Monday, May 18, 2009

Yep...He's My Son!

So anyway, over the weekend my son made a rather peculiar announcement to the Missus and I. He came into the living room and proclaimed:

"Michael want pussy." (btw - to him cat is kitty, so...)

Now...I know parents shouldn't react overly positive or negative to things like that...but this time, we just couldn't help it. We broke out into complete and total hysterics. Ok, so I know...I'm a horny little fucker - but I know I've never said that in front of least not in that context! The laughter didn't last long though...eventually we stopped and asked him to clarify what he was asking for. But, he just continued repeating:

"Michael want pussy."

"Michael want pussy."


Surely that can't be what it sounds like. Daddy want pussy too, but I can't believe for a second that we're talking about the same thing here. Whatever the hell it is he really wants it. We continued to quiz him on what it was he was after. Frustrated, he ran into the kitchen, opened the refridgerator, and returned with...

...a 2-liter of PEPSI!!!

So now that makes pussy, cock, and fag (he can't pronounce the "l's" in flag and clock yet - we're working on it) ...he goes to a Lutheran day care - he's gonna make someone fucking faint...or cry...or maybe both!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Of Fanboys and Film Critics (or: Just Shut Up and Enjoy the Fucking Movie Already)

So anyway, I caught a mid-day showing of Wolverine on Friday. I'll get to my thoughts on that in a minute - though that shouldn't imply any negative connotations, I actually enjoyed the hell out of it - but first I wanted to share my thoughts on a couple of things.

As my title would suggest, I've got a few words regarding a couple of very specific groups out there amongst the populous. But allow me to proceed to commence to start to begin by saying that I've always felt there was a distinguishable difference between the concepts of a 'film' and a 'movie'. I've never really tried to elaborate on those differences, mostly because I've never been certain that it was something I possessed the ability to explain thoroughly. But seeing Wolverine on Friday, combined with the lackluster reviewing it received has motivated me to at least try. I suppose as evidence, I submit to you the work of Steven Spielberg. Or more specifically - Steven Spielberg in 1993. That year we got both Jurassic Park, one of the top grossing films of all time, and also Schindler's List, considered by many to be the man's finest achievement behind the camera. Essentially yes, a film and a movie are the same thing - a series of images on celluloid film stock, run through a reel-to-reel projector at 24 frames per second, that present recorded action with sound. I believe both can be enjoyed as a source of entertainment equally, but in the end, one is more a representation of artistry and craft, where the other is based more on its aesthetic escapist entertainment value. In the prior example, I offer that Schindler's List is a 'film' at the concept's finest, whereas Jurassic Park is a 'movie' at its most enjoyable levels. For another example, I suggest that you consider the typical five Best Picture nominees from the Oscars each year. Going back as far as your memory will take you, how many "movies" can you recall receiving a nomination. Going back a mere decade, only two jump out in my mind: Chicago, and Gladiator (and even then, I think Gladiator treads the line a bit). Go back another decade and you average about one a year (many of those, again, treading the line between the two).

What does this have to do with my title? may or may not have noticed that Wolverine more or less got slaughtered by the critics (those lovely adamantium claws were no match for the wicked, printed tongue lashing - of death - provided by a majority of the critics out there). This got me thinking, or at least reaffirmed an already held belief that critics...don't like movies. That's it in a nutshell - film critics are precisely that - FILM critics. They don't like movies...they can't. Far too many "horrible" movies have made too much money at the box office, despite critical bashing, to suggest otherwise. This is why I hate critics. Yet, at the same time, I can't help but catch early reviews of flicks I've been really wanting to see to see what the "experts" think of them. It's an interesting dichotomy really: I hate critics and could care less what they think...but I have to know what they think prior to the film's/movie's release in theaters. What is a critic really? There's the old cliche that a critic is essentially a failed filmmaker. Someone who couldn't cut it making their own films, so they choose to tear apart everyone else's. Is that really so inaccurate? I don't know much about the biographies of any of the major critics out there, but I'd be willing to bet that at least 90% of them went to film school, and sucked ass at it!

Seems to me film critics, I dunno, lack the gene necessary to just sit down and lap up 120 minutes worth (or less) of mindless entertainment. They can't do it...they CAN'T FUCKING DO IT!!! They see a film like Wolverine, who's sole purpose is to pack in crowds of movie-goers, elicit 2-hours worth of 'ooh's' and 'ah's', rake in oodles and oodles of cash for the production studio, and just basically entertain the masses - and they don't fucking get it! Movies, generally speaking, aren't meant to elicit any deep or philosophical thought from audiences - so stop trying! The deepest thought anyone should get out of your typical summer blockbuster is, "Gee, I wonder how the FX guys got the giant lizard robot's cock to morph into the death ray that destroyed Düsseldorf so realistically?! That was fucking AWESOME!!!" THAT'S IT...that's all the deeper anyone needs to get!!! It's like trying to make Nietzche out of fucking Sesame Street!!! STOP IT! BAD MONKEY! No banana for you. So, my critics don't know how to like movies - that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now I just have to figure out how to stop caring.

Then there's the other subject...fanboys. As geeked out as I and the rest of you (all three of you) are about music and movies and such, I would offer that none of us really qualifies as...a fanboy! Sure, we collectively know just about all there is to know about the worlds of Star Wars, Star Trek, general Sci Fi, comics, movies, music, and what not, but I feel safe in asserting that none of us is truly what one might call - Hardcore! Have any of us showed up at a midnight premiere of a Star Wars prequel in full Jedi get-up (with homemade lightsabers)? Have any of us gone to a Comic Con or Trek Con in full Klingon garb, fluent in the language? I doubt it. We like these things, we love these things, we live these things, but they don't own us. Then...there are the fanboys. The basement troll dweebs that can relate to anyone the entire history of every major X-men character since 19-dickety two. The WoW mongers who know the schematic details of every iteration of the Starship Enterprise better than any chief engineer who's ever served on one. You've seen've mocked've maybe even envied them ever so slightly...but, you are not one of them! I don't want to be a fanboy. They're, in a word...scary! Just check out a talkback board on a fansite like Ain't It Cool News. These are a group of people that essentially collectively comprise (I would guess) 1/1000 of the movie going/tv viewing population - yet, every little detail about Comic Movie X, or SciFi T.V. Show Beta: The Next Penetration that doesn't conform to their particular vision of how it should have been made meets with thrashing after thrashing of criticism and general disgust. It would be absolutely hilarious how insane some of the folks are...if it weren't so pathetic. Opinions...are like assholes. Everyone has them - and they're usually full of shit! Fanboys aren't that indifferent from film critics - they all think they know exactly how things should be. Trouble is, they wouldn't really know a good thing if it was sitting on their faces! And you would think after reading comments from your average talkbacker that they believe their particular opinion on any given subject ranks somewhere on par with God. So really, just shut up and enjoy the fucking movie already - or quit yer bitchin' and go find another fucking hobby!

Generally speaking, I hate the suits in Hollywood as much as the next guy. But I also know that for the most part they are good at putting the money where it belongs (just don't let them make any actual creative decisions; I'm looking at you Weinstein's - that's how clusterfucks like Battlefield Earth and Pearl Harbor get made). I love that we live in a society where anyone can publicly voice their opinion on anything. I just wish there were some way to make certain people understand when it's a good time to speak, and when they need to shut the fuck up! In the end it's simple - if you can make it better...go fucking do it!!! Learn to quit analyzing, or quit fucking watching it! If Anus M. Critic or fucky_mclumphead_talkbacker REALLY knew anything...they'd be the one's cashing in on my movie-going dollar. But they don't...which brings me back to Wolverine. I don't know enough about the history of X-men to call it out on all its flaws and problems. I like to think I know just enough about movies and film making to know that I, nor anyone else for that matter, has any business judging this on 'film' terms. It's a movie, and a really entertaining one. I can't help but be a little gay for Hugh Jackman in this role...he was really born for it. I'm so glad Dougray Scott walked from the first X-men, so that Jackman could step into the role. Really, I can't think of anyone that could pull it off so awesomely well. Firstly, let me say that, yes, it's obvious that the production values of the earlier films (particularly the first two) aren't as present in this newest installment. But...who gives a shit. I can't think of any moment in particular that pulled me out of the film and distracted from my enjoyment of it. I think the resolution of the movie could've been a touch tighter. But it's a prequel of sorts - and there was continuity to consider. A lesson that everyone in Hollywood should have burned into their long-term memory as a result of the Star Wars prequels.

But overall...a solid, and highly entertaining flick! The casting was spot-on, the effects were good to excellent throughout. From a character standpoint it may have been a little over-crowded, but again, it wasn't anything that hindered my entertainment. I was...well...underwhelmed I guess by Harry Gregson-Williams' score. I don't know, I guess I was just expecting something a little more bold, grandiose, and honestly, a little more thematic. I really enjoy HGW, so I'm hoping and praying that he didn't blow his compositional load on Kingdom of Heaven. But overall, the music was good, or at the very least, serviceable. I'd say it's a great start to the summer movie season...pulled in a respectable haul at the box office over the weekend. It's almost a shame really that it's going to get absolutely crushed by Star Trek this weekend. But it's a defeat I'll gladly (or is that giddily) contribute to - goddamn Friday can't get here fast enough!!! Still, putting what I've been ranting about into context - X-men, sort of walks that line between film and movie; I'd easily classify X-men 2 as a film - a highly entertaining film, but still a film. X-men 3 - a movie, and clearly a lesser endeavor than it's predecessors. But consider this - X-men 3, most critically and, -ly(?) despised (why do people hate on Brett Ratner so much? Say what you will of the guy, but generally he does know how to make an entertaining picture) of the trio...

...and also the highest grossing of them as well...