By tully | "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael Tully August 7, 2005 at 3:44AM
...of sitting on my ass in a darkened theatre and watching several films. Here comes the not-very-thought out summary:
"Broken Flowers" -- Man, the farther I get away from this film the farther away I get from digging it. I have to say, in the past when friends would be ambivalent about a Jarmusch film that had rocked my world ("Down by Law" is a perfect example) I couldn't understand how they called it too "light" and didn't really *feel* it. Now I know how they feel. While everything about this film is seemingly right, it seems rather preposterous upon reflection. Like, REALLY preposterous. It's almost like a Hollywood sitcom or something. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a sailor on the Jarmusch clipper, but I think I wanted more dirt in the flower pot (i.e., weight, a.k.a. profundity). Also, and I hope I'm not alienating any- and everybody who reads this thing, but I honestly don't know if I'm truly connecting with the "Bill Murray genius" of recent times. Between "Lost in Translation" and "The Life Aquatic" and now this, it seems like his anti-presence isn't soulful or hip or cool, it's just kinda... anti-. Let me stop myself right here before the hate-bombs get torpedoed into my mailbox. I still love Bill Murray. I still love Jim Jarmusch. This thing just left me feeling not much of... much.
"Last Days" -- Holy God Almighty, Gus, keep doing what you're doing! I wish this thing had been 10 hours long, I really do. Exactly like "Gerry" or "Elephant," this one either captivates a viewer or it doesn't, and there's nothing I can say that could convert the unaffected, but all I can say is that I am affected, I am captivated, I am devastated, I am riding the Van Sant train off a tragic, beautiful cliff! Oh, there is one thing, though. And, man, if you thought my Bill Murray comments were sacreligious, get ready for this shit... Okay, here we go... I'm a sensitive heterosexual male who has no problem with homosexuality (just don't try to fingerfuck my butt when I'm drinking my pina colada, you know what I'm sayin'?), but is it just me or do the gay encounters in both this and "Elephant" seem somehow... wrong? Or am I actually a supremely homophobic asshole who isn't as sensitive as he thinks he is? To me, these moments seem like Mr. Van Sant is making a brash, inappropriate statement, using his authority to remind viewers of the concept of homosexuality. But I think there's a time and a place for that. Perhaps in a scene that involves homosexuals? Is it just me or were the characters of Scott and Lukas not gay at all? Like, they didn't even seem bi- to me. Perhaps someone can enlighten me, because I wasn't really buying it. The same goes for "Elephant." I read an explanation from Gus, which I didn't really buy (something to the effect of these kids knowing they were gonna die so they decided to have one first/last "kiss"), and to hear that Matt Damon and Casey Affleck suggested he remove that scene as well makes me think that I might not be the crazy one. I'm surprised he didn't ask Damon and Affleck to share a smooch in "Gerry." Or maybe he did. Who knows. But back to the real point. "Last Days" fucking ROCKS!
"The Dukes of Hazzard" -- Man, I honestly have to say this wasn't nearly as awful as I was expecting. I thought it would be more winky and ironic than it was. As I watched the film I tried to compare the tone to the TV show, and while I can't actually remember any specifics from the show, I feel like the movie was at least as cheesy as its originator. Like, wasn't "The Dukes of Hazzard" really fucking cheesy? Granted, I give it a ** out of ***** on the tullymeter, and I would NOT recommend this thing, even at the dollar theatre, but my expectations were cavernously low, so that's why I was surprised that it didn't feel like I was in there for several hours. Then again, I did take a mini-nap, so that's not a good sign.
"The Devil's Rejects" -- Man, Rob Zombie has some fucking SKILLS as a director, yo. While I never saw his first film, this thing impressed the shit out of me. It should be known that my first cinematic awakening was of the horror variety (I made my parents take the family to the drive-in to see "Prom Night" when I was SIX), so to see a film that successfully harkened back to that earlier era was quite refreshing. Whereas many people would consider the slow-motion tactics and freeze-frames tired and lame, I'm a sucker for that shit. Especially when it's done well. And he really does it well here. And zooming in on a freeze-frame, optical printer style? How much do you need? What's in my wallet is yours to keep! I definitely don't think all of it was great, but when it worked, it was more alive than 80% of the shit I've seen this year. This one I would recommend at the dollar theatre, or even a bona fide matinee.
My sister's in town for the weekend from Charleston. Tomorrow we're having a crab feast and then it's time for Dave and I to do another pass on the mighty "Cocaine Angel." Man, for someone who doesn't have the world's longest attention span (though I'm by no means ADHD-afflicted), this process is kinda wearying. Like, we haven't even started the sound work and I'm ready to move on to the next project. But this might be my only project, so I'm going to get into the proper mindset. I'm doing this for you, desperate cinephile! I'm sacrificing my love life, and monetary stability, in order to present you with a film that will make you remember why people take these crazy risks in the first place. I'm doing this for... well, I'm doing this for the chance to hold hands with Mandy Moore on a moonlit midtown rooftop... but really, I'm doing this because I believe in our film, I really do. Really. Da Doo Ron Ron Ron, Da Do Ron Ron...
(Oh, it should be noted that I had to write up "The Dukes of Hazzard" for work, don't worry)