I just visited the AMG Web site to see tomorrow's new releases and happened to look at the soundtrack to a new movie. The soundtrack includes songs from the incredibly mellow indie band Iron and Wine, and another indie band called Soundtrack of Our Lives. For me, this is a major point of contention: just because you include very cool music on a soundtrack, doesn't make your movie cool. In fact, you're in danger of destroying the cool reputation of cool music. I haven't seen the offending movie yet and don't even know if it's out yet. In fact, chances are that I won't see it. Why should I?
This is another problem I have lately: seeing movies. For the past six months I've grown disenchanted with the film industry and I don't know if it's a result of a year's worth of crap movies, or if I'm just getting old. Stoker, my boyfriend, has been on a small crusade to prove my pessimism wrong. I'm not sure why, since he's been with me for most of the horrible experiences I've recently had with movies. Here's a list of crap movies we've seen lately:
Like Water for Chocolate, and I don't know what happened with this one, since I saw it a few years ago and loved it. I saw it as part of a seminar on film and food culture the first time. I guess what I loved wasn't the plot because the plot was mostly stupid, based on the book by Laura Esquivel. What's good about it is the magic-realism incorporated in the cooking aspect of the movie. Anyway, I was embarrassed that I had suggested we watch it.
Pi, and I don't know why this is considered a modern classic. I remember once when working at small cd store while in college, my coworker, Ben, asked me if I'd seen Pi. I said no, and then he asked me if I'd seen Taxi Driver and I said no. His response was, "Well, I guess you're not a film buff." I scoffed. Pi sucks. The only good thing about it is the concept. The cinematography is grotesque and difficult to watch. But I'll admit there is something compelling about the balance between genius and insanity. However, Pi was awful. This is only my opinion, by the way, and what it comes down to for me is that I don't like movies about the mind of someone suffering from a real psychosis. I hated Beautiful Mind as well. Ron Howard really tried hard to glamorize schizophrenia. At least Darren Aronofsky didn't try to make someone suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder look like a god. To this point in history, the only director who has succeeded in making decent movies about the freakishness of the human mind, has been Alfred Hitchcock.
Warriors of Heaven and Earth, which I wasted $7.00 on. I'll never trust another movie trailer and I'm not sure what convinced me that I could, so don't ask. I don't know, it could be that I'm just not naturally into Kung Fu movies. Or it could be that the plot was completely ridiculous and completely unbelievable. Not unbelievable as in the film involves spaceships and wormholes. Unbelievable in that the character's actions and motivations don't mix. Also, the subtitles were white and very often unreadable. Half the time I didn't know what was being said. Maybe that's why the character's actions and motivations weren't believable. Stoker and I left the theater early.
Dogville. What a rip-off. I felt very cheated. My fury has no words. Plays are for the stage. Movies are for cinematography, soundtracks with great music (for great movies), and locations. The trailer for this film and most of the publicity surrounding it (at least everything I saw, heard and read) didn't mention anything about the damn movie being on a stage with a skeletal, unchanging set. I started to fall asleep and finally turned it off. Stoker might have been a little annoyed with me.
I'm sure there's more to the crap list than I'm telling you. But let me point out a few of the decent ones. Here's a list of good movies we've watched lately:
Breakfast at Tiffany's. Always a good bet. Audrey Hepburn is beautiful, elegant, and anyway, I watch this film just to hear the fabulous things she says. Like that bit about Sing Sing and the children. And George Peppard's speech about running into yourself at the very end is phenomenal. Stoker also liked this one. Finally, you know. Finally we both liked a movie.
Garden State. Good. But not amazing. Real. Refreshing. But also annoying in a few small ways. However, I'm willing to overlook that, considering the fare available in 2004. Let me say that I was disappointed in the way Zach Braff chose to use one of my favorite songs ever, Fair (by Remy Zero), but at least it didn't show up in some crap movie like She's all That or something. So good job to the Tate brothers, et al, by not letting your songs show up in crap movies.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Cool. I liked the classic/vintage feel to it. I liked the fantastical elements.
Napolean Dynamite. Very funny. Initially it seems like just a bunch of funny skits, and then a plot starts to form. And then you just can't help but quote it.
Anyway. I've wanted to see several other movies that have been released recently. But the good to bad ratio (not visible from my few examples) is disappointing and it makes me a little gun shy. So back to that movie (In Good Company)with the indie songs. I probably won't see it. Just because the soundtrack has cool indie bands on it doesn't mean the movie is cool. That was the point of all this. If anything, a director should be able to match his crap production with crap bands and songs. Don't disgrace cool, sweet music with a stinky movie. And if the director doesn't have the ability to see how horrible his production is, the cool, sweet bands should have the guts to say no to possible recognition and to a possible "big break." Don't associate your name with crap.
By the way, I've never aspired to the title of Movie Buff.
And in all fairness to In Good Company, I haven't seen it. Maybe it's great. But maybe not.