B- For Effort: 6/14/2012
Every once in a while, as impossible as it may sound, the immature film blog-o-sphere can actually produce a halfway interesting piece of film journalism.
As I made my daily walk through the internet film blog graveyard, I happened upon an article that showed some signs of life.
Ah yes, the old 3D debate. I don’t really want to go there. I’m done arguing about 3d both on the con side and the pro. As far as today’s film culture goes, I don’t even see why its an issue anymore. There are bigger pressing matters in cinema today, such as making good movies. Yeah, there needs to be more of that. I would start by adressing that issue and move onto the 3D debate latter.
(If you think I’m being negative in my vague denouement of modern film-making, why don’t you check the local listings for your community mega-plex and tell me I’m not correct. Read the titles out loud going down the list and watch your own skin crawl. “Madagascar”, “Snow White”, “M.I.B III”, and “That’s My Boy”. A variable bouquet of rancid roses. )
Like I said, I’ll give slashfilm its credit for at least attempting to bring to light an worthwhile article that doesn’t have to do with set photos from “Star Trek 2” or the newest “Dark Knight Rises” Trailer. Rian Johnson is a…….passable film-maker. Brick was a great film, I think. It took a gimmick (a film noir set in high school), combined with with a sense of depth, and a sure handed, mildly dynamic vision, to produce a pretty energizing piece of cinema (although I think he owes some props to the people behind “Bugsy Malone” but thats another issue). After that, he made the Wes Anderson/Tim Burton style ripoff and rehash of heist movie tropes that was “The Brothers Bloom”, while up next he has the truly awful looking Joseph Gordon Levitt/Bruce Willis time travel story “Looper”. Perhaps you can chalk most of the blame up to advertising department (although I’m finding more and more that not even flashy edited trailers can mask a stinker) but this just looks like another entry into the newly emerging genre of fast-food sci-fi. You know the movies. Three or four of them come out a year. They have titles like “Daybreakers”, “Surrogates”, “Priest”, “In Time” and “Babylon A.D.” . They are poory written, badly directed, cgi travesties, that seem only to exist so a movie company can fill a quota or have a date covered in the upcoming year. Seriously, take a look at the trailer for “Looper”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AXwtch744A.
I feel like the Tagline should be, “If you liked “12 Monkeys” but wished it was made by the people who produced “In Time”, then have we got a movie for you (just to clarify being more like “In Time” is not a good thing). Not to harsh or Rian, but it just seems like any spark of talent he showed with Brick is being smothered by the recent sub-par material he’s chosen to make.
I at least want to commend his bravery for throwing his hat into this pointless 3D debate. Its still a naive piece of writing to be sure and I don’t know why he wants to defer the argument to his 17 year old self. The whole article just seems like kind of a neutral waste. Its clear he doesn’t support 3D but its also clear he doesn’t want to burn any bridges with any future film distributors so he won’t entirely dismiss 3D either (get that feeling from a lot of directors actually). He goes from openly denouncing the technology to admiring its potential all in the same article. I admire attempts at peaceable neutrality but much prefer people not being so wishy washy. Take for instance the opinion of someone like a Walter Murch concerning 3D; http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/01/post_4.html
Whether your pro 3D or con its hard to argue with pedigree and expertise. Maybe if Spielberg or Scorsese had written Rian’s article, then I would actually hold it in higher esteem. Not that you need accolades to make a good point, but Rian is not making a point. He’s arguing for the bright future of a technology that at present he wants nothing to do with and finds no worth in. Until he makes up his mind, i’ll take the argument of the guy who edited “Apocalypse Now”, “Julia”, and “The English Patient” over the guy who did directed “Brothers Bloom”.
Still I just wonder if in all this 3D back and forth debate, we haven’t lost sight of the real issues with movies today. For instance the question shouldn’t be: “Hey honey, do you want to go see “Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter” in 2D or 3D. It should be “Honey, why in the world would anybody want to go see Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter? I’ll just go to the library and rent “Young Mr. Lincoln” instead.”