Monday Miscellany

1. Public Enemies is not a good movie. I know. I was all hyped about it myself, because PotC 2 & 3* notwithstanding, I usually find Johnny Depp interesting to watch. Plus, Christian Bale, who I will watch in any piece of crap he chooses to take on (including, yes, Reign of Fire and Equilibrium). Plus the story of John Dillinger, who had a pretty exciting life. But, despite all of this, Public Enemies was boring. BORING. There was no plot to speak of, ninety nine percent of the characters had no motivation (when you could even tell who was who, that was)**, and there were a bunch of famous or semi-famous actors in the movie (Lili Taylor, Billy Crudup, LeeLee Sobieski, Stephen Dorff, Giovanni Ribisi, David Wenham***, and bunch of people from television shows) whose casting was really more of a distraction than anything, since none of them actually had any parts. Michael Mann tends to use stunt casting like this to distinguish the characters in the movie, which is distracting. So instead of understanding that John Dillinger is having a conversation with Alvin Karpis, a major criminal who committed kidnappings and even a train robbery, the audience thinks "oh, there's Johnny Depp having a conversation with Giovanni Ribisi" but doesn't understand why that conversation matters.

Okay, sorry. The movie was a big disappointment is what I'm saying.

2. Not a big disappointment? My viewing, in a theater, of American Psycho. I've seen it before, of course****, a number of times, but I only saw it in the theater once, and it was well worth it to watch it on the big screen again. People made a big deal about it when it came out, about the film's treatment of women and all that*****, but the film's treatment of men in general and Patrick Bateman in particular isn't anything to be proud of. I think it's more remarkable for the atypical exploitation of the male form. Usually women are the ones on display, but in American Psycho it's all Christian Bale.

3. Yard work? Still not fun.

4. My next door neighbors installed a basketball hoop for their kids right outside the window of my office. They'd better get tired of it really quickly or I'm going to be very upset.


* Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3. PotC 2 has the honor of being one of the few movies I've ever walked out of the theater on. Why? Because it was BORING. At one point, my friend leaned over to me and said "there's two more hours of this to go" and I said "Oh, I'm outta here."

** This is a common problem in Michael Mann movies for me. I spent the first hour of Heat trying to figure out if Robert DeNiro or Al Pacino was supposed to be the cop. And I still don't know their character's names.

*** Who is probably only famous to you if you watched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy--he was Faramir--but still, a lot of people watched that.

**** See above for my total dedication to all things Christian Bale.

***** Which is totally valid--women, in the world of American Psycho, are for the most part pretty stupid and useless creatures.


Not that I was going to see it but at least you saved me the trouble of even wondering about it. It just didn't look like a good movie to me. The ads were all "hey, it's Johnny Depp playing a gangster!" and that was about it. A shame because Mann actually makes a good movie every now and then (The Insider, terrific movie).

I've never walked out on a movie but then I only go to the theaters about once a year. Honestly. I rent movies but don't feel I'm getting screwed that much if a rental turns out to be average or boring. Any more, I want movies that challenge me, hence my fascination with David Lynch. Say what you will, his stuff is WEIRD and affects you on a very strange level. Some of it is complete junk, of course, but every now and then, he'll have a scene that just hits home in some odd way.

I've seen pieces of American Psycho and I read the book. I'm not a fan. I don't dislike it; I really don't feel one way or the other about it. I've seen better, I've seen worse. I've read better, I've read worse.

What's YOUR favorite movie of all time?

Monday, July 6, 2009 at 11:41:00 AM EDT  

I don't have a favorite movie. It's not possible for me, just like it's not possible for me to pick a favorite book. On any given day, my mood could dictate that I pick something frivolous or totally serious and challenging. I could do a list, but it would be a long list. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 7:22:00 AM EDT  

I understand it's difficult. No need for a long list. Why not just toss off five or so movies that you recall really enjoying? They don't have to be serious. I have enjoyed some pretty stupid movies in my day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 9:38:00 AM EDT  

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