Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

This movie caught me by surprise. I went to the theatre and had missed Rango. The Adjustment Bureau was playing, I like Damon and Slattery and conspiracies so I gave it a shot.

Here is what I expected:
Damon is running for Senate, some government conspiracy is behind him getting elected to office ala Manchurian Candidate, when he goes off the grid the shit gets real. Based on the trailer I expected it to be shot well and look good.

Here is What I got:
A love story. A really good love story that had a supernatural conspiracy as the backdrop. Also it was shot very well and looked very clean, slow pans added to the otherworldlyness of the story. No one acted poorly, some of it was one note but it worked. Emily Blunt who hasn't been memorable in the other two movies I've seen her in was near flawless, playing her character to a T.
What I took away from the story was that nothing can stop true love, even if you want something to stop it, it won't happen. I don't usually walk away with that, in general its, "ahh thats nice they love each other."

The whole spiritual, God and Angels thing threw me for a loop, but they acknowledged that it was a strange concept and didn't dwell on it and then let it go. That was great. It didn't overshadow anything.
It dawned on me that I wanted to know if everything worked out in the end. Then I thought about it and realized it was perfect that it was open ended. I knew that all their dreams would come true.

Friday, March 4, 2011

He used to be cool: Tim Burton

I have been trying to focus on something to write about. Oscar weekend came and went. I didn't really care, Anne Hathaway was hot and Melissa Leo said fuck. beyond that I was pretty apathetic. I saw most of the Best Picture Nominees and my favorites were Inception and Black Swan. i thought they were really and truly unique and breathtaking. Toy Story 3 made me cry twice, which is a feat because I didn't really bug out about that whole Old Yeller getting shot thing when I was 6. oops Spoiler Alert!!! And I was not impressed by the king's speech enough to give it a Best Picture statue. It just didn't do it for me. Social Network was Really fucking good. Really fucking good. But needless to say nothing out of the ordinary happened in it. I think I lean more towards the fantasy/fiction side of movies. Anyway... I didn't really want to get into that because I don't have much more to say than has already been said, and don't feel too passionately about it anyway. However, I do have one thing that I do feel passionately about, and hopefully it will lead to a new article every once in awhile. Tim Burton used to be cool. Now he isn't and he just won two Oscars (I know it wasn't him but still). Many people used to be cool and now are not. M Night, and Lucas are the biggest offenders, and I hear about them all the time on the internets. However, I don't hear about Burton. Perhaps I am not on the Hot Topic message boards enough to be exposed to it, but I feel Like there I would hear about how great he is anyway.
So, here we go....

Tim Burton used to be cool. Groundbreaking visuals, unique stories and characters, subtle approaches to grandiose ideas, and grandiose ideas to subtle ideas.

Tim Burton is now lame. More of the same visuals, old rehashed stories and trite characters. Grandiose for grandiose sake.

Below is an abbreviated filmography that I stole directly from which I will go ahead and say is one of the most useful websites out there. Nightmare, isn't in there because he didn't direct it, but it was  93 and he did write and produce.

2003Big Fish
1994Ed Wood
1984Frankenweenie (short) 

Now it just so happens that my favorite Burton films are his first four major studio productions. PeeWee, Beetle Juice, Batman, Scissorhands. I don't much care for Returns, and then I like Ed Wood and Mars Attacks and Nightmare. This is when it starts going to hell.

The hilarity and dark twisted humor and vision that he has, the otherworldly images that seem to fit in perfectly to the story (in my opinion best exemplified in his first four) get lost. New technology is available and he can do whatever he wants and has to think less, sound like anyone else we know? After Mars Attacks he does one original movie. And THAT was Corpse Bride. Big Fish doesn't count because it was a novel first. And all of them are remakes that were done better decades before. Now, in his first four, he did do Batman. But he redefined it, and that is only a quarter.

Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sweeny Todd, Alice in Wonderland. All better before. That sucks, If you are going to redo something do it better or not at all.
They are just bland and unimaginative. It seems as though he has hired a team that understands his visual style and they create everything for him and he just is along for the ride. I'm having trouble, but I can't really think of a unique scene in any of these films that defined or redefined, or was breathtaking. True I didn't finish Alice but I doubt there was anything cool in the last hour.

I feel like I need to do a much bigger article than I had originally intended to get my point across.

Basically, he is recycling and rehashing his own ideas and those of others and that is a shame, because he has some wonderfully unique movies under his belt. Sit and watch Beetle Juice and Edward Scissorhands then Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. Crazy different in quality.


Dear Tim Burton,
Think of something that you have always wanted to do.
Give yourself a limited budget.
Don't hire anyone you have ever worked with before.

Try these simple rules and see if you can't come up with an innovative and inspired film again.

To bring everything back to the original rant: Alice did not deserve it's two Oscars. Black Swan (which wasn't nominated) should have received art direction. And anything else deserved costume design (I say True Grit).

I am not saying anything flat out but during my limited internet research I came across these interesting facts.

From Ed Wood to Planet of the Apes Tim was involved with Lisa Marie. Then From Planet of the Apes to present day he has been with Helena Bonham Carter.
Both of them were in Planet so that must have been awkward, but the point being it seems that when he isn't getting any he makes better movies.
Helena almost seems to be better when she is not in your movies. Same thing goes for Depp, well at least now anyways.