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Two Thumbs WAY Down!
July 2004

Yeah. Yet ANOTHER Blather that the Evil and Rotten Slacker Hacker NEVER POSTED! I wrote this when Radio was in the freakin' theatres!

Admittedly, I'm not a movie buff. In America, in Hollywood no less, it's akin to profanity to say so, but movies bore me. I've never seen most of the "required viewing" flicks that play to kabillions of people before finding happy life as rentals or TBS specials. Jurassic Park? Nope. Close Encounters? Nuh uh. Silence of the Lambs? No. Fargo? Tootsie? Jaws? Rocky? Terminator? Not a one. It's a Wonderful Life, From Here to Eternity, The Graduate…? No, not them either. Anything with Tom Cruise since Rain Man? No. Anything with Harrison Ford other than the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies? Um….

And perhaps the worst 'fess: despite being a Durannie, I have never seen a Bond movie, nor Barbarella.

My history as a movie-goer, then, has been pretty spotty. Few movies pique my attention enough for me to even consider spending time and money on them. (Although, conversely, I am so enamored of and impressed with the Lord of the Rings movies, as a hardcore fan of the books, that I went to midnight showings at The Arclight of each movie the day it came out, saw each one at LEAST six times in the theatres, spent oodles on Trilogy Tuesday tickets, and just basically behaved like the antithesis of my usual movie-hating self. But I digress….) So my usual reponse, when someone gushes, "Hey, did you see ___ when s/he was in ____", is somewhere in the vicinity of "There's a movie called ____?"

Most people loveloveloveLOVE movies, and don't get that I just do NOT care about seeing the latest action-packed adventure, I do NOT care about romantic comedies, heartwarming dramas, fun-for-the-whole-family, laugh-out-loud thrill rides, feel-good-hits-of-the-year, or whatever you want to call it. Don't tell me I "should" see anything! Hell, the ultimate Kiss of Death for me, as far as movie viewing goes, is if someone tells me I "should" see ___ or ___ because "it's really a cute show!" "Cute show" is enough to guarantee that I will prolly not even catch it on the telly three years down the road.

I tend to think most movies are boring and a waste of time at best, and indicative of the highly-underdeveloped mentality of the American Public as a whole at worst. Yeah, I said it: I think most movies are crap. It's not even that I'm a movie "snob"; I'm an equal-opportunity Hater. And it amazes me that the most mediocre of viewing fare gets all this buzz and makes tons of moolah and everyone thinks, like, Radio is this deep, meaningful, heartwarming, life-altering flick that'll put your life in perspective. Do people need a heavy-handed Cuba Gooding Jr.-acting-retarded melodrama to instruct them on the meaning of life? Are people that stupid themselves?

More than once, I've been dragged (or even gone willingly) to a theatre, sat for three hours, and afterwards, been unable to fathom the appeal of what I just saw. Once, we went with friends to see Twister. The film plays. Wind blows. Things are destroyed. And after it was all over, everyone around us is chortling "RAD, dude!" and even our friends are high-fiving and going "That was AWESOME!" And I'm wondering if I missed something significant, until The Husband-Type Man, saying what I was thinking, responds to his friends with, "But it didn't have a PLOT!"

Of course, there are movies that everyone hates, that you're expected to hate: the latest Star Wars movies, for instance, or Gigli. There're also the movies that, while you thought were good initially, on second viewing you realized weren't all that groovy. For me, some, like Dirty Dancing and Grease, made their way into Cheestastic territory. A couple, like Dead Poets' Society and Bring It On and Spice World are my guilty pleasures. And others, like the first three Star Wars movies, are almost like childhood mythology, so whether or not they're "good" is irrelevant. And I'm not talking about the under-the-Hollywood-radar stuff, like Christopher Guest's flicks, or the so-bad-it's-good stuff, like Dolemite or Saturday Night Fever.

No, I mean the sacred cows movies: Forrest Gump. A Beautiful Mind. Dances with Wolves. Braveheart. Steel Magnolias. Stuff you're SUPPOSED to love.

I used to feel guilty. I used to think there was something really WRONG with me for not being deeply moved by Father of the Bride or Forrest Gump or Beaches. Mom would say "Honey, why do you have to be so CRITICAL?" (like it's a bad thing...?), and Gram would say "Can't you just ENJOY it?" And I would wonder if maybe I was being snotty and supercilious… yet again. But… but then I'd see Notting Hill while stuck on another cross-country flight, and think, "Really? People find THIS dumbed-down crap all poignant and important and touching and meaningful?" THAT is what I'm supposed to enjoy...? All I can think when I see something like The Family Man is that one-dimensional, formulaic, all-American "messages" like this is demeaning to women AND men! Gee, you have a choice: you can be all selfishly and soullessly rich and successful in business or you can choose WISELY and have a TRADITIONAL FAMILY and be poor financially but RICH IN LOVE and there are ONLY these two options and no other, and WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE, YOU SELFISH PRICK?! Go, suburbs! Go, Middle-Class! Go, America!

Gee whiz. I fucking hate movies.


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