Sunday, July 24, 2011
Bearing the Cross of Hating 'The Passion'
It's Sunday Morning, so I figured I'd treat everyone to something from the funny pages. In this case, Gil Thorp, the lamest comic strip ever created. I don't know...it amuses me.
Now that the newspaper's out of the way, let's move on to Jesus...
On The Passion, I don't mean to crap on it just because I'm an atheist. I don't think people should dismiss it based on their religious beliefs. It is a movie first and foremost, not a sermon. And I know that it's cool to hate it, but I consider this be one of those movies where I don't care how many people rip on it, I could never defend nor enjoy it. I just don't understand the appeal. I'm not condemning the use of violence in film, but that amount of it just isn't my thing...and I feel consistent with that sentiment; I don't wish to watch movies like Saw or Hostel (haha, yes, John - The Passion and Saw would be a great double-feature). Whether simulated or real, torture isn't for me. And I'm NOT calling you guys a bunch of Dick Chaneys for liking it either, you Bush Doctrine bastards!
I guess I also just don't understand the appeal of Mel Gibson. And let's say Kirk Cameron went off and made this movie instead, shot for shot, would anyone still be on board? Speaking of which, anyone want to partake in a Left Behind marathon with me? Louis Gossett Jr. is in the last one...
I don't think Mel should be blacklisted or that people should boycott his movies just because of his off-screen mistakes. Though I really don't even want to use that word -"mistakes." When you screw up as many time as he has, it's something much bigger than an accident or a mistake. Mel is anti-Semitic and a wife-beater with repeated offenses. This is who he is. And while I agree that his star status allows for a bigger magnifying glass to placed above him, and if we were in his position we all could just as easily get into trouble (though I don't think any of us would...okay maybe some of us would come across as Anti-American, but only because people don't understand what we're really trying to say), but that doesn't make it okay in my opinion. For Mel's on-screen work, I've never really been a fan of him in anything.
Brandon makes an interesting point about Mel probably knowing that this movie would make millions. I think that that part about it bothers me too - that it's that easy to make money off of people and their beliefs. But that's been true for hundreds and hundreds of years.
If this discussion already seems exhaustive, I completely understand. And I want to clarify again that I know that none of you are so in love with this movie or its director that I need to go on a rant like this, but whatever...just wanted to share. On to happier thoughts...
Ben, I understand what you're saying about Tarantino - if you don't like his movies, then you don't like them and that's perfectly fine by me. I just find them to be so completely entertaining. He's the type of guy who makes me truly enjoy the existence of film/movies. But again, I completely respect your opinion on the issue. I have not seen that Iconoclasts episode, but I will definitely look into it. I also wish I could do a better Tarantino impression - Norm MacDonald's is pretty damn good.
And great news about Tree of Life. I still need to see it as well. But I do understand that everyone (except for John) is kind of exhausted with discussion about it. Maybe you and I can have our own mini-discussion on it, Ben.
I did specify in my post that I felt bad for attacking movies that you didn't even list in your honorable mentions list. I should have made that more clear, my apologies. You know that I have a lot of respect for you, and if you didn't know that, you do now. I could never admit to at least partially liking a movie like Ella Enchanted, but I can promise you now that if something like that occurs, I will not be afraid to share...now that you've broken that ice.
Of the boxing exceptions you listed, I've only seen Raging Bull. I will check out the others at some point. But even with Raging Bull, I think that you and I would never refer to it as a boxing movie. In a way, it's not really about boxing at all. That's what I love about it, it isn't defined by the sport in the way that a movie like Rocky is. I watched The Fighter a few months back and while it had some great individual performances, the story as a whole felt familiar/stale. The ones that are the freshest for me are the aforementioned Raging Bull and On the Waterfront (even though it's technically about an ex-boxer, but it is one of my favorite movies of all-time). But Jeff and I will probably give Million Dollar Baby a shot here at some point.
And The Incredibles and The Iron Giant as well - added them to my queue.
I really don't want to back away from Garden State, because I want to stand by everything I post on here...but I guess I should really just watch it again. It was one of those "I liked it at the time" movies. I understand why you hate it. It feels kinda faux-sentimental/insightful in a way. Maybe that will be the one to go from my list when I see Before Sunset (I'm not scheming here, I was just such a big fan of Before Sunrise that I know it will make the list...but maybe not). In general, I feel kinda bad about my '04 list. Not only did I forget about a lot of the movies I saw, but I'm also just not as impressed with that year as I am with other aughties. I hope I can give a better showing for '03...looks to be the case right now; the list is done whenever we're all ready.
Right, The Village as a monster movie would have been more interesting. But I do like the twist the most - don't really care for the rest of the film. I think I'd just really like to write my own movie about a little village that casts itself away from the rest of humanity. I just find that idea to be interesting.
Added The Five Obstructions to my queue. And I see your comment referring to Gale's murder; definitely true given the blood on Jesse's hands and the lab log in Gale's apartment. I'll have to check that podcast out. New episode tonight...can't wait.
Also, how is season 10 of The Simpsons coming along? What's the feeling like to return to those episodes after so many years? I can't wait to see your rankings when you're done, and also can't wait to talk about earlier seasons.
The Twilight Zone is still on hold for now. It's amazing how little time there seems to be.