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Thursday, July 16, 2009


The Trip to the Trailer Park:
Observations on the trailers before the new Harry Potter cash cow

Roland Emmerich has some sick desire to show the destruction of every landmark on the planet; everything he didn't get to in Independence Day he finishes here. The St. Peter's scene in the clip is particularly in bad taste. It's odd that the man behind The Day After Tomorrow, has shown the White house destroyed in two films, both during the terms of democratic presidencies. And the president in this film is black! So, if movies are right, we shouldn't be worried about terrorism but asteroids or comets or floods or something. Then again "how will they know its the future?" My prediction? It will be a longer period of time than it took for us to elect a black president than it will before we elect another president with facial hair, and no Nixon's 4'o'clock shadow doesn't count, (that's so that we know a person's got something to hide...and gives him something to twirl while he ties a young woman to the railroad tracks). Prove me wrong people!
I'll write a book one day on our fascination with seeing the end of the world on film. I have a not very-well thought out and too far-reaching theory which I'm too tired to write down now, which concerns the nature of art, the frustration with mimesis, and the ultimate destruction as the way to react to both...
Oddly enough, this plot (selected remnants of humanity escaping on a space ship) seems a lot like a Simpson's Halloween episode. And with Knowing exactly like a Simpson's episode, are the Simpsons the new place to mine high-concept sci-fi movie ideas from? What's next a movie about a town that gets destroyed by a dangerous monorail? An escalator to nowhere?
BTW in another "life imitates the Simpsons" bit of news I saw a story about an entire town in Sweden that was being moved several miles for environmental reasons. But then again that's in Sweden where everything can be assembled or disassembled using only a metric wrench and some wood pegs and have simply drawn instructions with cartoonish figures and lines coming from their heads.

Shorts: Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids-like kids action/fantasy. Seriously, are his films so awful (ok, Planet Terror may have been) that he has to make a kids film as part of some sort of court-ordered community service ? I love how this film, and its not the first or only one, uses selective filmographies: "From the director of Spy Kids." I'm not an Andrew Sarris devotee but I think that parents should know what other films a director is best known for; the content won't be the same, but many of the themes and impulses will. That, and I'd have a sick wish to see mismatched titles like: "from the director of Sin City...the biggest family adventure of the fall"

GI Joe: Why have I not seen any Cobra Commander in this? And why the super-suits? And how are we supposed to tell the characters apart if they don't have their stereotypical get-ups on? They were iconic and individualized Americans (and other friendlies with accents) who went up against a monolithic enemy whose faces we never saw, may have (or were sometimes?) been snake people, and conveniently stepped out of a jeep two seconds before it blew up after being hit by a laser for some reason? (Because if a gun fires a laser that's far more safe for a kid to see than bullets!) I grew up on GI JOE, I even pretended to make my own film series (8 or 9 in all) when I was a kid. That said, there is only one way I'd see this film, and it'd not happen in a million years...if it ends with 1) a cheesy joke and freeze frame followed by 2) a GI JOE PSA spot like the cartoons did... especially if its a mixed message: kid finds dad's gun lying around. Duke enters : "Wait Billy! Guns are dangerous!" Do that and I'll buy the DVD.

Where the wild things are:
Please, oh please let this be what it looks like it could be...if it is, wow. I mean I was moved by the trailer (perhaps adding to my theory that the trailer may be the penultimate achievement in film as far as form/function being a business commodity/art form, technological phenomenon/creative endeavor, mass-culture/personal expression). This could be something special...oh please let it be...

1 comment:

Parker said...

I've read a good chunk of the 2005 draft of the Where the Wild Things Are script, and it was beautifully subdued, lacking in any sort of pandering you'd expect in big studio release targeted towards a young audience. It should be just like I remember the book being: something completely unique and mesmerizing.