I haven’t had much to do lately (besides enjoying the box of goodies from Midheaven that arrived yesterday, and one or two other, very important things that I don’t need–or want–to divulge here), and as you might imagine I’m kind of stuck for inspiration, so I’ve chosen to fill the void with film.
The first flick I’ll mention here, let’s just say it didn’t exactly reaffirm my faith in the movie industry. Against my better judgement, I went with John and Grover on Tuesday night last week to see The Ring. I went prepared to be disappointed–I only agreed to go because it was something to do with the guys and, well, I thought it might be fuel for these pages–and disappointed I was, for almost every reason I had anticipated.
To put it simply, it pales in comparison to the simply brilliant Ringu on so many levels–the story is convoluted, unnecessarily complicated and, ultimately, confusing as fuck (strange how the funny foreign film turns out to be more accessible, eh?); it goes for a succession of cheap shocks and edge-of-seat moments rather than the almost tangible creeping dread of the original; it’s spoiled by special effects that strip away all the mystery that made the orginal so powerful; it even plays at times like a showreel of cinema’s most horrific moments (Freddy-esque nightmare sequence? Check! Obvious banjo-kid-from-Deliverence homage? Check! Nod to Cronenbergian visuals? Check!). Lest my laughter in utter disbelief at what I was seeing confuse you, it was actually quite offensive to my cinematic sensibilities. In fact the more I think about it, the more it sucks.
But at least they got the location right (rainy Seattle is a suitable stand-in for rainy Toyko). And I’ll grudgingly admit it passes the time. Just.
The week wasn’t a _complete_ washout, however, as two days later I caught an early showing of The Kid Stays In the Picture, the documentary adaptation of one-time big-shot producer Robert Evans‘ autobiography-slash-Hollywood reminiscence. Much of his story I had already gleaned from Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind’s account of Hollywood’s true Golden Age, but still, however selective–or embellished–Evans’ memories of the time may be, it sure was something to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
And I’m not done with movies yet. Last night saw the start of the Dublin International Film Festival, at which I will be attending four screenings over the next few days: George Clooney‘s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Rules of Attraction (which I’m really looking forward to, despite the bad press it’s gotten), The Happiness of the Katakuris (been waiting four months to see this, since it was bumped from the Horrorthon to make room for Donnie Darko) and Steven Soderbergh‘s Full Frontal. I may go see one or two more, depending on my finances; one doesn’t get opportunities like this very often, after all.