Thursday, July 16, 2009

Somewhere, Todd Solondz is not smiling...

Why not? Let's do a review for once. It's been a while, and I've got a few half hours to spare, so better put it to good use before I forget how. I can feel it happening. We've got quite a backlog on the ol' docket, so why not purge a couple here. I've got quite a few with that ol' angry busybody, Christian Bale. Okay, so he's not exactly turning the other cheek, especially in that American Psycho... wow! What a performance. Another American job lost to a foreigner. Anyway, I've got The Dark Knight, Harsh Times, and this yet to get to. Man! To boost his public image, I think it's time for Bale to do a nice innocuous comedy once again. Something with a nice title like The Happiest Man in the World or It Feels So Great To Be Alive. You know what I'm sayin?
Anyway, back to the movie at hand. I mention Todd Solondz because apparently his Palindromes had a similar conceit. But I guess that's just too damn bad, because he didn't get something practical that he could've really used: the blessing of someone like, say, Steven Soderbergh. Sorry, Spike and David, but you know it's true. Yes, in case you have no sense of metaphor, I'm Not There is about the life of Bob Dylan, and his many public and private incarnations. Part Beatle, part Rolling Stone, part Marjoe Gortner, many MANY parts Woody Guthrie, part Traveling Wilbury, they're all pretty much here except for the Traveling Wilbury part. A living legend this ranging and diverse surely can't be portrayed by just one actor. Literally! And so it goes... there's just the six of 'em, I think. The man could write one hell of a lyric, I do give him that.
So at least one film in a long while bucks the ever-stronger superhero trend. But can it start the feature-length music video trend? Who knows. Now, my viewing companions openly complained about the film's long running time. And at two and a quarter hours, it is indeed Forrest Gump length and feels it. But I think I understand the filmmaking artistes of today. See, this is something the average viewer doesn't understand. All the hot hours, slaving over a hot Avid, cutting and pasting... does anybody besides Michael Kahn do it the old fashioned way any more? Some complained that the Richard Gere segment was superfluous... well, IS it? Is this what it's come to? Would we just snip years off a man's life, just because we found them distasteful or incongruous? Besides, how else is Bruce Greenwood supposed to not come off like a total prick? Actually, I guess Garrett was worse. And the reporter has his conversion on the Road to Damascus, so to speak. But I confess I did like that smirk he gave when revealing Bob's real name, heh heh. Yeah, Bruce Greenwood's all right. I liked him ever since Thick as Thieves and Thirteen Days. I know Double Jeopardy wasn't your fault, buddy; incidentally, that is a very informative movie. Be sure to watch it the next time you've got to get your car off a ferry in a big hurry. ¶ Incidentally, that part with the young black kid riding on the train... does O Brother Where Art Thou? ring a bell? Hel-looo? ...was I the only one? Okay, skip it.
I don't know what else to say. Cate Blanchett was good, of course. I guess she was Oscar good, I don't know. I'm certainly no expert on these things. Maybe people thought she did her own singing. I sure did! I just hope her blood feud with Tilda Swinton comes to a close at some point. Ultimately, it's not my cup of tea, but I'm not sorry I saw I'm Not There. It makes a fine addition to Bob Dylan's legacy. Now, that Victoria's Secret ad ... WTF, dude? As for director Todd Haynes, well, I'm assuming at this point he can write his own ticket. I know it's tempting, but Todd, PLEASE try not to do a feature-length version of Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story... unless you can bring it in under budget, of course.


-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan

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