Contradicting Popular Opinion: Cleaning out My Brain

Contradicting Popular Opinion:

A.K.A.

An Enquiry Concerning Reviews, Previews and Broads.

Intro

There is a lot of clutter in my head right now. I need to extricate some of it from its skull based prison and re-capture it on this infotainment superhighway.

On Reviews

I don’t write “reviews” here at IP. I don’t enjoy giving movies 1-10 ratings. This thing is especially the case when the criteria for the numeric rating is so loosely defined.

I like Night of the Living Dead. I think it is great, one of the best movies of any kind. But in loving something, as an adult, we see its flaws. In Night, headlights magically regenerate, and cars are dented before they crash.

Do those things merit a lowering in “score”? I don’t know. They certainly don’t ruin that which makes the film wonderful.

On the other side of the coin, we have a movie like American Psycho. This flick desperately wants to be satire of the 1980s. I can see a lot of what it is trying to say, and don’t necessarily disagree with some of what is said. The problem is that the movie is rubbish. It’s terrible. It’s annoying. It’s unwatchable. It isn’t funny enough to be a black comedy. It isn’t gory enough to be shocking or disturbing. It isn’t coherent enough to be a decent drama or statement on the human condition. When the flick comes close to making a point, it does so with the subtlety of one smashing a watermelon with a sledgehammer and then asking, “did you see what I just did?” The film is a mess. (Which probably makes it very true to the book.)

On Treats
Of course, not doing reviews means no review copies of dvds and no sneak previews.

Actually, I should be thankful for the latter. I have terrible luck with special advance screenings and the like. I’ve been to quite a few over the years before my time here. Normally, this just translates to me watching a movie before its previews have aired and afforded me adequate warning not to bother with said movie.

So I end up seeing such things as bland chick power film, Girlfight, and the “I’m embarrassed for you, movie” ISpy.

My strangest experience with these previews is The Life of David Gale. At this thing, Laura Linney and Kevin Spacey showed up for a post-flick Q and A section. I didn’t bother asking anything. The options of things for me to say ranged from, “Was it fun to work with that talking monkey in Congo?” to “K-pax… What the f*ck? Seriously, dude, what the f*ck?”

Of course the movie itself was awful. Maybe I had my hopes set on it being about the life of that guy from Reanimator. (You know, the fella that looks like John Kerry with a detachable head.) Maybe it was because nobody told Kate Winslet that the film was going to be a “talkie”. (The wonders of set mastication!) Maybe it was the obnoxious tendency of the camera man to spin around for no good reason, or the plot twist given away by the opening credits or Spacey’s extra smarminess as the film’s lead.

I guess what I wanted to say is, “Laura Linney, you’re so cool; how come this movie is a turd?”

The Women of Sin… City that is.

First off, I would like to point out my bias. I own, in some form, every issue of Sin City. I have written a paper for the U of C on the original series. I’ve sat in on a “pulp” class as a Sin City expert.

At any rate, DOC (the student run theater) was playing Sin City Saturday Night. My wife ended up going and seeing it for the first time.

She was struck by the strong portrayal of women.

At first, this seemed counter-intuitive. The women are curvy and naked. Some are strippers, most are prostitutes.

Upon some thought, though, I think she is right.

What we have in Sin City, is a film where women exist as sexual beings, and are not punished for it. They are comfortable with their sexuality. Some derive power from their sexuality. This is amazing.

You see, movies tend to hate sexual women. They end up as one note lust objects, or crazed killers, or victims in bad slasher movies, or they get some sort of disease, or just generally having their lives destroyed.

But in Sin City, the misogynist movie gods aren’t there to punish sexual women. Who does get killed? The girl who is embarrassed by her sexuality. Holy f*cking shit.

But it doesn’t stop there. Sin City has female characters that just happen to be gay, without it being a huge deal or source of stereotypical behavior. Generally speaking, the women are independent, and pretty well realized. Any notions of Madonna-Whore (another movie god favorite) are seen as projections by the male characters and not by the movie itself.

And who is the biggest badass in Sin City? It ain’t Marv; it is Miho.

We have a IP Movie Feature

Make sure you check out everybody’s top ten lists this week. Michelangelo’s is pretty good, for a ninja turtle. Kubryk’s is pretty good… for me to poop on.

As for that ML Kennedy guy, well, his list is a bunch of nonsense.

It’s a week of short columns from me. (Any shorter and they would qualify for the gaming section) Y’all just got to deal with it. There are four of them.

You want more, send me some money. Or some coffee.