March 17, 2004
coloring-in another number on the calendar
Not sure if I'm gonna be updating much in the next week or so. I'm trying to finish another act of my screenplay (not the PG3 one), as well as get a jump-start on the next Kza/Martin collaboration, AND read another PG3 competitor's screenplay. (Note to Martin: my Spidey-Sense tells me we've got a contender.) Oh, and did I mention that they're announcing the Top 1000 PG3 screenplays in about eight days?
So, my mind is elsewhere, but I wanted to get some random stuff down, if only to let people know that I haven't completely given up. Yet.
Current Movies: The only new things I've seen in the past week are The Company and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Short version: I liked both, but one is for completists only. I may get around to a legit entry on one or both, I may not.
Upcoming Movies I Want To See:
Dawn of the Dead: This one's a no-brainer. (Heh heh, I kill myself.) As it should be plain by now, just the very notion of humans vs. zombies creates such a frisson with me, that it'd be almost impossible for me to not enjoy it. I mean, you'd have to have, I don't know, anti-talent to fuck something like this up.
Walking Tall: Hey, I'm as surprised as you. Here's the root of this, I think: I remember watching, several years ago, some WWF special on MTV. Before each commercial break, one of the wrestlers would give some spiel about something or other, and they were all terrible, bad at reading the teleprompter, evincing no charisma or even a reason to exist. Except one: The Rock, of course. I'd never seen him before, but he was clearly a star: comfortable in front of the camera, charismatic, a keen intelligence flickering behind his eyes. It was obvious the WWF was too small for this guy, and I've been rooting for him to break out ever since. Unfortunately, the only movie I've seen him in is The Scorpion King, which stung me and we both drowned, but then, perhaps that was just the movie's nature. So I'm hoping this is the one that really breaks him. If the screenplay is fast and witty, and the direction competent, I think it may.
Endless Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: High hopes for this one as well, but I felt even more stung by Human Nature -- in fact, I stopped the DVD thirty minutes before the end cuz I just couldn't take it anymore. I have a theory, and it is mine: If the content of your movie is really strange, then the style of your movie should be as plain as possible; conversely, if the content is very pedestrian, then the style should have full license to be as weird as possible. Human Nature tried to have it both ways, and as a result, felt completely unreal, like it was beamed in from an alternate universe where believable human behavior was a superstition or something. I never gave a fuck about what was going on, and boy, does that get tiring. So hopefully Endless Sunshine (as the TV ads call it; what, are voice-over guys paid by the word, or something?) will be different, but David Poland's recent article has given me doubts.
Edit: Eternal Sunshine, Eternal Sunshine. You know, guys, you are allowed to point these things out...unless you like it when I look like a doof.
Where we saw it: general
| We deign to rate it: outta 100
Posted by kza at 12:15 PM
| Comments (18)
I think "Human Nature" is vastly underrated. Probably filled with overly determined quirkiness, yes... but I think the great sadness at the film's heart makes up for it. It's "Charlie Kaufman's Exotica", heartbreak, pain and disconnection viewed through the lens of an absurdist laff riot.
I liked Human Nature too. Not that I think it's a great movie or anything, but it was a reasonably fun goof (and Rhys Ifans is a terrific clown). On the new and very likely unimproved Dawn of the Dead, just keep in mind that it was written by the guy who wrote the Scooby-Doo movies.
And, re: ETERNAL SUNSHINE. Slate's David Edelstein calls it "the best movie I've seen in a decade."
Yeah, I figured I'd be in the minority with Human Nature. But really, I just don't see what y'all see.
Scott: Oh, I know, God, I know. James Gunn, is it? Oh, God. But: According to folks over at Cinemarati, Lisa Schwarzbaum is giving it an "A". Which seems as ridiculous and as unlikely as it being worse than The House of the Dead.
Gunn could be an asset, really -- let us not forget that he also co-wrote "Tromeo and Juliet", which at least shows that he has the badass outlaw spirit necessary to make this thing work as a balls-out horror movie (if also unfortunately one that can never, ever live up to the film it's purportedly "re-imagining").
Didn't Ms. Schwarzbaum give FIGHT CLUB an F? Anyway, I attempted to see DOTD 2004 tonight, but the multiplex was crawling with cell-phone-packing suburban teenagers and I knew that it would just be a miserable experience, regardless of the movie's quality.
Wow--MD'A just gave DOTD a 67. (Say *that* five times fast.)
Good points, Steve, and I think you bring up something important--that one should probably go into this thing knowing that it can never approach the quality of the original, but be willing to give it props should it work as a straight-ahead horror flick. (Maybe even think of it as a 2004 zombie movie that *just happens* to be very similar in plot to a classic.)
Might be seeing this on Sunday; obviously, I'll put up a post if it happens.
Damn, MD'A liked it? Hmm. Guess it just became a must-see, cuz I tend to like genre movies a whole lot more than he does.
Guess what, guys? "Dawn" v.2 is pretty good. It's got lots of stupid stuff, but it's also got some surprisingly clever qualities and -- more importantly -- it's tense and scary.
Well, I'm off Monday night if I can get a ride to the suburbs.
Hey, apparently DOTD is one of those movies where you have to stay through all the end credits to see everything. Did you stay for the whole thing, Steve? If so, no spoilers, please :-)
I did stay for the whole thing... it's not that difficult, though. It's not like a credit cookie where you have to sit through the entire credits to get to one last scene. And that's all I'll say.
I just hope that they didn't make those zombies skitter about too fast...I mean, that would change the whole feel of the movie. If I were in charge (and thank the lord I'm not), real zombie movies should be required by law to have slow, clumsy zombies.
Yeah, but this is the new millenium, in which *everything* has to be fast, including zombies. You can thank Michael Bay and MTV.
Once again, I'm a heretic when it comes to these things. Here's something I posted to the Dawn of the Dead forum at Cinemarati:
"I think the "running zombie" debate might be, with apologies to Chuck Klosterman, the zombie movie fan's Roe V. Wade.
Me, I like the running zombies, but then, ROTLD is my #2 movie of all-time, so I'm very biased. And I have to disagree with Vern, here; I think the 1990 remake of NOTLD kinda slammed the crypt shut on the slow zombie. When the woman (who, in the original, was a catatonic mess) now says, "Hey, we can just run past them!", that's it for the slow zombie. That is, I don't think it works anymore if the zombies are going to be your primary source o' terror and conflict, and not just be a background menace/source of tension/metaphor. (I think even Romero knows this: look at Day of the Dead.)"
Now that I'm finally over this cold (hear that, Mobb?), I can go see DOTD this weekend and actually talk about, you know, *the movie*.
A head's up from Martin: Slate's zombie debate:
I would reply to say that any article about running zombies that doesn't mention Return of the Living Dead is pretty much useless, regardless how well-written it was...
but someone already did:
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Oh, this is spam. For a moment, I thought Moirae from Cinemarati was leaving a message.