November 26, 2008

"And what I would give to see a movie in which the death of a martyr is not filmed in excruciating, can-you-believe-how-tragic-this-is slow motion."

Christopher Orr, writing about "Milk."

First comment: "[O]ne of the things I liked about Saving Private Ryan was that our hero Tom Hanks was shot in the background and it took a bit of time for anyone to notice..."

45 comments:

Tibore said...

Stylistic clich├ęs exist because moviemakers feel they're evocative and compelling. And because some fans choose to reward such fallbacks with breathy praise for the emotional impact they supposedly impart. It's that sort of stuff which makes for jaded moviegoers in the end.

BJK said...

They Shot Tom Hanks at the end of Saving Private Ryan?

ZOMG! SPOILER ALERT, PLZ!!


(I honestly didn't know that, but mostly because I could never bring myself to watch the movie.)

knox said...

I haven't seen it, but everything I've heard about that movie feels very 80s.

Original George said...

Last scene of Easy Rider.

No slo-mo there.

Captain America died for you.

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon

Tibore said...

"BJK said...
They Shot Tom Hanks at the end of Saving Private Ryan?"


No, they shot Tom Hanks's character. ;)
(*ducks*)

Chris said...

I guess he didn't see No Country For Old Men. Or L.A. Confidential. I could go on.

Bissage said...

After I see a movie, it’s always nice to feel like I’ve learned some kind of a lesson. “Blow Up” comes to mind. “The Seventh Seal.” “Rashomon.” You get the idea.

But for Mr. Orr it’s all about gay politics and he would have us see “Milk” as if it were some kind of lame cinematic CliffsNotes.

But not like him. He didn’t need to see “Milk.” He was there two decades ago to see a better movie and hear a song. He’s authentic.

And that, for those younger Althousians, is a perfect illustration of how the term “politically correct” got started. It was originally used to describe pompous fellow lefties who affected a holier-than-thou attitude.

I know all this, you see, because someone told me about it two decades ago.

Darcy said...

Same with me, BJK. Oops! Well, maybe now I can watch it...

On the topic of the thread, as long as they're done well, I don't mind the dramatic deaths in movies.
Not at all.

Unless Sean Connery's character dies...then I lose it, and wish I was watching at home... ;-)

Freeman Hunt said...

Last scene of Easy Rider.

No slo-mo there.


I laughed at that scene. It was too much the stereotype of what Hollywoodites think of country people. "Dagnabit! There's one one dem deerty hippies! Let's shoot 'im boyz!"

twinsdad said...

Sometimes the timing of the shooting ruins the movie...Sophia Coppola should have been shot at the beginning of Godfather III and not the end, that would put us all out of our misery

Lem said...

In Reservoir Dogs the camera was turned away; at least once ;)

downtownlad said...

The New York Times called it a "marvel".

http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/movies/26milk.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Darcy said...

I meant Sean Connery's character, of course!!

Ann Althouse said...

"And that, for those younger Althousians, is a perfect illustration of how the term “politically correct” got started. It was originally used to describe pompous fellow lefties who affected a holier-than-thou attitude."

I remember the first time I heard "politically correct." It was when I moved to Madison in 1984. I heard it for the first time and then many times, and it was not an insult then. It was used by lefties to praise themselves doing things they regarded as good. Most common usage: "I live on the politically correct East Side." They were complimenting themselves. It was weird to me.

Shanna said...

Or L.A. Confidential

I love LA Confidential.

SteveR said...

This just seems like another movie project designed to get accolades from the industry, so it will gross about 30 million and win 5 Oscars, 4 Golden Globes, 3 SAG awards and keep caterers and fashion designers in California busy.

Slow motion tragic ending I'll mention is Thelma and Louise which is slowed to a freeze frame is case you didn't realize how tragic is was. "hey! get it?"

ricpic said...

We don't really know how far "the gay rights movement" has come so far because those opposed to it have been terrorized into keeping their mouths shut. But hey, whatever advances the agenda.

MadisonMan said...

Most common usage: "I live on the politically correct East Side."

Translation: I have lesbian neighbors.

Beth said...

And that, for those younger Althousians, is a perfect illustration of how the term “politically correct” got started.

and

It was used by lefties to praise themselves doing things they regarded as good.

I first heard it from lefties in irony, to make fun of being overly attentive to appearances, as in "You can't bring a meat dish to the feminist potluck! That's not politically correct!" It was a self-deprecating joke.

Bissage said...

They were complimenting themselves.

Ick!

Then that must have been the original meaning.

I hung with a disaffected and sarcastic crowd back in those days who would have seen that sort of self-satisfied conformity as . . . well . . . shall we say . . . untrustworthy.

Beth said...

those opposed to it have been terrorized into keeping their mouths shut

Oh hush, you big drama queen!

Graham Powell said...

...Tom Hanks was shot in the background...

Oy, shot in the background. That's a painful wound.

William said...

In the good old days, when the hero died, he fell forward with arms outstretched horizontally to suggest a crucifixion pose. This nobly crucified thing was worked to death by Kubrick in the Spartacus movie. A clear case of overkill. The crucifixion motif of the dead hero is rarely seen nowadays. Perhaps it is time for a revival.

junyo said...

It's not tragic unless it's in slo-mo, the actor does the Jesus pose, has a close up of the sidekick silently yelling the hero's name, AND Barber's Adagio for Strings is playing over it.

God that's the most abused piece of music in the universe.

Trooper York said...

It's really stupid for all this Oscar talk about Sean Penn's performance. They always give the Oscar to the actor playing the retard and based on Hollywoods bias we should expect Josh Brolin to get the Oscar.

TitusTheReflex said...

The New York Times said it was incredible. Best movie they have seen all year.

Enough said. We have our Oscar for 2008.

Sean Penn tour de force.

Emile Hirsch groundbreaking as Cleve Jones.

It is not 80's either it is 70's. Pre AIDS.

TitusTheReflex said...

Because Hollywood was too wimpy to give the Oscar to Brokeback we can expect, especially this year, a win for Milk.

I am looking forward to Sean Penn getting up to the podium and going off on Mormons and their history of bigotry.

TitusTheReflex said...

I would do all of the male leads in Milk.

Love Sean Penn. He has a great body. I bet he knows how to fuck.

TitusTheReflex said...

Gus Van Zant-on top of his game.

zeek said...

Original George said...
Last scene of Easy Rider.
No slo-mo there.


Actually, Fonda's choppper flying out into the field is in slo-mo.

Palladian said...

"Gus Van Zant-on top of his game."

Considering Gus Van Sant's "game" seems to consist of borrowing someone else's tiddly-winks to play with and then breaking them, I don't think being on the "top" of that deserves many accolades. Of course I'm not surprised you like him.

Original George said...

zeke--

You're rigght...

halojones-fan said...

Also: Don't forget the fact that in almost every action movie, the death of the main bad guy involves a long fall.

In other words: The hero is always Jesus, the villain is always Satan.

chuck b. said...

I first heard PC in 1987 a few weeks after I got to college. It was in reference to a cheesey piece of dolphin inspired jewelry someone was wearing. It was very much intended and understood as left-vs.-leftier derision. At the same time people wanted to deride political correctness, they also wanted to embody it.

There has never been a conservative equivalent that I'm aware of. Is it because conservatives take themselves, and each other, very, very seriously? Being conservative is nothing to laugh at?

Trooper York said...

Hey watch Sons of Anarchy on FX tonight. The season finale. A much cooler motorcycle club show than that Easy Rider hippie bullshit. If you haven't been watching it you missed something pretty good.

Beth said...

God [Adagio for Strings is] the most abused piece of music in the universe.

That, and Carmina Burana or any of the numerous meant-to-sound-like-its out there.

Bissage said...

I should go run a few errands, and I like listening to music while I’m driving, and it’s been a while since I’ve listened to “Samuel Barber’s Greatest Hits.”

So that’s what I’ll do.

Maybe I’ll hit a telephone pole or something and bleed out while “Adagio for Strings” plays in the background.

That would be way cool!

Cedarford said...

Shanna said...
Or L.A. Confidential

I love LA Confidential.


Me too! Love Russel Crowe's character, the thug cop with a heart of gold...Bud.. the best.

****************
Trooper York said...
It's really stupid for all this Oscar talk about Sean Penn's performance. They always give the Oscar to the actor playing the retard and based on Hollywoods bias we should expect Josh Brolin to get the Oscar.


Almost true, and it's actually any actor that plays any sort of mental or physical cripple in a noted movie not up against Israel or Holocaust-themed "competition" has a high chance of an Oscar nomination. The long-standing Mazim is that you make movies to make money for the owners and players, but you make Israel and Holocaust movies to please the community and the bulk of Oscar owners.

That said, even cripple players and "yet another Holocaust movie" have a rough time if the community decides that it has been 3-4 years since a gay-or minority-themed movie or the Best and Supporting actors were gay or minority cast won.

This theory breaks down on Sammy Davis, Jr., the one-eyed Jewish black entertainer who played various mentally and physically handicapped characters, among others. Davis Jr. was also vertically challenged.



exception is that if the cripple is up against a Holocaust movie.

jdeeripper said...

Where's the bodily fluids tag for this post?

Palladian said...

"The long-standing Mazim is that you make movies to make money for the owners and players, but you make Israel and Holocaust movies to please the community and the bulk of Oscar owners."

Cedarford's just upset that "Triumph of the Will" got beat by "Mutiny on the Bounty" at the 1936 Academy Awards. A Riefenstahl picture is the closest Cedarford will ever come to watching a "Holocaust" or "Israel" film.

What the hell is an "Israel" film anyway? And what is a long-standing Mazim? Is it the name of an Arab stilt walker in a circus? Is it an erectile dysfunction drug? Or is it just more proof that Cedarford comments while drunk and stupid?

zeek said...

It's really stupid for all this Oscar talk about Sean Penn's performance. They always give the Oscar to the actor playing the retard and based on Hollywoods bias we should expect Josh Brolin to get the Oscar.

That depends, did Brolin go full retard?

bill said...

Stiller: There were times when I was doing Jack when I actually felt retarded. Like really retarded.

Downey: Oh yeah. Damn.

Stiller: In a weird way, I had to sort of just free myself up to believe that it was okay to be stupid or dumb.

Downey: To be a moron.

Stiller: Yeah.

Downey: To be moronical.

Stiller: Exactly.

Downey: An imbecile.

Stiller: Yeah. When I was playing a character.

Downey: When you was a character.

Stiller: Yeah, I mean, as Jack. Definitely.

Downey: It’s like working with mercury. It’s how science makes art form.

Stiller: Yeah.

Downey: You an artist.

Stiller: It’s what we do, right?

Downey: Everybody knows you never do a full retard.

Stiller: What do you mean?

Downey: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, Rainman, look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic. Sure. Not retarded.

You know Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and he won a ping-pong competition? That ain’t retarded.

You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.

zeek said...

Downey: You don't buy that, ask Sean Penn, 2001, I am Sam. Remember? Went full retard. Went home empty handed.

blake said...

>>so it will gross about 30 million

I'd guess it won't crack $30M US. The only reason we know who Gus Van Sant is is because of Good Will Hunting ($150M).

The much-praised My Own Private Idaho made about $6M. The last film of his I heard much about was Elephant and that made &lt$2M.

Sean Penn's not a huge draw by himself, but you could get some lift from the Oscar buzz. OTOH, he has an Oscar for some reason for Mystic River.

Penn's last movie about a politician bombed. I'm gonna guess $18-20M for this one.

blake said...

>>What the hell is an "Israel" film anyway?

Ha-Ushpizin? (A film I highly recommend.)

It's true that there have always been two classes of films. In the early days, studios used to churn out comic or action quickies, and that financed the big budget movies they did.

That's changed a lot over the decades. Now, the crowd-pleasers are more likely (but not always) to have a bigger budget than the riskier films. This makes a certain amount of sense.

And, of course, there are a few Jews in Hollywood. So you know they're up to something.