Who Rewatches Watchmen? (I Do.)
March 24, 2016

watchmen

In “anticipation” of Zack Snyder’s latest dour ‘n desaturated super hero action orgy, Bats v. Supes: More Titles Plz, I decided to rewatch Watchmen, because I kinda liked it before, I was curious how it’d hold up, and I wasn’t yet in the mood to rewatch Man v. Steel: More Fur Pecs Plz. Some cries for help can wait until the weekend.

As such, here are some scant thoughts I had upon revisiting Zack Snyder’s first foray in superhero cinema:

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It’s Probably Way Too Early for Me to Be This Excited About Elektra Luxx; But Also: OOPS!, Too Late!
March 17, 2010

Seeing as Elektra Luxx just premiered at SXSW, and seeing as this most likely means that (like its predecessor, Women in Trouble) Elektra Luxx won’t be released into theaters ’til late fall, I know I shouldn’t be getting worked up about seeing this movie quite so soon, PARTICULARLY when I still haven’t seen Women in Trouble to confirm if it is in fact the candy-colored campstravaganza I so hope it to be.  Seriously, this could be a recipe for most disappointing thing since that one time when the nerds saw Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace or that other time when I saw the trailer for Marc Vorlander’s Showgirls: The Return, but something tells me that’s doubtful, and that something is poster:

electra luxx posterErmm, I’m sorry, but in such instances of hot pink, European-movie-poster chic fabulousness, I’ve every reason to freak my freak out.  This poster has already won the Silver in the 2010 HomOlympics (Gold and Lifetime Achievements went to Johnny Weir because le duh), so let’s not even talk about the plot summary.  Wait, scratch that and channel some Jessica-Alba-in-Fantastic-Four annunciation: LET’S:

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Is Women in Trouble the Cornucopia of Camp Pleasures We’ve Been Waiting For?
October 15, 2009

Now don’t get me wrong, Powder Blue is a howlingly bad movie experience.  It isn’t so much a movie as a string of individual cinematic train wrecks that have been confused for scenes, and it’s definitely in the lead as the most campalicious movie of 2009.  Well, was.

Dear readers, I give you the new Great Camp Hope of 2009: 

women in trouble poster

First off, I don’t need to get started about the tag line.  It pretty much speaks for its ridiculous self.  But there’s the pink font that looks like it’s straight-up out of a bad 70s European art house sex farce, and let’s not forget how I feel about Carla Gugino.  I don’t recognize anyone else mentioned in this poster save for Simon Baker, but who cares?  This poster is basically about pretty girls and boobs, which I’m pretty sure was the high concept for Showgirls, so consider my appetite whetted.  

But there’s also the trailer, and…well…it can only be described as some bizarre amalgamation of Showgirls and Magnolia and Almodovar and every women’s dramedy from the past two decades:

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With Friends Like Last Night’s Gossip Girl, Who Wants a Return From Hiatus?
March 17, 2009

Did you see the highly anticipated (for me) return of the trashtastic Gossip Girl?  If you did, well, I’m sorry.  So, so sorry.  Let’s go back to happier times, when Blair and Chuck were literally destroying the episode’s film stock with their fiery passion, and the print campaigns for the show had parents decrying both show and campaign alike as obscenity.  Oh wait, I can’t, ‘cos seriously:

ofmgabysmal

I recognize that I’m frequently given to hyperbole; I suspect that a predilection towards hyperbole is part of my homo-DNA, but I’m not a geneticist.  I am a Gossip Girl fan (also most likely related to the gay gene), though, and I can most certainly say that last night’s episode of Gossip Girl was wretched.  Perhaps some of the worst television I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, this is the episode written by that pretentious asshole that sat behind you in high school English, spicing up their conversation with name-dropping and pseudo-intellectual ruminations about “art” that nobody asked for.  

And I most definitely did not ask for this, Gossip Girl.

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Having Now Seen Watchmen I Can Attest That I’ve No Idea What I’ve Seen
March 10, 2009

Well, Watchmen came out this weekend, and so we can now safely say that Billy Crudup’s CGI-enhanced blue full monty and Malin Akerman’s inimitable understanding of “acting” (apparently a mixture of reciting lines like English is your second language and posing like a crime-fighting tranny robot) have safely entered the pop-culture vernacular.  I’m not entirely certain either, particularly the latter, opens any useful conversations in our cultural discourse, but at least we’ve expanded our vocabulary, y’all!  And to paraphrase the great beacon of 20th century philosophical genius, Nomi Malone, Watchmen doesn’t suck, so I’ll freely admit it:

watchmen-review

Let’s clarify, though, in that I said “not too bad.”  I neglected to use words like “exceptional” or “awesome” or even (most disappointingly to me) “campalicious.”  I’ve also neglected to utilize phrases like “tonally consistent” or “narratively coherent in any way that resembles a movie” because Watchmen is completely lacking in any of those qualities.  Hell, Watchmen doesn’t even qualify as a movie so much as an explosion of adolescent id and existential angst moving on screen at 24-frames-per-second.

Yes, there are scenes, and when taken in the order presented in the film, these scenes seem to resemble a plot.  The problem, though, is that each scene is so hyperbolically extreme in style and, when compared to scenes before and afterward, contradictory in terms of emotion and feel, that the resulting product feels schizophrenic and unhinged.  Snyder dials the violence up to 11 (arms are graphically sawn off with hacksaws and punches are capable of causing compound fractures) and the sex up to ridiculous (the howlingly bad sex scene between Ackerman and Patrick Wilson is Cinemax-grade soft-core porn with a Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” providing the soundtrack and a firing of the flame-thrower on Night Owl’s jet to signal their climax; all parties involved should be thoroughly shamed for that one), yet there are also unexpected moments of beauty in this behemoth.    

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Whatever the Way, Watchmen Will Be Amazing
March 8, 2009

Later today, after months of anticipation, I’ll be seeing this nonsense:

poster-theatricaljpg
The poster alone is positively ridiculous, and judging by the reviews, so is the movie.  I keep on hearing talk that the acting is essentially tone-deaf and that the movie is life-less and fetishistic of its source material, but that merely gives me hope.

Given that I’ve never read Watchmen and therefore have no basis for criticism as an adaptation, I merely get to watch it as a movie.  And, as I see it, Watchmen will either be completely enthralling as an intelligent deconstruction of super-hero mythologies (as the graphic novel apparently is), or Watchmen will be absolutely terrible.  We’re talking Batman & Robin terrible.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s excellent.

I’ll certainly give Zack Snyder slack seeing as he’s tackling an incredibly ambitious text with multiple narratives within narratives that doesn’t particularly lend itself to film.  Added to that, there’s been much talk about how DVD releases of the film will only increase the nearly-three-hour running time so that even more of the comic can find its way onto our screens.  Watchmen, or at least the incarnation that’s been released into theaters this weekend, is obviously little more than a cinematic working draft for Snyder, and that’s fine.  We’ll all have to wait months more to witness his true vision, and that’s perfectly acceptable.

Particularly if Watchmen is terrible.

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