While Richard formulates some thoughts on Observe and Report and the oeuvre of its writer/director Jody Hill, Dr. X. steps in with a long-delayed review of Into the Wild, a movie he once trashed from afar while refusing to watch (to the annoyance of Richard and Beth) but which he now trashes from close range! His review also suggests that he's seen Twilight. What other dark secrets will we discover about his viewing habits? Stay tuned for this occasional column!
"See, now -- I have seen Into the Wild (I was bored in a hotel room at a conference last year). As much as I thought I would hate it... I hated it even more. I even found Eddie's Soundtrack choices lugubrious. And while I full well understand that the movie is a trueish story... I completely found Hirsch utterly unwatchable, the story stillborn (I know, ya can't change the truth.. but it's Sean Penn, so... Why not?) and the ending as worthless as the prospects of me paying 5$ to watch it.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: we have done this story a million times before. Hollywood continues to pick up properties that they think we'll watch because they have a tried and true tradition... but, in a climate of fiscal non-solvency such as the one we're currently mired in... I'm not looking for the same damned survival story again.
I mean -- I truthfully preferred the pinball game that was Speed Racer over this. Yes, the imagery is shot beautifully. Yes the cinematography was resonant. Yes, the acting was fine. I don't care. The cinematography in Twilight was beautiful (and if you throw a blue-cast lens onto the American NW, it really becomes beautiful) -- and it was still a piece of shit. Into the Wild was not necessarily a piece of shit... but it was an entirely forgettable moment of the year. It's just kinda another of a series of personal Hollywood pet projects where major named stars, auteurs or directors take on something that they have solipsistic passion about and then spend a bunch of money and then try and blame the rest of the world when we don't find the same value that they did.
And, I don't want to hear any of this art bullshit. We are not in the Wilde years. This is not literary decadence. There's no VITALITY to this nonsense. That's why it doesn't resonate even thought it's good. Jack Palence made a hundred films that were spot on and priceless to me... but very few of them were imbued with a timeless and ephemeral vitality that demanded that they be watched (Maybe Cyborg 2). The Duke. Same time period. Same manner of movies. Absolutely vitality. They could give him his own channel.
And I think this is a fairly true distillation of my point concerning the endlessly hip and disposable. For every good cum great piece of film, poetry, art... what have you... everything that makes the selfless grab their fecking PBR and admonish the supposed dilettante for being part of the total scene of which they neither know themselves or really care to explain (But they read that it was important in pitchfork/ New Yorker... and surely THEY know what they're talking about... because the magazine trade isn't dying or anything.)... there is a disposability about it that makes it unprofitable. It doesn't have a grasp of the zeitgeist nor the testicular fortitude to form it.
Great movies can lack soul. The Breakfast Club, god help me, had soul... Into the Wild had a couple of good Eddie Vedder songs and director of Photography that should work for the Nature channel. Is it wrong for one to like it/ love it? Abso-damn-lutely not.
But if someone tries to tell me how important that piece of shit is... well, yon best don your chainmail -- I'm coming at you with a fucking bludgeon.
--Oh, and Happy Easter everyone :)!"