Amoeblog

Worst Film Crud of 2011

Posted by Charles Reece, January 30, 2012 01:50am | Post a Comment

These are films that I either suffered through, or whose trailers assaulted me while waiting to see something else.


Not So Bad Once You Get to Know Them

j. edgar poster   iron lady poster

These are two individuals who made careers out of dehumanizing others. Yet, we're supposed to sympathize with them because one was a repressed gay man and the other a woman who faced off against men and is now suffering from Alzheimer's. Fuck them both. There are many legitimate ways to approach biopics about interestingly evil people (e.g. Downfall), but a liberalized understanding is not one of them. 
 

Monstrous Genetic Mutations

adventures of tintin poster   muppets poster 2011

I've previously expressed my horror at seeing simple 2D cartoonish figures rendered in photorealistic 3D detail. Who needs to count the black lines in Scooby's iris or see the snot dripping from his nose to get into the plot? But this grotesque disfiguration has really reached its aesthetic nadir with Spielberg's adaptation of the comic famous for its clear line style, Hergé's TinTin. Rather than believe Spielberg can't see how hideous these deformed monsters look, I suspect that this kind of adaptation is really a simulation of a live action adaptation. Ultimately, it's a portent of a later stage of the technological revolution in which actors and much of the old film crew will be out of a job. A perfectly realistic CG star can't join a union. Of course, that'll only happen if they can digitally create the voices, too, which brings me to why the Muppets are dead and should not be brought back as zombies. Maybe Gallagher and Sam Kinison can be safely simulated by a close relative, but there is no muppet without the original muppeteer. Kermit and Fozzie might look the same, but they're obviously defective clones, being revealed as recovering stroke victims upon opening their mouths. (Not that I've ever been much of a fan of the Muppet movies, which tend to identify more with the lame humans than the characters of interest.)
 

Continue reading...

90 Year Old Virgin: Captain America, The First Avenger (2011)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 24, 2011 11:47pm | Post a Comment
captain america first avenger poster vintage

Joe Johnston's Cap is a symbol of America, but more of our foreign policy than domestic issues:

As Steve Rogers, he starts off small and frail ("a 90 pound asthmatic"), but unwilling to back down from bullies. One pummels him in the alley, but he just keeps getting up to be hit again until his virile buddy Bucky Barnes chases the bully off. Adolf Hitler is a bully, and Steve won't back down from him, either, nor should America. Thus, America is never the bully, only the bullied or the defender of the weak from the bullies.

Steve might be weak, but what's really important to his status as a hero is his heart and soul. Not just anyone could've been made into the superhero Captain America through the injection of the super-serum formula. It took someone with a truly good heart, intrinsically anti-bully, to wield all that superpower in the correct, moral direction. The Red Skull was injected with the same formula, but look how ugly he turned out. That is, America is a benevolent superpower (and better looking than our enemies), intrinsically deserving of our power over others, since it's not our nature to use force wantonly.

Steve repeatedly lies, but only for a just cause, to get himself in the military to serve his country and vanquish evil. Despite his 4-F status, he's sure that his country needs him to fight as a man, not as a scientist or with some other skill set that doesn't involve muscle. Dr. Abraham Erskine, the German inventor of the formula, recognizes the determination of Steve in his willingness to lie for a just cause and enters him into the super soldier program. Realpolitik might make lies necessary, but that's not a problem as long as you remain true to yourself and your cause is just. We lie for good reasons, our ends are justified, and we are necessary for those ends to be realized. When the time comes, we'll jump on the grenade to protect you.

Continue reading...