Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Following the Herd

It’s Tuesday and the new TAM cartoon is up. I want to thank Julie and Brandon for their input. Now, I don’t want to be accused of lying so I’ll just tell you that the reason that I didn’t use their great suggestions is that they were getting a little ahead of me. There, I said it.

Thanks again.

Today’s post is going to be short. It’s my birthday tomorrow and I have to get 20 synopses done today so that I can enjoy it.

Besides, I don’t have anything interesting to say. When other blogs run dry, they usually post movie reviews. Who am I to buck the trend? After all, no one’s ever accused me of being a pioneer or anything.

This past weekend I was privileged enough to get to see two films, Harry Potter…, and Garden State.

Yeah, I know that Harry Potter came out a billion months ago, but it was free, so there.

You know, a lot of people I know have given Harry Potter a bad review. They complained that it didn’t follow the book closely enough. See, that’s why I don’t read.

Let me rephrase that. I do read, but the books that I read have little hope of ever being made into major motion pictures. Unless anyone out there is dying to see the “Screencraft: Cinematographers” movie or the amazing adventures of the “Word Detective” as he “solves the mysteries behind those pesky words and phrases?”

Yeah, so what, I read textbooks. I went to college for eight years, some habits are hard to break.

The only “novel” I’ve read lately is “The Da Vinci Code.”

And the dialogue read a lot like a textbook.

Enough about my illiteracy. And my poor punctuation. Let’s get back to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I liked it. I thought that the direction was a lot better than the first two in the series. But then again, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Chris Columbus. (Insert “discovering America” joke here). I just felt that the overall mood of the third film was superior. Not only that, but the story was a lot more focused. By focused, I mean that there was only one of them. And the production design was far better.

All in all, I found it entertaining. Sure, I’ve learned that there was a lot of backstory missing, but really, it’s not real life. It’s okay to take creative license. I mean, if you can’t take liberties with art…?

Now for review number two, Garden State, the directorial debut from Zach Braff. It’s a good movie and I recommend it. It’s not perfect, but that’s part of its charm.

However, I do get a little annoyed with the label of “first feature.” Sure, he’s never directed anything like this before, but there’s a world of difference between the resources that someone like Zach Braff has and, let’s say, you or I. When you’re rich and connected, I think that you should have to forgo the hype of the “first feature.” Let’s face it, none of us nobodies are gong to get Ian Holm to be in our first movie. I mean, I had enough trouble just trying to get my college peers to show up for mine.

But, that said, Zach did make a fine movie. It was stylish without being terminally hip. And, I’ve got to tell you, Natalie Portman was excellent. I was very impressed. Peter Sarsgaard was also good, although he didn’t have to do much more than look stoned the entire time. And he’s a natural when it comes to looking stoned.

So there you go, two space-filling reviews from TAM. Both positive. Amazing.

Now I have to go and write a crap-load of movie synopses. Don’t worry, I write synopses way better than I write reviews. Not that it really matters to you.

After all, why should it?

Fun Fact: Speaking of first time directors, most people (and by most people I mean the people I went to college with) think that the first movie I ever directed was “Norman,” a suspenseful tale about a meek computer hacker who disposes of his recklessly philandering wife (yeah, I know, it’s sounds way better than it actually was. In fact, if I had been that clear about the plot in the action of the movie, it would have been a lot more successful).

In fact, the first movie I ever conceived and directed was entitled “The Haunted Hotel.” A three minute silent short shot on super 8mm film. It was outstanding I tell you. I think I was about seven-years-old when I did that one. Here’s a synopses:

In Wheeling West Virginia, there sits a horrific hotel, terrifying, deadly, and laden with treasure. The lure of the majestic riches draw a motley group of preteens to the hotel where, in the hopes of making a quick buck, they intern for the night. But at the Haunted Hotel, those who check in, check out – for good, but not really, actually they just run around and yell a lot for two-and-a-half minutes, in this chilling tale of terror.

Man, I’m getting all goosebumpy just thinking about it!

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