I don’t talk about movies very often because I don’t SEE movies very often, but I just watched a couple things via Netflix and thought I’d mention them. I know these are old news to everyone else, sorry.
The Dark Knight — So I finally saw the Batman movie that everyone said raised the bar for superhero movies and I have to say, it didn’t really do much for me. It raised some issues regarding terrorism and the lengths to which one would go to stop it, but it ultimately walks away from the issue without really doing anything with it. It’s kind of a cheap exit to say, “Look, the people chose to do right, so I win!” when “the people” haven’t had much of a voice at all in the proceedings except to be faceless bystanders in your three-way pissing match. In addition, Christian Bale’s “Batman voice” just made me giggle. I’m sorry, I still can’t take your insight into the human condition seriously when it still involves a guy dressing up as a bat to go fight crime in his robot car. (We watched Iron Man not long ago and I found that one to be a lot more enjoyable. Part of that, though, could be the fact that I’ve never followed Iron Man that much, so it was largely new to me, whereas I’m really freakin’ sick of Batman.)
No Country For Old Men — Speaking of movies dealing with criminals ramping the situation way up past the good guys’ ability to deal with it, I thought this one was quite effective. I know there’s a lot of grousing about the ending but honestly, did you not know how this was going to turn out from the first fifteen minutes? Did you really actually need to SEE the inevitable fate of all involved? Did the title of the movie not give you a hint? I don’t think it’s flawless — I’m not sure what Woody Harrelson’s character added to anything, for example, and would like to have seen more of Tommy Lee in those moments — but I found it to explore a lot of the same ideas as The Dark Knight without having to get silly about it. When it came out, there was a lot of talk comparing this to There Will Be Blood, which I now see as no contest. That movie was loud and pretentious, yelling its message to the heavens of “Oh, hey, this asshole is an asshole all his life! NOW GIVE ME AN OSCAR!”
(For the record, we also saw the Coens’ Burn After Reading not long ago and I can’t say either one of us really dug it too much. I don’t think having a character who admits, “Hey, these people are all worthless jerks and this whole thing doesn’t make much sense” really mitigates the fact that the characters are all worthless jerks and the whole thing doesn’t make much sense.)
People keep telling me to go see Star Trek and I probably will eventually, but more than probably I can wait until the cheap theater or even Netflix. I’m not in a huge hurry. And I disappointed Mike and Jim but turning down an invite to go see Wolverine because even though Mike offered to pay for my ticket, he can’t cover my time.