Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Top 5 ways the summer of 2009 already shit the bed
THE LIMITS OF CONTROL - One of the only movies I’ve ever seen where I wanted to reevaluate the director’s entire career afterwards as potentially total fucking shit. As they say in the standup world, he really ate his balls on this one. Pretty much everything that was kind of appealing about his stuff – notably the deadpan tone hinting at something enigmatic and profound – is stretched so thin here that you realize there was actually never anything underneath, except stupid high school poetry platitudes and hip as fuck casting.
The 2nd half of THE HANGOVER– The Pineapple Express of 2009. On paper this thing looked so fucking unbeatable. Basically Old School + a mystery plot to deepen things beyond just a rehash of frat dudes in mid-life crisis + Galifinakis. And it’s good, like hysterical for about about 40 minutes. And then you realize the mystery plot is kind of lazy and halfassed. And it just runs out of steam and keeps hitting the same beats, just less funny or at least less funny in unexpected ways as it goes along. And then just to underscore how lazy they got with it, Bradley Cooper makes nice with his wife for no reason and they throw in the wedding singer from Old School.
WHATEVER WORKS – Or Whatever ho Woody was banging that gave him the inspiration to make Vicky Cristina—his only full fledged beginning-to-end great movie since he hooked up with Soon Yi—he aint be bangin no more.
TERMINATOR SALVATION/WOLVERINE – just a sad, pitiful end to franchises that should have stopped short at part 2. The fact that the overedited incoherent clusterfuck that shat out of McG can be called ‘action’ while playing across the street is The Hurt Locker—the best American suspense/action film maybe since Cameron dumped Bigelow for Sarah Conner in the first place—is fucking retarded. If there was any justice in this world McG and Gavin Hood would be subjected to the Hitler Rape Machine while watching Bigelow in the editing room.
TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 – I don’t know why I held out hope for this one. Maybe I thought it would be written by the guy who wrote L.A. Confidential and directed by the guy who made Top Gun & True Romance. But, no instead it’s from the writer of The Postman & 976-Evil and the director of Domino. Also maybe I thought the source material would give them an edge, since it’s, I don’t know, one of the best examples of suspense and comedy in the 70’s, not to mention a near perfect snapshot of how fucking dyspeptic and mean New York was at the time. Like everything that made the original great—Shaw’s quiet menace, Matthau’s snarky comebacks, the jazzy score, and how all the hostages transcend their stereotype character names (even ‘The Homosexual’!)—all of that is just totally flipped to make it suck—Travolta screaming every line, Washington way too serious & emo, the soundtrack’s 10 years too late jungle beats, and the hostages who are so forgettable and disposable they’re not even allowed to develop into stereotypes. The fucked up thing is if they did this to Jaws they would never be allowed to work again.