Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Why Don't Kung-Fu Flicks Get the Same Love as Musicals?

Hollywood loves musicals. My wife just got done watching La La Land, and this was her review: "OMG. La La land was terrible!" I haven't seen it yet, so I can't say I agree or disagree with her assessment, but the movie was up for God knows how many Oscars, and actually won best picture...for a few minutes.

But for my money, Five Deadly Venoms, or Shogun Assassin, are far superior films than Chicago or Oliver. And they aren't any more ridiculous, either. Nobody just breaks out into kicking and punching people in the head, just like nobody just breaks out into song and dance, but the Academy apparently thinks one genre is legitimate art, and the other is just chop sockey nonsense. But why? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is the only martial arts movie to ever be nominated for best picture, and probably only because it was artsy fartsy. But what about Hero? What about House of Flying Daggers? Isn't either one of those better than West Side Story? No, but you get my point. Why does the Academy favor one over the other? I'd like to hear your thoughts. Sound off below.

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Okay to Think Blade Runner Sucks.

(Image taken from: The Vinyl Factory)

Blade Runner is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. It's the "thinking man's" sci-fi film. Ridley Scott is a genius, and Harrison Ford has never been better.

Except none of that is true. At least not for me. Blade Runner is a boring, meandering, mess of a movie, and I hate it, even if you love it. Sure, everybody talks about it like Jesus Christ Himself was behind the camera when it was filmed, but there are many, many people out there who have seen it and said, "That's what everybody was talking about? That sucked!" Or at least, they would say that if they didn't think they would be made fun of or ridiculed by "smart people".

But good news! I'm here to tell you that it's liberating to admit that you don't like a movie that other people love. It's also freeing to admit that you love a movie that other people hate. Like mother! by Darren Aronofsky. Have you seen mother!? Don't answer that. Because if you have, you might have hated it, and I don't want you to feel compelled to lie and say that you liked it just because I liked it. Because the truth is, the saying, "You just didn't get it," doesn't really apply to anything but, say, a math problem, because art is totally subjective. If the artist is saying something deeper that you didn't manage to pick up on, the problem is not with you. And for the most part, it's not with the artist, either. The problem is mostly with the story and your preferences for how a story is told. Oh, and the pacing. Can't forget the pacing.

(Image taken from: Pinterest)

That said, even a slow paced film can be interesting if the characters and the story are engaging. There are a lot of "greatest films of all time" that don't really put much attention into the characters and instead put more focus on breaking the conventions of storytelling. This is why a lot of the "greatest movies of all time" are often dismissed by the general public as being pretentious or boring. Look no further than Sight and Sounds 50 Greatest Movies of All Time List. I guarantee that if you showed 10 people 8 1/2, or The Passion of Joan of Arc, probably seven of those people would fall asleep, two of those people would lie and said they liked it, and one person would genuinely think they're masterpieces. But are any of them wrong in their opinion? I'd like to say no. Their opinion is just not your opinion, and that's okay. Your upbringing and outlook on life will sway your feelings dramatically when it comes to art. As I said before, art is not as direct as a math problem. And it's not supposed to be. Art is personal. And that is why it's so beautiful.

So if you hate Blade Runner and love Transformers, that's okay. Not only is it okay, it's great! And never let anybody ever tell you otherwise.