Monday, March 14, 2011

Battle Los Angeles: I saw it

Remove the first reel from the movie, and Battle LA was just like Tron Legacy: It's a freakin awesome spectacle that falls apart the moment you start to think about it. My solution: Don't think about it.

Full disclosure: I went in expecting to completely hate it based on everything I read elsewhere. On top of which, I'm a cynical bastard, and even the slightest thing can have me turn against a movie (slightly out of focus, framed too high/low, off sound mix). So when the awful shaky cam began, and inexplicably continued through the god-awful expository opening scenes, I was prepared to dismiss it, but give the guy who cut the trailer an Academy Award for tricking me so well.

Then reel 2 began, and that's when they should have just started the movie. I don't need or want to know anything about these stock characters. I still don't know anything about the characters, except there were three black guys and one had glasses, one had an accent, and one was angry, but he sort of disappears and I thought he was dead until his convenient "Arc" has to be resolved.

See what I mean about thinking about it too much?

Anyway, point is, that stretch from the Police Station to the Military base is damn exciting and intense filmmaking that miraculously managed to hook me in and turn my opinion of the film around. Yes, it's stupid, one-note, jingoistic as hell, and I'm probably a little dumber having seen it, but I still enjoyed myself and can't understand the extreme vitriol the film is receiving. Especially when a film like Drive Angry (shot in 3D!) exists, one of the worst movies I've ever seen unleashed to the public in a long time.

And you know what? Kudos to the filmmakers for not making this in 3D! That alone should garner half a star. Of course, were it in 3D, the nausea levels would be astronomical.

People in my audience were getting up and leaving, jag offs were checking their iPhones through the whole thing (seriously, people, knock that shit off. Screens are bright in a dark place, how can you not realize this, and why do you need to hold the screen right in front of you?), and there were people next to me who fell asleep (when the lights came up, I found piles of Pixie sticks layin on the ground, which would explain that part, but being they were late 20 yr old dudes, actually just raises more questions). My favorite reaction, though, was the woman behind me, who kept freaking out because the "locations" were a mile away from where we were watching it. ("That's the Overland exit!")

PS- I enjoyed that they keep calling it Battle LA, but didn't realize until the end credits that the LA stands for Louisiana. Despite what the woman behind me believes.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

R. Bill Mountain's Response to the last post.

Due to Charlie Sheen taking up all the bandwidth server errors on the blogspot part, R. Bill Mountain, one of the six of you who still read this site, was unable to voice his opinion on the matter.

I now present to you his response:

Darn blogger wouldn't let me sign in to comment on yer blog. So here it is:

Agreed. Less marketing nonsense, more cinephilia. Fewer numbers, greater Karl Urban gags. Amen.

Time to make it about the pictures, man.


So there you have it. More Urban!!!

Who could refuse such an offer?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Box Office Report: The End?

Dude here again. As you might have been able to tell, I haven't been doing the box office report the past couple of weeks. The first week was because I was on a trip for the weekend, and didn't feel like bringing my computer.

The second week was because, well, I think I've reached the end of writing about box office reports. I've been writing one for the better part of 6 years for Moviesonline and for this blog, and while I love doing it there's only so much one can write about crappy movies making money.

This shouldn't come as a shock, I've been quite open and even openly belligerent towards my distaste of stupid films receiving lots of money while worthy films go into obscurity. And there's only so many ways one can talk about that for every week. Snark takes many forms, and I believe I used every one in my column.

It's been a lot of fun doing it, but I think, like Tom Petty says, "It's time to move on."

I will still continue to update the blog with my musings and ramblings, and occasional reviews of movies, but a lot of that spark has burned out as well, I'm afraid. Trailers give everything away from movies, websites are given constant videos of movies to the point where I feel I've seen the movie twice before it's even released in a theater. All the incessant coverage from movie sites, and their collective need to be "First" in reporting casting news and rumors like it's CNN World News, has really turned me off from wanting to write about it.

It's killing my love of movies, to be honest. And I can't let that happen.

Working in this industry is difficult and degrading enough as it is. When websites that were started out of fan devotion are becoming competitors (and ultimate destroyers) of venerable institutions like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, something is wrong. Look, I don't need to know who's going to cameo in Hangover 2 until it inevitably shows up from Netflix. I especially don't need to know a year in advance of the film's release.

On top of which, reducing films to terms of commerce and judging their worth based on how much money they can make in short periods of time is just plain sad. It's like jocks kicked out the nerds and turned everything into a competition.

Or as Charlie Sheen would say, Winning! (TOPICAL HUMOR!)

Anyway, unless there's an overwhelming response from the readership, I don't think there will be anymore box office reports. I'll still put up mini reviews and wry comments, as always, but reporting on the numbers is indefinitely suspended.