Thursday 3 February 2011

Flapping me gums 'bout recent tales

The title of the following note is inspired by absolutely fantastic facebook feature that I have recently discovered: interface in English (pirate). With one click my friends changed into me hearties, my hour was divided into 60 shots o' rum and if I do not attend an event, I'm supposed to be swabbing th' deck instead. Whoever did that, was a freaking genius.

Those who know me better can see that I'm upset about something very often. Be it films, politics, coffee machine, Dublin Bus or my own failures, it takes very little for me to start shooting words of disapproval towards everyone and everything as fast as a machine gun. Yes, I am a judgmental, opinion-making, elitist bitch. However, usually I'm not like that in my blogs. Sure, sometimes my point of view on this or that will sneak into a post about baking a chocolate cake, but in general I am trying to keep it hate-free.

Well, this time I cannot hold it any more.  I feel that my opinion on this must be heard. OK, maybe blogging is just an illusion of being actually heard, but it's worth to try.

I've looked at this year's Oscar nominees and I thought (not for the first time, obviously): "Quo vadis, Hollywood?". I haven't seen all those pictures yet, but seeing "Inception" amongst them seriously pissed me off.

Yes, I have seen that crap. Of course I didn't like it! Do you want to know why?

Let's go back in time to late 1990s for a moment.
I suppose you might not be a SF fan and therefore not hearing of the following two films:
Dark City
The Thirteenth Floor
First picture is a dark story of a weird city, in which expression "night life" gets far too literal. Always sunk in a nightfall, mysterious urban jungle is in fact sort of RPG for a bunch of aliens, who "tune" this little world by changing inhabitants' lives, their roles in the society, circumstances, families, houses... (the story by Alex Proyas, the director, seems to be strongly based on one of short stories by Philip K. Dick, only I cannot remember which one). Personally I did not find the film that brilliant (mostly because I don't like Jennifer Connelly, her acting is getting on my nerves), but I liked the atmosphere and that slight steampunk touch.
The latter film is about, well, sinking into dreams and virtual reality. Plot is a bit complicated and I would rather not reveal its details not to spoil the surprise to those who might be willing to watch it, but it's all there: parallel world, tampering sense of reality, intrigue, mystery. Again, I do not find this film the best picture ever, but appreciate the story and atmosphere.

Truth be told, both of these movies lose a lot because of the female leads. Both Gretchen Mol and Jennifer Connelly are too busy looking beautiful to take care of their acting properly. You might call me ugly, jealous or whatever, I don't care. I think the producers could have chosen better, period.

So, mingle these 2 pictures, add more dough, cast popular actors and you get "Inception".

Few people recommended that movie to me, so I went to see it in a cinema (good that I got an early bird price instead of paying 10 euro for that bullshit). I just cannot get over how disappointed I am. This picture is nothing new or interesting to anyone who has read/seen even a little bit of science fiction. It's a long, tedious, tacky show of special effects and pseudo intellectual dialogues taken straight from soap operas. Marion Cotillard, whom I truly adore, speaks English so badly that I can barely understand her, same goes for Ken Watanabe. WTF? Watch "Memoirs of a geisha" or "Big fish", their English is really good. Why on Earth they have decided to fake bad accents now? To make it more international? To make it more politically correct by praising the diversity? In that case, why Cillian Murphy would not speak with his Cork accent? That would be fun!
To be perfectly clear: I do appreciate all actors casted in this movie. I love Di Caprio, Page, Cotillard, Watanabe and Murphy. I simply think that "Inception" is not the best of their performances. Maybe they thought "oh, what the hell, people will go see this  anyway, because the poster is so fancy, probably they will be admiring special effects more than anything else, so what's the point of trying to act". Feels like a slap in the face to me.

Once again, I find myself a complete rebel, or someone living in a different reality than others, because I cannot understand why this film got so much appreciation from the public. Oh, how much they enjoy discussing this picture, trying to figure out which dream was where, who was in the limbo and who wasn't, did Di Caprio wake up or not. You know what? I don't give a damn!

I think the only thing I really liked about "Inception" was the vision of Paris folded in half like a crêpe. Don't ask me, why.

OK, but I guess I drifted away from the main point of my rant. Hollywood is all about being tacky, this movie is just following this logic. Fair enough.

What I really hate is the fact that "Inception" is the rip-off and it gets rewarded, while the other 2 pictures hardly got any recognition. Only proves my point about Oscars: it doesn't take to be original in your filmmaking any more, it just takes money and popular name. Same story with "The Departed", which is a remake of great action drama from Hong Kong, titled "Internal affairs", and got an award for the best picture in 2006.

I know that copying is not a theft, but it does not deserve recognition either. I understand that you might not have an idea of your own, but in that case why should you be an artist? You can try to do something else for a living. For example, I like singing and playing guitar sometimes, but I cannot write any good lyrics and I'm not creative enough to compose any good melody. Thus, I test software to pay my rent and post my recordings on just for my own satisfaction, and I do not expect to be rewarded for that.

Getting rewarded for a film remake is like stating that you invented anal sex just because you have performed in few porn videos. You are only making yourself look ridiculous.

Just sayin'

To get things back on affirmative track, last weekend I watched "The social network" and absolutely loved it. Jesse Eisenberg looks even more nerdy than Zuckerberg himself, plot is fascinating, the style of telling the story keeps a spectator tense and awaiting impatiently for what's next. Totally "like" it!
Or, keeping it pirate: "Arr!"

Zuckerberg did not enjoy it, though :D