Monday, June 11, 2012

Saved by the Stringer Bell

I owe you all some conversation/responses, but my heart's not in it. Instead, here's some barebones catching-up.

I was disappointed by The Innkeepers, if only because Brandon and Jeff had raised my expectations. I appreciate a lot of it. I do like the slow development and "mumblecore" underpinnings. The film fails in the end because it devolves into near incomprehensibility once the ghost ruckus begins. I was also watching this with Abigail, who jumps at all of the scares, but also yells frustratedly as characters do all of the wrong and stupid horror movie things (like go back in the basement) that stretch any legitimate credibility that the film has earned so far. Anyhow, I'm really prejudiced. I've never had much patience for late night ghost stories.

So, here's where I admit that I really, really enjoyed Tucker and Dale vs Evil. It suffers from its own third act failings, but its easy charm carries the film all the way through to the end credits. It's hard not to compare this to Cabin in the Woods. I prefer Tucker and Dale in every way, but primarily because it locates evil in the human heart instead of in some cruel indifference of the cosmos. Also, there's the idea that evil isn't always "with malice aforethought." Sometimes, evil is just a case of maddeningly determined idiocy. I might write more about Tucker and Dale, with spoilers, if I watch it again soon (which I want to do).

A week of so ago, I watched two John Ford/Will Rogers pictures. Judge Priest is by far the stronger of the two and fully satisfies that good ol' boy Americana itch. Doctor Bull is operating on the same level, but its small town gossips couldn't provide the same hook as the trial in Priest.

I also caught a few Westerns while "spring cleaning" the basement. Ben Spacey will be pleased that I'm finally using the giant TV that he helped me move.

Albuquerque is the worst Randolph Scott film I've seen so far, but there are probably worse out there. Albuquerque is nothing new or particularly interesting, but it is pleasant enough.

Whispering Smith, on the other hand, failed to keep my attention at all. Maybe Alan Ladd wasn't made for Westerns.

Duel at Silver Creek is enjoyable, if only because it's fun watching baby-faced Audie Murphy act tough (which he always was).

The Wire Seasons 3 and 4.
It's obvious by this point that the City of Baltimore is the main character here. That's probably why I'm failing to fully engage. I'm not sure that The Wire has any character that I really care about. Maybe I'm not supposed to. I'm also a little bit irritated by the education scenes. Maybe this is a case of criticizing what I know that I would have missed otherwise (like the dude doing the film archery evaluations).

To tighten up the story, Prez is shown as teaching the same class repeatedly. In "real life," he would have had at least four different classes consisting of 20-30 kids in each class. This simplification is obviously to streamline the narrative, but, in doing so, it simplifies things that aren't simple and robs one theme among many of its proper weight. I feel like The Wire is guilty of this across the board, trying to hold too many strands together and never properly tying them together or even stopping to look at what each strand properly consists of. The Wire tries to be a stunning panoramic of Baltimore, but it fails. Instead, we get a diluted, underexposed picture of someone's grand idea of Baltimore.

I'm a few episodes into Season 5 and just want it all to be over.

What about Prometheus? I waited too long to write anything and Jeff already wrote my post better than I could have. Read his post again and pretend I wrote it. All I have to add is this: It's difficult to stay awake in those new AMC recliners. I didn't fall asleep, but my body and the recliner were both telling me that I really ought to.

China Seas started slow. I seriously thought about leaving. Jean Harlow's character is grating and the love triangle plot seemed labored.

I'm glad I stayed. Once the typhoon hits and the piratical assault begins, this becomes one of the best action movies I've ever seen. Then, in the end, the love story I didn't care about won me over and a somewhat subversively happy ending had me grinning ear to ear.

Okay, brief comments:

Lisa, it was good to see you post. More, please.

Adrienne, I'm glad you liked Roman Holiday. It's one of the best.

Jason, I'll give you your own special response sometime.

Ben, Brandon, Chris, Jeff, when is a good time for Chimes? I'll throw out a couple of dates on FB soon.


abigail said...

I bet that if you'd watched Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, you'd be disappointed by it, too. Perhaps it's not the fault of the film, but the person you're sitting beside.

EEEEEEK!!!!! (It's so very scary.)

ARGGGH!!!!! (It's so very stupid.)

abigail said...

*with me*

...because I'm fairly certain that your positive review means that you already saw it.



trawlerman said...

I can't wait to watch Tucker and Dale *with you*. Those Eeek Aaarghs are the best part of any movie.