Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Few of my Favorite Things: Movies

I’ll be straight with you: I don’t care about movies. I am just not the kind of person who has opinions on them. If you’re lucky, this will keep this list delightfully brief. Then again, judging by my last post, I seem to have quite a knack for talking at length about nothing, so it might not be wise to read this if you have somewhere to be in a hurry. (The great thing about this statement is that no matter when I get around to finishing this draft, there’s a good chance that my last post had me talking at length about nothing.)
As you surely know, a movie is an objectively silly word that means “motion picture”, a phrase which is also rather silly. If you think about it, a motion picture sounds like how you would describe a film to a 3 year old. It’s a picture that moves. And calling them “movies” is every bit as silly as calling movies with sound “talkies”, which I think we can all agree is about as silly as the idea that there is some kind of empirical metric for silliness. Etymology aside, I should probably talk about the movies.
5. Breaking Dawn: Part 2
I already plumbed the depths of human disgust in my last list, so why am I doing it again? Well, fear not dear readers, for a reasonable explanation is at hand. You see, like any red-blooded citizen of the internet, I hate the twilight saga (their capitalization, not mine) with about as much of a burning passion as I can muster. I am proud to say that I have never watched this movie, and I do not intend to do so. I am including this film because its release means that Twilight is over. We staked it through the heart, decapitated it, burned its corpse, and found unsavory uses for the ashes. We are free from the shadowy pall that it draped over the public consciousness. We may once again feel safe in our knowledge that vampires are badass, blood-sucking creatures of the night, rather than golden-eyed, red-lipped morphs crafted from the quintessense of quivering schoolgirls by Stephanie Meyer, their blasphemous mistress. While it is true that her fell work has given a huge boost to the “Monster-love” genre, as long as we ignore it like the Star Wars expanded universe, we should be fine.
4. James Bond Skyfall
While it is technically true that I watched Skyfall, in that I paid to occupy a seat in a theater in which it was played, and remained relatively motionless (with respect to the screen) for the duration of it, I hardly remember it. I was supremely tired at the time, to the point where my most vivid memory of the experience was when my brother ate his ticket stub. On purpose. It dealt a death-blow to the theory that “James Bond” is merely a codename, and each new actor is actually a different agent (The movie, not my brother eating the ticket stub). This means that the “James Bond is a Time Lord” theory is once again the best explanation for the mire that is James Bond continuity. 
There was a gay villain, discussion of the effects of the internet and technology on the spy biz, and an explosion so huge that I suspect it must have been fueled by annihilation. I don’t recall the sky actually falling, but I do remember my friend saying “Skyfall!” rather loudly while Bond fell off of a bridge or something. It was definitely a “you had to be there” moment, but I thought it was so funny that I’d bring it up anyway. The next closest thing to the sky actually falling was the theme song by Adele, which everyone else liked, so I guess I might as well like. Despite this, I suspect that Chicken Little would be rather disappointed in this film, overall.
3. The Avengers
I may not be a comic geek, but I’m still a geek. And that was quite enough for me to enjoy The Avengers. It had just about everything a movie needs to be great, short of Oscar-baiting angst. And a clearly defined conflict, I suppose. The point is that The Avengers beautifully tied together the franchises that constituted it, with no one character hogging all the screen-time, and each character’s previous movies being acknowledged. (Did I mention how much I eat that shit up? Okay, that’s the last time I do that. I promise.) And while this happened, superheroes were beating the super out of each other, and then did the same to some aliens (maybe?). It was also perfectly witty, as we’ve come to expect from Joss Whedon, God-king of the internet. Praise him.
The Avengers is also surprisingly deep, discussing the nature of man, and his quest for power over other men, in a way that I found similar to George Orwell’s 1984. Then again, I also compared “Highschool of the Dead”, an anime with a character unironically nicknamed “Dr. Boobs”, to 1984, so perhaps I am to blame for that. As a completely unrelated note, I’m still angry that, despite the name, almost none of Highschool of the Dead took place in, or even around, a high school.
2. The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises claims the honor of being the only movie in 2012 that I saw in theaters twice. In fact, I think it may be the only movie I’ve ever watched twice in theaters, as of the writing of this list. So, why is it number 2 on the list, despite being the only one to receive such a lofty benchmark of quality? Well, it may be because I watched it again that it doesn’t take the top spot. It is a well-documented fact that this movie didn’t make much sense upon closer inspection. And, thanks to the second viewing, I made with the closer inspection. But I won’t talk about that. All the little flaws and plot holes of this movie are as chatted-about on the internet as they are forgotten by me, so I’ll focus on the good things. But before I do that, I should say that my primary complaint is that, for a Batman film, there wasn’t enough Batmanning. I realize that this was meant to be a Serious Film, discussing Serious Topics in ways that are Serious Business. But I paid to see a man dressed like a bat punch things, and it was disappointingly sparse in that respect.
So, now to focus on the good things… They were present? This movie had a story, and it was good. I enjoyed it. It also had plenty of quotable lines, which are things I treasure. Now, whenever I say, “Speak of the Devil, and He shall appear”, I do it with my hands in my collar, and my best Bane impression in my cords. Speaking of Bane, his voice was fun to listen to, like Morgan Freeman or Stephen Fry. Someone should make a GPS voice based on it. The movie also seemed to have a pretty good soundtrack, despite the fact that it seemed to be the same song playing in the background for three hours.
1. Wreck-it Ralph
As someone who cares far more about games than movies, it should come as little surprise that my favorite movie is one that is about games. As I’m sure you know, movies based on video games have a track record for being prodigiously terrible. I wish I could give an example, but I can’t think of one that isn’t terrible enough to be considered unmentionable. But Pixar avoided this curse by making up their own characters, and relegating recognizable stars to cameo roles.  When I went into the theatre, (spelled that way just to show spell-check that it’s not the boss of me) I kind of expected Wreck-it Ralph to just be a bunch of dumb video game references. In retrospect, this was tremendously stupid of me, as it’s made by Pixar, and Pixar makes some really great movies. This movie has the holy Triforce of things that appeal to me in movies: feels, references, and puns. It had deep characters, a great sense of humor, an interesting story, and an important moral (probably?). This movie had a minor character, who was a donut, named “Duncan”. If you are the intended audience of this blog, then that alone should be enough to convince you to see this movie, by hook or by crook.
Honestly, I would probably pay the price of admission just to watch 2 hours of the Nicelanders dancing. Any attempt by me to describe the way they move would be a terrible disservice. Their movement is a true masterwork of the art of animation, the way Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is to the medium of painting, or this blog is to the discipline of incomprehensibility.
There isn’t really much to conclude. I’ve watched a lot more movies in the last year than I did in years past, but I still haven’t really gotten used to forming opinions on them. 

Special Blogspot Notice: This time I might actually fix the picture problem, since the thrill of saying "hell" outside of church only lasts so long. But that's not a promise, that's a threat.

Actually, now that I've gone through the trouble to make these exuses, it's seeming likely that I'll never fix it. I hope you enjoy the tumblr loading animation.

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