Sunday, May 07, 2006

Humanizing the ubermensch

A Great Movie
You're a Hooker!

1) United 93 is a great movie, I think. It opens in a very smartly banal way. Little happens. There are no movie moments to speak of (even the arrival of a late passanger is what it is), and for me I spent much of the front end thinking of what happened to me that day. I will share my 9/11/01 reminsces on the 5th anniversary later this year (shortly before my child is born). But then the shit hits the fan, and the you are there factor is pretty amazing. In some ways it's a horror film. Very intense, and well worth seeing.

2) I reviewed 400 Blows above. I took my copy to Amoeba. And got the box set of Doinel films. Yay for me.

3) Most blockbusters raise questions like "How'd they do that?" or "That's amazingly stupid!" The question M:I:III raises is "How did they spend 150 million and get so little?" The main special effects of the film are shots of Tom Cruise running. I mean, that shit costs NOTHING. Nothing. I had gone in hearing it wasn't so hot, and perhaps the elements of spinning plates, but for serious, for really reals, I didn't expect something so empty. The problem is that (as my title suggests) the film tries to humanize a character who isn't human by nature. And the fact that he wants to do his dangerous job and then have a girlfriend/wife... well it makes the character look like an ass. And without the sense of geography to the action scenes these sequences don't build at all. There's one amusing bit where Hunt is dressed as Phillip Seyomour Hoffman, and so it's obviously Hoffman running around. That amused. And so did Simon Pegg, who shows up for some quick scenes and kills. But bad exposition and funeral flashbacks really kill the thing. Hitchcock knew the MacGuffin was the thing that moved the plot but didn't matter, but you have to have interesting characters and other agendas to make it work. Not here. Just a rampant failure. And JJ Abrams doesn't know how to direct a movie.