Sunday, January 13, 2008

Two Films, One Movie

With Jen and Mimi out of town, I’ve been on a little moviefest this weekend, seeing two highly-acclaimed films in theaters, The Orphanage and There Will Be Blood, and one box-office smash, Superbad on video at home. I must have really lowbrow tastes, because the first two, in spite of their great notices, left me rather cold, while the third, even though generally considered a bit throwaway teen entertainment, had me laughing out loud by myself in my living room.

The Orphanage is a Spanish ghost film that my friend told me was from the same folks who brought you the estimable Pan’s Labyrinth (although I guess it’s not the same director) and the only way I could make sense of it was as an excruciating and relentless metaphorical depiction of what it must be like to lose a child. As an underlying psychological foundation, that’s terrifying, but the film itself seemed just hokey, right down the whispering child poltergeist in the raggedy scarecrow head.

There Will Be Blood
had amazing imagery and a stellar acting job by Daniel Day-Lewis, but the story was as predictable as an episode of Bewitchedand some of the dialogue was so cheesy that even though it was supposed to be all heavy and laden with meaning, people in the theater, myself included, couldn’t help but crack up. I take it the story can be seen as an allegorical indictment of oil—everyone in the film eventually sells their soul for black gold and Day-Lewis’ character, Daniel Plainview—get it?—ends up driven mad by his hateful obsession, but I’m not sure I needed two plus hours of self-consciously important filmmaking to get that. And I still the meglomaniacal billionaire Citizen Kane-type is done best by Montgomery Burns on the Simpsons.

Superbad, though, was charming; I loved the characters, their relationships and the best line I’ve heard in film this year, “You don’t want girls to think you suck dick at fucking pussy.”


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

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8:53 AM  
Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

Wow, that best line from Superbad took me a minute to figure out, but now I know why my almost 21-year-old son described the movie as "filthy" ... and hilarious - he, like his uncle, loved it.

8:55 AM  

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