Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I apparently don't know movies...

THE KING’S SPEECH [2010, directed by Tom Hooper]
The academy’s pick for best picture is the tale of a Duke who becomes King – and overcomes a speech impediment so he can do some public speaking.

Holy crap! This movie was so stale. This wasn’t a best picture – it was a goofy side kick away from being a dumb romantic comedy between two men. It followed the romantic comedy story arc – two people meet under unlikely circumstances – they dislike each other – they learn to like each other – they break-up – something changes in one of their lives and it makes them realize how much they need the other – they reconcile and they live happily ever after.

Not that I really care which movie wins the awards – but this one was just a head scratcher. I mean – I stick by my motto that originality in films is overrated – but THIS is what is considered praise worthy? That just confuses me.

I didn’t even find the acting all that interesting – Colin Firth did a pretty good job – and honestly should’ve won for A SINGLE MAN – because that was a powerful performance – maybe if he shouted more profanities he would’ve been recognized for that beautiful performance. I mean in comparison THE KING’S SPEECH he pretty much gnawed on everything in a competition with Geoffrey Rush to see who could overact more. I’m struggling to speak and I’m frustrated! Get it! Over and over and over and over and over and over… One note the entire fucking movie. It was a clown hammer movie!

I found the movie average at best – pushed no boundaries in filmmaking – didn’t make me reflect on anything – didn’t leave me wondering or questioning or anything – just left me bored.

BLACK SWAN [2010, directed by Darren Aronofsky]
A ballet dancer is having a mental breakdown under the pressure of putting on the performance of her lifetime.

I thought the acting was fine – but the story was lacking. Yep, it’s trippy and confusing – and all this stuff is kind of happening here while there’s other things happening there – but it didn’t make for a compelling enough story for me to really care. It would’ve been nice if they didn’t announce early in the film and make such a big deal about there being someone playing a dual role – a little bit of a surprise or something – maybe some subtly would’ve worked.

Not as clown hammer as THE KING’S SPEECH – but almost. I think about it and Darren Aronofsky's other big praise worthy film THE WRESTLER was pretty much the same way – and though I quite like it - it was as subtle as Mickey Rourke’s face. “I was once famous – now I’m not – and I want to relive my past glory – but I can’t – boo hoo” but it worked for that movie because it was about wrestling. This is ballet – a far softer touch in the subject matter would’ve been suitable.

Considering these were the big winners over this past awards season along with the fading praise for the more competent, interesting, compelling and relevant THE SOCIAL NETWORK which ended up losing more than it won - must mean that I don't know what the hell a "good" movie is anymore.

You know what though? I'm fine with that! I think everyone needs to make up their own minds about what they like and enjoy it - no one needs people to agree with them in order to enjoy something. I disagree with several of the bloggers I follow on several movies - and could care less - because it's the discourse and the insights they have that I don't share that I respect and find interesting.



  1. Films like these are hard to come into with a tempered mindset after they've had so much praise heaped on them, don't you think?

    When I first saw KING'S SPEECH I liked it (and still do), but saw it more as a "pretty" producer's film than the sort of challenging directorial effort that I'm drawn to these days.

    Come back to them sometime after all the hype has died down.

  2. Well, yes, I agree that tempering your view can be more difficult after a film gets so much high praise – though I don’t think a second viewing would help the overall blandness I found in THE KING’S SPEECH. I say that not to say it was a bad film (and not that I won't potentially come back to it some day) – but it was to me very plain and predictable... average. Praise worthy to some - sure – but not “brilliant”.

    I brought up and harped on the Academy too much in this entry – I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this was “Best Picture” – for what it is – it’s a cookie cutter BP winner.

    I also keep in mind – that by the time I watched WINTERS BONE and THE SOCIAL NETWORK – there had already been months of haughty praise out there for the both (though we agree some of the praise was a little silly for TSN) – but I still found those films challenging, engaging and interesting... But I guess they don’t call it “Best Most Challenging Picture”, huh?