Thursday, June 12, 2008

Movie List

I've been imploring Ashby for weeks to heed my challenge in our latest bloglist face-off. He has come through. The question, or category, is take a good movie and ruin it by replacing the director with a known hack. Here goes.

5. Glory if directed by Lars Von Trier
I don't think Glory is really all that great a movie, but it's certainly all right. I saw it when I was a little kid, but I went to bed before the movie was over. Or it was so violent, my mom made us leave the room. Anyway, she told us it ended with them running up a hill but neglected to mention they get their dead bodies shoveled right back over.

Anyway. This is Glory if directed by Lars Von Trier: Abraham Lincoln raping a slave with the American flag. That's it, that's the whole movie. Lincoln would be played by Morgan Freeman.

Knowing American film critics, it would be lauded as a daring morality play in the tradition of magical realism because American film critics are self-loathing putzes. I bring this up just because Von Trier seems to think it's original to point out that America has been hypocritical about race, because no one has pointed this out ever ever EVER. Suck our Twain, douche bag.

4. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind if directed by Ron Howard.

I love this movie. If it was written by Akiva Goldsman, which most Howard movies are, I would probably have to fulfill my life long plan to kill him with his horn-rim glasses. And Ron Howard for keeping him employed. If you're curious why they bothered with the almost hilariously extraneous rise and fall of Paddy Considine's drunk, abusive, Hooverville inhabiting character in Cinderella Man, you're much like me.

Anywhosies, if Confessions was written by Akiva Goldsman, there would be a heart-rending b-plot about an earnest do-gooder who is a friend of Chuck Barris at the start but eventually gets chewed up and spit out of the showbiz cycle as Barris makes his name, thus painting Barris as ungrateful and a thoughtless bastard and ur-reality television entertainment as a metaphor for death. A clanging, totally obvious metaphor for death. In fact, it ends with Barris realizing the error of his ways and renouncing the evils of television.

3. Nashville if directed by Paul Haggis

The populist politician who has a car encircling Nashville, playing a recording of the politician spouting off folksy tales and encouraging citizens to yearn for a higher calling is replaced by an evil, corporate, racist Republican. And his man in town who gladhands all of the Opry players is instead running around killing black people, until he falls in love with one, and realizes that racism is wrong. You can tell if a character is a good guy or bad guy within their first three lines; no racial slurs by then, you got yourself a good guy. Shots are characterized by languid close-ups that show a character agonizing over a decision of whether or not to play into a totally obvious stereotype. And Barbara Jean dies because she doesn't have universal healthcare. Which I'm totally for, by the way, I just think Haggis would unnecessarily shoe-horn this in and then win an Oscar because he is a twat and empty liberal twattery is always rewarded in Hollywood. Movie ends with the characters realizing their travails would have been relatively stirring in the early '90s, not so much in 2008.

2. The Ten Commandments if directed by Tom Shadyac

Moses is accompanied by a talking camel (voiced by David Spade) that sasses back God whenever he issues a new set of orders for Moses. Aron keeps getting hit in the nuts by different objects whenever he's about to say something important. Also, people think Moses is gay because of his lisp, which leads to a lot of unnecessary double entendres, like, High Priest: "Your staff just went soft, Moses!" Moses: "That ithn't my thtaff, it'th a thnake!" High Priest: "A trouser snake?"

Instead of the angel of death taking every first-born son, the angel of tickling tickles everybody and everybody laughs when they get tickled because they're ticklish. The angel of death is played by Robin Williams, who vamps and frequently goes off script with his gay hair-dresser voice - "Hmm, Lamb's blood - what did Liza just come through?!"

When the water comes crashing down after the Israelites cross it, Pharoah shakes his fist and comically yells, "Mo-ses!"

Also, God is played by Morgan Freeman.

1. The Great Escape if directed by M. Night Shyamalan

The camp is actually in Utah, the year is 1997, and Steve McQueen never had a baseball mitt.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Looking Back at the 2004 Election

This will not be a substantive post. In fact, it's pretty low in content. I was just thinking about how after the '04 election, a friend of mine forwarded an e-mail to me and a bunch of other people mocking us for voting for Kerry and that if we wanted to move to another country, they'd be sponsoring a ship to Iraq and Guantanamo. It was very sophisticated, as you may see, which is why it's totally worth remarking upon now.

Actually, it sort of is, because I wish I had that list of people in the e-mail trail so I could blast one out to everyone that said: For those of you who voted for Bush in 2004, why don't you just sit this one out.* The country isn't going anywhere, we'll still be here when you've proven you're ready to vote again. Just not this year. Likely, you'll find this unfair. You'll claim it's your right as an American citizen with only one or two DUIs under your belt to be able to vote for whomever you please. You're right, I'm not forcing you to do anything. But I am suggesting that you sit this one out. That's all, I'm only suggesting.

As we all know, many of you had pledged to join the war effort after 9/11. While you may well be doing so in your role at Enterprise Rent-A-Car or some corporate law firm or grad school, I would just like to gently remind you of the pledge you made, and I'd also like to remind you that time is not up. In fact, with the surge drawing down, there are a number of openings over there. I'm sure the soldiers over there would love to hear all of your theories about how America needs to build democracies in arbitrarily-organized sectarian cesspools. It's true that many of you are interested in voting for Barack Obama this year. While I commend you for your newfound good taste, I'll have to speak for the Obama campaign here and say no. We don't need you and we don't particularly want you. We kind of see you as the kid with ADHD in the AP class. How you got here, we have no idea, but we find your spazz-outs and inability to follow directions annoying and kind of wish the teacher would just you show the door. Either way, with or without you, we have a bright future. We just wish it didn't immediately include you. We're sure you're very nice, particularly when you're on your meds. But we'd really just rather not put up with you. I'm sure you'll be fine, and you'll talk yourself into believing in '16 that Jindal really is just a moderate who says extremist things just to placate his base. And for that person out there who is now practicing law in Boston, I believe, you who voted for Nader in '00 and Bush in '04, just... what happened? I guess it's par for the course that you magically became a Red Sox fan in that '04 World Series season, so that must have been very gratifying, but... You should have known better, and I can't help but feel you owe me and the rest of us an apology for your awful, awful judgment.

In closing, for those of you planning on coming to an Obama rally in the general, please don't. Sex and the City will be out on DVD by then, so you can watch that instead and pretend to be all witty and urbane and say things with an ironic tone of voice even when what you're saying isn't in the least ironic. It's very classy. I'll even pour an Appletini for you, just please, stay the fuck away from our candidate.

*Does not apply to my friend Jason, because he is righteous.