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um... who me? uh i guess i'm the lounge's resident tranny. old school bustie formerly known as butta.

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 | Category: film
entry Jul 21 2008, 01:32 PM
so below is my take on the new batman movie, the dark knight. it contains no spoilers, and that brings me to the subject of this here para: why movie reviewers SUCK. it's not like they have to, i mean, i say they suck having been a film reviewer. i've written for all the major free papers in my burg, and well, film reviewers suck. but i should be clear. i don't only mean the majority of the ones who get paid to write about movies, i mean the movie bloggers too. yes, you. you really suck. but before you throw your rotten tomatoes (ha, ha) at me, let me give you a backhanded complement: you suck entirely no more or no less than most of the assholes in the paper. the problem with most reviewers nowadays (particularly the tv ones) is that they do nothing to illuminate their audiences understanding of what they watch. too often it's boiled down to talking about fucking weekend grosses, or a really shitty synopsis. another point is, they don't bother to learn about movies. seeing copious amounts of movies does not a film reviewer make.

that is all.


as for the dark night, i liked it, but i had some problems with it.

for me dc characters really need to be in that kind of mythic borderland between reality and fantasy. otherwise they don't quite hold up. the bm begins, was a bit stronger because it still stayed in that shadowland, yes, it was a more realistic batman, what with his batmobile, but it was still in an architecturally gothic landscape, and the scarecrow's explanation/psychotropics seemed to add even more unreality to things, think of the shots of batman on the horse, eyes blazing... the batman still inhabited a land of almost eternal darkness, and set against that, he loomed even larger. putting him in a real life chicago even still labeled Gotham, the quintessential Gothic city, batman can't help but look diminished.

if you watch any douglas sirk movies, he does something interesting-- his people are soap opera stock, like comics, usually well off, living in mansions, and they are normally-- in any other film or tv show-- shown in a way that makes them larger than life. but sirk did the exact opposite-- he put them in these mansions, but they seemed swallowed whole by them. they were not, the exact size of life, they were, smaller. the rooms were, like those in orson wells used in kane's san simeon, huge, cavernous, and the people in these cases, flailed, barely treading water. i don't think it was intentional, but i think for me that is what happened in this dark night.

now, i am certainly not saying i didn't enjoy it, but put in this real space, separated from his mythic status, the political questions raised in the film-- terrorism, privacy rights, vigilantism, torture, rendition -- are all the more troubling. granted we are talking about batman, a ubervigilante if there ever was one (eat your heart out bernard getz), but the dark knight tries to have it both ways, it is, (pardon the pun) two-faced, about it. it explicitly seems to be saying it's ok this once, but does things that seem to condone the patriot act. there are comments made that would lead you to believe that the joker is our stand in for bush, but then the vigilante that batman represents is the embodiment of the USA post 9/11.

like my sig used to say, on the whole it could have been crunchier, meatier, like bacon. at least in terms of it's message.

while people talk about how the dark knight is very dark, i can't help but comment about the joker's smile/scar it's actually a reference to a japanese film, ichi the killer you can see the references in ichi's movie poster here. i think i've posted in here about ichi before, and i never take moralistic stands on films (political stands, yes, moral stands, never), but ichi is the exception. it is by far the most brutal, depraved, fucked up, sadistic movie i hope to never see again. it's not the direction, i've seen and liked quite a few of takashi miike's films. this, was a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

so, i know nobody replies to these questions when i ask, but i do so love talking about film (and i seem to be on a writing tear). i was talking with one of my favorite film folks about jack nicholson films, (spurred on by a coffee shop quiz), and we started talking about our fave jn films. so i'm curious which films busties like.

my all time fave is the last detail, his chinatown.

and if i haven't recommended the pledge (in a year or two), i still love it. it's a close to the bone, play-it-straight neo-noir. it does what all great noir films do. there is a scene in noir films where there is almost an 'unreality' to them, where they come unglued from the normal and symbolize all that the film is about. in the pledge it is when nicholson goes into a turkey farm. there is this great shot where he is talking to someone in a sea of turkeys walking around. i don't know if it translates to the small screen, but in the theatre there was a palpable feeling of vertigo. as if there was no solid place for these people to stand, and the world around them shifted. a great visual metaphor for all that goes on in the film. oh, and ps, it was directed by the fantastic sean penn.

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