July 18, 2006

Author, Author

My sister and I always butt heads on what constitutes a good movie. She wants to be entertained. She wants to laugh. I like movies where everyone talks a lot, then somebody dies. Preferably quietly.

There is an interesting piece in the New York Times today addressing the weirdness of movie reviews. That 'did they see what I saw?' feeling. A reviewer tries to understand why movies he pans, like the new Pirates movie with Johnny Depp, hauls in more money than the GNP of several small countries. Of course, I could tell him why, for that movie in particular - Johnny Depp. But I digress.

To be honest, I'm totally fed up with crap starring Adam Sandler making a ton of money. When you have to bend down to find the lowest common denominator in a viewing audience, things are looking pretty grim. I've heard that the aim of most movies is to 12-year-old boys. I know 12-year-old boys. I have nothing in common with them. But they outnumber me, so Adam Sandler here we come.

Surprising to no one, I'm a fan of great writing. The best actors, directors and intentions in the world can't save a weak, crappy script. I remember a few months back waiting for the DVD of A Brief History of Violence, by Cronenberg. Great actors in it, I like the director, got rave reviews for the most part.

Liars. It's been a long time since these ears have had such lousy dialogue grated over them. It made it just about unwatchable. I mean, it was always fun to laugh at movies like Top Gun - they weren't supposed to be good.

I don't want movies based on a premise, or an idea. I want a movie based on a script. And for that reviewer who wants to know why he bothers? Because there are still some of us seeking art and knowledge and enlightenment. And some of us still believe you can sometimes craft all that into a good movie.

I appreciate the critics who sit through hours of garbage to find me a diamond. All I have to do is sort through the critics until I find one with sensibilities similar to mine. And therein lies the rub.


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