Sunday, 21 March 2010

badass to the bone

in a previous post, i had listed my top ten movies of all time. for some reason, the recent years have yet to produce any super-awesome-rocket-chickens-and-laser-beam-jesus films. either my standards have changed, or (like my fellow cinema-enthusiasts testify) the scene is just getting that horrendous.

obviously, the first thing everyone is thinking now is, 'dude, wtf? we had avatar come out recently. AVA-FRICKEN-TAR'. and my response is: beautiful cinematography and elaborate cgi does not make a great movie. not now, not ever. case in point: star wars i, ii and iii. george lucas, there is a special place in hell, just for you. and as for avatar, come on guys. all you fanboys, get over it: the storyline was, by definition, horribaddible. the worst piece of crap, ever (well, not really, but for all the hype, i'm just going to start throwing rotten tomatoes, anyway). with a plot that's more predictable than a junior-high essay, and more cliches than this horrible blog, i left the cinema thinking 'ok, so i might have missed the next level of depth. it's going to sink in any time now...', and i'm still waiting. a good example that i'm going to pluck out of thin air is 'the matrix'. at first i thought it was horribly overdone (the 2nd and 3rd installations) and the symbolism was crass and forced, but after some contemplation, it wasn't as bad as i had made it out to be. but avatar. avatar. sweet blue-skinned jesus. i weep.

but, i digress, as always. this post isn't about avatar (though i have already come off hating on it, at this point). indeed, over this weekend, i have viewed a movie that has changed my thoughts on recent movie-going, and has instilled in me hope anew.

firstly, let me put it right out there: i am a huge fan of the trippy stuff. at the very least, it's my way of getting high without actually getting high. to the loyal readers (who exist in my head - they're real, goddamnit), alice in wonderland, as a novel, holds a place in my heart dearer than many things ever could. (incidentally, i have still, still, yet to watch the film. god forsake this thing we call time). this is flavour enough, but you'll also find that along these lines, my favourite film (of all time) is 'requiem for a dream'.

anyway, by now, you may be catatonic from the anticipation: what movie is so provoking, so revolutionary, so bat-shit awesome, with sugar-sprinkles and napalm-powered unicorns, that it edges its way into the forbidden land of fanciful entertainment, something that has fallen into myth and decrepit disrepair? and to answer this question, though it is none of the above is :
the lovely bones.

give yourself 10 points, if you had guessed this right. as the film is still quite recent, i'm not going to review it here, for fear of leaking spoilarz, which will probably piss some people off, having them arrive at my doorstep with baseball bats and metal poles, only to spit in my face without taking any action of physical assault.

i will say, though, that the buildup in this movie is super-duper-awesome. as my friend has pointed out, it's a bit draggy. sure, it is. but, i love some movies like this, not everything has to be 'blow-shit-up with action in-your-face from the start to end' and still be enjoyable. and it goes without saying, the symbolism is heavy, and analogies with metaphorical significance is lsd-laden, much like how alice finds herself stuck in wonderland - if wonderland were less psychotic and more blissful. if it had less delirium and were more shifting.

for me, the things that stood out the most in this film were:

1.plot - it's hard to come across a well-written plot nowadays, and you will hear me say this again and again. bravo. bravo.

2. soundtrack - movie soundtracks are generally really good nowadays. they fit the mood and enhance it significantly, they make you lose yourself in the moment and augment those feelings you find burrowing their way out of your heart at the most inopportune moments. but, to notice something that does its job best when you don't. and to miss it when it's not there. brilliant.

3. acting - the actors are not stellar-grade. they're known but not the creme de la creme. and this makes it all the more beautiful to see it acted out so well.

4. symbolism and metaphors - do i really need to say anything about this? the only downside may be peter jackson tried too hard with this one. but, really, i love it for everything that it is, and more than what it isn't. lotr under his direction was visionary, and i can only see more extravagant, and hopefully, brilliant stuff from him. watch for the bridging between limbo and the world, which effects (and sometimes affects) both the protagonist and supporting cast in ways that, though sometimes predictable, are very intuitive for somethings so other-wordly. i really cannot express myself due to a loss for words. (yeah, i'm now a fanboi :/)

5. buildup - movies nowadays seem to have a very stereotypical (and somewhat linear) buildup. it's very disheartening to see a tried and tested model being put to use just because people can't be bothered to stray from what works; and to see something new, specifically in that the buildup leaves you wanting at pivotal points in the movie. well, much kudos to the script-writer and director for making this so magical.

and now, before i rant on and on about how much this movie is awesome: the only reason i have not inducted this movie into my wall of fame -

the ending.

it is like building an underground cubby, laborously and meticulously, only to have it covered. or a duck-hunting-stalking-thingy, only to not even use it. or build a hundred bottled-ships, only to smash them into a million pieces. or write a horrible review only to publish it. or love an eternal love, only not to express it with a single word (this is an obscure reference to fermina, who is now a recurring theme in my blogging). but, as with all tragedies and downfalls of punctuative endings, they are all riddled and pockmarked with one thing - savage, feral emotion. unbridled feelings of a pure nature, that can withstand the test of criticism and cynicism, of disbelief and disheartening. and that, thought the ending is abrupt, and inopportune, and seems like a feeble attempt to tie together what the author has painstakingly built up, in a flash of acrid smoke and distasteful melodrama, is an unworthy, but acceptable ending. mind you, i can think of a dozen more appropriate (or at least, personally-likable) endings, none of which i think i could incorporate into the movie seamlessly, but may feel more beautiful an ending than the one chosen. and for this, my extensive essay here, is my lament. maybe some day, when my grandchildren have grand-grandchildren, this movie will be remade in all its glory, with an alternative ending which is more suitable and easier to palate without thinking 'wow, that was a disastrous attempt to just end it right here, right now'. true, the fact that none of the murdered women get their justice; true, that the broken family is somewhat reunited, though this is not elaborated upon - but i can live with these things, as a straying from a monotonous ending (and forevermore i shall love this movie because of this). but the lacklustre death of you-know-who. and the integration of a nonsensical (and awkward) first kiss, which is catering to the 5 teens who will enjoy this film anyway? and a half-dozen other thigs (which, again i should not mention as to not spoil the movie more than i already have). why? oh, why? maybe there's an extra layer of depth to his death that i have yet to comprehend, and it'll sink in soon enough. here's to hoping.

p/s: if any of you have braved the seas of dullness and actually read through this post in its entirety, not only do i applaud your tenacity for the random, but i apologise for breaking my succinct-rule, without fail, yet again. ah, the tragedy of being a horrible writer. this is why i should have been a mathematician instead.

p/p/s: for anyone thinking of getting me a birthday present, the novel would be a good choice :x just saying.


Anonymous said...

August 13th u shall have it ;)

too late aite? hahahaha

ps: thanks for always writing, keep it up unlike some1.haha

etc said...

keeping that date in my diary, then :p