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War of the Worlds and Other Films

I'm not going to see War of the Worlds.

It's not that I have anything against the source material, or even Tom Cruise. No. It's that I hate Spielberg films. They're such a nasty, family values manipulative thing. From the trailer and what I've heard on net noise, War of the Worlds contains such a Family Values ending that I'd be burning myself with cigarette stubs in the eye to get those tears out beyond my rage. So why do that to myself? I'll just keep the twelve bucks and use it for something else. Maybe I'll buy some blank CDs and burn the Orson Welles radio play, which I love. In relation to Wells' book, I'm a bit ambivalent, to be honest. I read it first when I was eleven and thought it was hideously boring, and though I suspect that that is the eleven year old mind for you, I've never bothered to revisit it, despite liking other of Wells' work, such as The Time Machine. I never saw that movie, either. It appears to have killed off Guy Pearce, which is a bit of a shame. At any rate, I just can't stomach any more Spielberg. The last film was Minority Report, which was just, well, awful, and after it, I said, "That's it. No more."

In truth, it had been coming ever since Saving Private Ryan, one of the most ham fisted right wing pro-war films that have been made in the last ten years.

That said, I've begun looking for films that might shake some interest for me. I'm a bit out of touch with things, really, and so my diet has been mostly multiplex films, which have been pretty fucking slim this year. The only film currently out that I want to see at the moment is the documentary about Charles Bukowski, Born Into This, which is playing over at the Valhalla, and not a multiplex deal, so maybe that's a sign to start paying attention again and shake up some energy to go see it. Maybe I'll be able to find that energy in a little bottle with yellow and black labels. Anyhow, like I said, I did some surfing, and watched a few trailers, and I came out with three films that I wanted to see (one of which I didn't even watch the trailer for, so I wouldn't be spoiled).

King Kong.

I was surprised by how much I liked the King Kong trailer. I really dig the original, but every remake since, even when it comes with a gorgeous Jessica Lange, has been this huge mistake. I wasn't so convinced about Naomi Watts, who interests me little, but Jack Black looks like he's going to be the centre of the film, and Jackson's period piece reconstruction for it actually looks pretty cool. I did, however, have the thought that it was Titanic with a giant ape... but then I realised, hey, Titanic could really have done with a giant ape. Some dinosaurs, too. Any giant animal that would have made the boat sink faster.

The New World.

A film about John Smith and the clash between Native Americans and colonising English? Didn't they make a Disney film out of this? Well, they did, but this new film is called The New World, which isn't a very good title and unfortunately has Colin Farrell in it, but all this pales when you realise that it is Terrence Malik's new film. I love Malik's films, but I especially love the last film he did, The Thin Red Line. It was such a lavish thing, beautiful and brutal, and from the trailer, it looks as if this film will have that same touch to it.

Broken Flowers.

The third film is Jim Jarmusch's. I didn't watched the trailer for this one because I'm there for Jarmusch, no matter what it is. The film reportedly follows Bill Murray's character across America (?) as he revisits his old girlfriends, trying to learn who gave him the letter informing that he has a son. It doesn't sound like much, but the joy with Jarmusch is that his films never sound like much when you boil them down into a sentence.

And that was it.

Not much, is it? I'm pretty sure I'll end up going to see Sin City when it is finally released here, but my expectations have been lowered by reading various reviews and the realisation that Miller's dialogue has remained in tact for the film. But the look of the film has hooked me in. I'll also head along to Serenity, but I've known about this for a while, so I didn't mention it. But anyhow, that's not much, especially considering I watched a bunch of others. One of those was Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, from which I came to the conclusion that Burton is slowly turning into Spielberg lite. It's like some mid life crisis has caught Burton and instead of fucking young super models and buying fast cars, he's decided to flood his films with Family Values. Reckon that'll be a skip. Romero's Land of the Dead didn't look like much, though I've heard good things about it. Truth is, I just don't care for zombie flicks. Worth my twelve bucks? I'm kind of doubting it.

I'm feeling the movie jade today. Tell me there's something interesting out there.

Comments

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angriest
Jul. 4th, 2005 02:21 am (UTC)
I'll avoid sinking into a lengthy and unnecessary debate with you about Spielberg (short version: he's my favourite American director), but did want to agree with you that The New World is going to be a must-see. Jarmusch not so much, but I'm not a big fan of his films at all.

The Time Machine movie was what you get when someone who can't construct a PG-rated action flick like Spielberg (Raiders, Jurassic Park, etc) tries to do so anyway. Not a very good movie at all.
benpeek
Jul. 4th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC)
i just can't do spielberg, but many people can, so i'm okay with that. avoiding the debate is best, i think, especially since you're not a jarmusch fan. different tastes, i guess.

i did hear the time machine was awful, which i why i skipped it.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 4th, 2005 04:35 am (UTC)
I enjoyed WOTW, but yes, it does have a Happy Families ending - which was unsatisfactorily unexplained, too, I thought (won't say any more in case of spoiling it for others). There was another aspect to the ending which was a bit unsatisfying too, but again, no spoilers from me just yet. But for the most part I liked the film and thought Cruise acted pretty well. Not as well as Dakota Fanning, mind you.

King Kong does look good. They played the trailer before WOTW, and it looks like fun.

I didn't know Jarmusch has a new film coming. Thanks for the heads up, that's something to look forward to. I loved Dead Man and Ghost Dog.
chrisbarnes
Jul. 4th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
Oops... too easy to post anonymously these days. That was me, above.
benpeek
Jul. 4th, 2005 05:05 am (UTC)
they've just released jarmusch's DOWN BY LAW on dvd. it comes with a heap of extras, including a music video he directed for tom waits. haven't watched it yet, but i'm looking forward to it.

if you haven't seen MYSTERY TRAIN, i recommend that, too.
treehouseman
Jul. 4th, 2005 12:35 pm (UTC)
I can remember doing a very successful seance (at 12 years old, when all seances work) to the opening bars of the WoTW album.

Not sure I can say the same for the film though.
benpeek
Jul. 5th, 2005 02:04 am (UTC)
you didn't feel anyone's ghost turning over?
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Jul. 5th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC)
hey, i forgot all about mirrormask. yes, that's a see. i dig mckean's work quite a lot. the corpse bride i'm not so sure about, though. i'll check out the third.
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