Obviously Losing

Location: Los Angeles, California

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Damn Wanted

I don't really want to talk about how depressing it is that "Wanted" made $50 million this weekend.

All I'll say is that Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle has hit the nail on the head:

"How powerless -- how threatened, how desperate, how beat up, how angry, how precarious, how hungry for success and in despair of ever achieving it -- do people have to be to invest emotionally in the story of a nobody who becomes a murderer? I'd say, "A lot," and that the sound of cheering you'll hear tonight in the multiplex is not good news."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt?

This guy is one of my idols. More info is at his website.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wanted? Nah.

Seeing movies early is hard. It's hard because you're seeing that movie without the cushion of reading critics' reviews, hearing what your friends think, learning what it made at the box-office, seeing what users at IMDB are rating it, etc.

I try to see every film with an open mind, be it "There Will Be Blood" or "Transformers." But, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that a film's critical reception plays a small part in how I initially approach it. It's all the more easy to love "There Will Be Blood" when you know that nearly every other critic agrees with you.

But, when you see a movie early, the critics have not yet spoken. You're therefore left with only the movie itself and your reaction to it. The fun part is then waiting to see whether your opinion falls into the majority or the minority.

Which brings me to Timur Bekmambetov's "Wanted," a movie that I thought was absolutely vile. It belongs in that group of movies that champion aggressive violence over passive conformity; that is, it believes that it's much better to be a blood-thirsty assassin than a compliant accountant.

Whatever. That wouldn't bother me, though, if the film didn't insist on driving in its point with sickening violence. I do not need to see a bullet pierce a man's head in slow-motion, only to then be subjected to seeing it again in reverse. I do not need to see assassins practice their shooting technique on corpses. I do not need to see 1,000 rats literally explode (over and over and over).

And, still, all this violence wouldn't bother me if it was in service of something. But, "Wanted" is about nothing but supplying action aficionados an opportunity to masturbate at the sight of curving bullets, speeding cars, brutal torture, and Angelina Jolie (who supplies a "you see it and then it's gone" glimpse of rear-end nudity).

All of this is in service of a ludicrously silly story that has a ludicrously stupid twist. I don't even want to talk about the "magical weaving loom" that plays a significant part in the plot.

Bekmambetov is by no means a bad director. There are individual shots that I admired (especially one with a computer keyboard). But, this was a misguided movie from the beginning, and Bekmambetov was obviously too excited to play with his $80 million budget.

YET... two of my Entertainment Weekly coworkers really dug "Wanted." Todd McCarthy at Variety enjoyed it, as did Anne Thompson. Reviews are starting to trickle in, and they've all been positive.

And this is where I get a little anxious. Did I miss something? Was I having an off night? Am I incapable of enjoying dumb action movies?

No, no, and no. I'm standing by my opinion. You have to. You can never be a credible reviewer if your opinion wavers because of how others respond. And it's still early. As more reviews of "Wanted" appear, I'm predicting that more than a few critics will feel the way I do. I will then declare those critics my new best friends, and we will all go out and have a round of drinks while discussing why everyone else in the world is wrong about "Wanted."

And "Iron Man" too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Prank Goes Gay

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Darth Thriller

The "Star Wars" prequels might have actually been good movies if they had dance numbers...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

World of World of Warcraft

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama Clinches!!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

MTV Movie Awards

My PopWatch post about attending the MTV Movie Awards is here.

I wrote it late last night while being sick, so I don't have any sense of whether it's good or not. It'd be helpful to hear what you think.