Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Wild and Wasteful Ocean

Interrogation scene, Zero Dark Thirty.
Happy New Year, I guess.   Two weeks in is a little late to welcome in the new year but when have I cared about timing?

Speaking of which...

When a new movie comes out I'm often very excited to see it and then I see discussions all over Twitter and Facebook about said movie and I get even more excited to see it.  I bide my time while I watch screeners for TCM and write up articles and blog posts knowing that, as soon as I have the chance, I'll go catch the latest movie getting chatted up on all the social media that's fit to read.  And then the chance to see it finally arrives and, frankly, I don't give a damn anymore.

Here are some movies I was absolutely champing at the bit to see and now?  Couldn't give two shits less.

Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained
The Hobbit

Here's what happened.

Zero Dark Thirty:  It caused a controversy and once that happens, watch out, here comes the endless online discussions that I myself got involved in.  Shortly thereafter, I got exhausted by the overload and no longer have any desire to see it.  I will, of course, just no time soon.  (I eventually see most movies from a given year but long after the fact).

Django Unchained:  I read too much about it.  Honestly, it began to look like a movie I would absolutely hate.

The Hobbit:  I was excited to see this when it was first announced, years ago.  I thought, "Wow, that'll be great for The Hobbit to get the full theatrical treatment.  Should be a nice, tight two hour movie filled with adventure and excitement."  Then I heard it was going to be two movies.  That kind of pissed me off because it seemed so nakedly greedy but I was still willing to give it a try, at which point it turned into a nine-hour trilogy.  Sorry, Peter Jackson, but fuck you.

Argo:  It came and went but of all of these it got the least talk.  As a result, I now find myself wanting to see it again.  It will be the first on this list I will see, without a doubt.

Skyfall:  This isn't much of a story.  I usually get excited for a new Bond movie for about two minutes and then forget about it.  Same happened here.  Hell, I still haven't seen Quantum of Solace.

Hitchcock:  In the production stage I was extremely excited to see this.  Then, it came out and so did the reviews.  Ouch.  I'll catch it on Instant.

Other movies I was never excited to see had trailers that, to my great misfortune, made me even less excited to see them.  The Life of Pi trailer makes the movie look like a never-ending CGI laser light show, a carnival of nausea inducing bells and whistles, flashing lights and extraordinarily overdone shots.  My God, how can you make an isolated boat on the water, something that is starkly beautiful in its solitude (see Jaws, the dinghy scenes from Mutiny on the Bounty or, hell, any scene in any movie ever where it's just a person on a boat in the water, from Friday the 13th to Castaway) and turn it into the goddamn Moulin Rouge?!

If they win, the dance team gets a five, the family
dog catches a squirrel, and everyone in Philly hugs
at the same moment, Bradley Cooper wins
the Oscar. It's simple, really.
Silver Linings Playbook's trailer made it look, to these eyes, like the smarmiest, cleverest goddamn rom-com you ever did see.  Ha, ha, look at him walking into his parents room at four in the morning to bitch about Hemingway!  Ha, ha, that's so utterly clever and contrived.  Ha, ha... oh, wait, I mean, groan.  Oh and there's the young widow, so young I can't possibly give any damns at all about her because she looks like she should be in high school and thus doesn't convince me she could have any depth whatsoever.

Both of those movies have received very good reviews so I'm more convinced that the trailers suck rather than the movies themselves.  Still, seeing a trailer can, sadly, ruin wanting to see a movie for me.  And in these two cases, the trailer really hammered the nail in the coffin, hard.

Other movies I was excited to see this year that I managed to see before they were all talked out, like Lincoln and The Master, sat pretty well with me.  I enjoyed both but neither sent me over the moon.  The rest seen this year range from the blockbusters (The Avengers) to the sleepers (Bernie) with the end result being a year that left me shrugging my shoulders.  But you know what?  I haven't seen Amour or Holy Motors or Argo (which, again, I am now excited to see for the second time).  I haven't seen Kon-Tiki, and I really want to.  And all those movies I don't want to see that I listed above I will see at some point and may love every damn one of them.   So I'm thinking it could turn  out to be a damn good year.  I just have to see it first.

P.S. - Jack Black was robbed. 


Tony Dayoub said...

This is one reason I avoid reading anything past the headlines of articles/reviews about a film until after I've seen the movie. That and because it also may color anything I plan on writing about the film.

Greg F. said...

My problem is that it takes me so damn long to see a movie that I can't help but read stuff lest I shut down my activity on social media altogether, which I don't want to do. I've got to get better at seeing movies in current release.