!), or worst of all: Tim LaHaye (gahhhhh!)

At that point, it's best to just induce vomiting. But I was talking about movies, not books. I'm sorry.

Okay, back to movies then: You've probably noticed, there's a lot of movies coming out these last few years based on comic books. In the US, comic books mainly mean superheroes. While I enjoy stuff like Spider-Man 2 (which was better than the already good first one in every way) and will probably go to see next year's Batman Begins and The Fantastic Four, part of me is screaming because it wants Something New.

Come on. Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four were both really cool, forward looking concepts... forty years ago. Batman? Superman? Your grandfather has memories of afternoons stretched out on the lawn reading their exploits back in... 1939. Go ask.

My point is, it's the 21st Century. The flying car thing didn't work out and that sucks, I still have to work for a living instead of having a robot slave to free up my time, but I'm learning to deal. Still, we are living in the future now. I'd like to see some movies reflect that. Isn't time for New Heroes? Some New Myths?

I know what some of you are thinking you know.

"Get to work."

5 comments:

Chris Uhl said...

I'll agree with you that most of the summer movies this year were subpar, but I think you're still sour grapes from Van Helsing. I guess I'm glad I avoided it.

I like the way this post ends, if I'm reading it correctly. Widespread complaints about the lack of flying cars here in the early 21st tend to be a boomer phenomenon, and every time I hear one I think to myself "you weren't *promised* them, jackass! You were supposed to have *built* them!"

Personally, I'm quite content with my car's non-avian nature.

Jack said...

Nah, not just sour grapes I'm afraid. This summer was very boring. I almost didn't go to see anything.

I see the "flying car" as sort of a symbol of the future that we didn't get more than anything else. I'm not certainly not overly interested in an air-car as such.

And yeah, you read the end of the post exactly right.

Robert said...

Build One! Rob

haiku_girl said...

All the superhero, Harry Potter, Star Wars stories are almost the same. Boy kings, have to save the world, no parents, lots of responsibility. I love finding the similarities in them. Buffy too. Hero epics. Love them. Maybe that would help you enjoy the next batch of autumn blockbusters... if there is such a thing.

D said...

I tend to get really excited by a good preview only to be dissapointed by the actual movie. I love a good action movie, but I wish we could see something with a little more creativity/ world building/ culture designing/etc... I hated the way the third Blade movie was missing all of the little touches that made the first one good - like the vampire spoken and written languages, the conflict between the born vampires and the turned vampires, the juxtaposition(sp?) of computer technology and ancient texts, the full mix of ethnicities (just because Transylvania is there doesn't mean that every vampire in the movie has to be from Eastern Europe!)...