I Call Them “Homework Movies”

I recently watched a movie called Southland Tales. Here’s the IMDB page for it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405336/

I didn’t like it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it. I think one of the biggest issues I have with this movie is an issue I originally had with Donnie Darko. Back in the day I watched Donnie Darko and I loved it. I only really understood half of what was going on, but I still loved it. Shortly thereafter I discovered that you could read Roberta Sparrow’s book online (and on some of the DVDs etc.) and it explained what the hell was going on in the movie. I was a little annoyed with that because when I watch a movie I want to enjoy it as it is presented to me. I don’t want to have to do homework afterward. I don’t want to have to read some external source prior to seeing a movie in order to understand what is going on. However, Roberta Sparrow’s book was a very short read, so I viewed this as a minor issue. 

For this movie, I would have had to have read 3 graphic novels in order to only partially figure out WTF was happening in this movie. That’s a bit excessive. That was my biggest issue. Other things I didn’t like were the constant footage of multiple TV screens showing different things going on. I found it rather repetitive and unnecessary. I really didn’t like any of the characters. I wanted to like Sarah Michelle Geller’s character, but I really didn’t. Some of the dialogue was just… I can’t even find a word to describe it, I was just rolling my eyes. The part where the neo-Marxists were going on and on about poop… I was just like “GET ON WITH IT!”. When Justin Timberlake starts doing that musical number in the store I couldn’t help thinking “Is this movie trying to be The Big Lebowski?” Many movie critics and movie buffs say that narration in a movie is a sign of a weak writer. I personally don’t mind some narration, but this movie had a lot. 

I just wanted to point out something else. When I watched Inception I understood the plot and the mechanics behind it right away. I know a bunch of people didn’t get it, but I got it and I loved it. Inception actually has a graphic novel which details the events that happen prior to the movie (i.e. how they got the job to extract info from Saito). My point here is that you don’t need to read this graphic novel in order to understand what’s happening in Inception, and that’s a good thing. The movie can stand on its own. Southland Tales, and to a lesser extent Donnie Darko, cannot. And that makes me sad T_T


I Am a Movie Geek

Since I’ve decided to make a blog about movies, I should probably explain why I love movies in the first place. I don’t just watch movies for the sake of seeing a story. I like more than just the pretty pictures on the surface. I like to appreciate all of the hard work and extra stuff that goes into making movies. And the more movies I watch, the more I notice things beyond just the characters and plot. I’ve begun to feel that movies have layers. The surface layer is the characters, plot and pretty pictures, and then there are other things like cinematography, set design, score, screenplay, direction and camerawork, costumes, symbolism, etc, which I’ve come to really appreciate. It’s these things that give movies layers, but they’re things that a lot of moviegoers don’t really think about. It’s these kinds of things that, I think, when done well, can take a good movie and elevate it to the status of a great film. 

Does that last line sound pretentious? 

Anywho, these other elements of film are going to be some of the things that I’m going to be talking about. I guess I kind of want to raise awareness of these things? I really hope I don’t come off sounding like some sort of elitist know-it-all or something, because I really don’t know much. I just really want to show you some things that I thought were pretty shiny. I’ve seen blogs where people take a movie and rant about how awful it was and pick apart every detail *cough*CinemaSins*cough*, but I don’t really want to do that. (Actually, I really don’t care for CinemaSins, but I’ll rant about that later.) 

As for this blog, I’ll try to post something at least once a month. I’ve got a lot of things I want to talk about. I’ll try to make it… coherent. My thoughts are pretty scrambly, and I can get pretty animated when I talk about things that I am passionate about and that doesn’t always translate well over text. I will try my best to make it make sense for you.

Starting a Blog… Again.

Greetings and salutations. My name is Petra Sphinx. I also go by Apathygrrl. This is attempt #2 at having a blog. This blog shall be about movies. It will not be updated very often. I guess you could consider that a disclaimer. Or a warning. Whatever.

I had a blog once, many years ago. I liked having it. I found it to be a good way to release pent up frustration, and I enjoyed being able to rant about whatever the hell I wanted. Problem was, as it always is, I am very lazy. I eventually procrastinated enough that I just stopped posting shit altogether.

I love movies. I love watching movies. I love owning movies. I love thinking about movies. I’ve lately been accumulating a lot of opinionated nonsense and garbage about movies in my brain and I again feel the need to start cleaning house. I don’t know why, but I feel that I want other people to know my opinions. Yeah, as if they actually matter or something. Am I delusional, or what? I’ve found myself thinking “I want to track down Director So-And-So’s email address and I want to write him an email telling him what I think.” The fact that even if I did get a certain email address that person would never actually read anything I send them doesn’t even enter into my desire to rant at people. Really, my laziness is the only thing that may get in my way. I would absolutely love it if people in the movie industry actually did read something I posted. But as Craig Ferguson said “You know it’s never gonna happen, but it MIGHT happen.” *shrug*