Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nothing Prettier than Burning Books

Burn After Reading sucked. It was not funny or surprising. As mentioned previously, I didn't think too highly of the Coen's last effort. Yes, they have been responsible for much enjoyable fare including my favorite The Big Lebowski and the big win of O Brother. Still I wonder, how many strikes before these guys get their licenses revoked? Think of all the people who struggle to get their projects financed and yet these guys do not seem to have that difficulty.

They have two things going for them. The first is that people keep coming back due to the brand recognition. No matter how disappointed the general public is with one of their movies, their names alone will generate enough buzz to propel the next into orbit. The second is people's appalling sense of relativity in regard to film. If they don't like it, especially in a situation like this, they likely assume it's just not their thing. Also, people fear that perhaps they didn't like it because they are dumb.

This is all good and fine, but consider this: a crappy movie is less likely to sink a career than say a crappy album. Why is that? I'm not set on black balling those who's art I disagree with (or in some cases, those whose art disagrees with me). But I think people should be held accountable for stealing my money. How are they any different than oil tycoons or any other big, flashy execs? They are not. Yet, we are the fools surrendering to their power and greed. There are enough people vying for my entertainment dollar that I can't allow two brothers with the perpetual greenlight to get off scot-free. There may not be a lot I can do about it, but I can rant and I can spend my money someplace else, slumdog.


Jared said...

Can you explain a little more why you didn't like the movie? I thought it was great, and I could explain why, but the tv is on in the background and it's hard to think.

So, debate - start!

Food for thought: You never know what you have until it's gone, and you should take every opportunity to enjoy the journey just as much as the destination. These are just a few things that come to mind when I think of BAR. I've seen it twice now, and loved it both times.

Chase said...

I may take the time to debate later, but for now I will just say-

This proves my point. None of you are yourselves anymore. Either drugs or alien abduction or both.

And of course you'll say "I'm the same as I've always been" but you wouldn't exactly know it if your brain had been replaced by martian brain.

Jared said...

I actually agreed with you on the "you guys have changed" topic, so that doesn't really apply here. I, for one, am happier now than I have ever been. I also really don't see how liking Burn After Reading means that I've changed?

Jeff Watkins said...

I'm sure I've changed too, but I would hope any prick tendencies I once possessed have diminished greatly.

Also, I enjoyed Burn After Reading, even though there were parts I didn't get or understand. When Brad Pitt was shot in the closet (that was him, right?), my mouth dropped. I was surprised by the way the film developed.

Justin said...

I personally really enjoyed the movie. I think the film can be summed up when you think about the last few lines of the movie. No one knew what the hell was going on, and that was the point. I thought it was a good mix of funny, shocking and simplistic. Besides we always knew Clooney was building a "machine". Now we have proof.

Chase I dont agree with the concept that none of are being ourselves anymore. I don't even get the logic, unless is just a tongue in cheek type statement.

I would say we have all done some growing up, and have changed over the years, but have we really ceased to be ourselves just because we share different opinions?

I may not be living the same life as I was in Graceville, but I don't think any of us are. I think we are all in a much better place now. Jed is all responsible and getting married (scary thought huh) . Jeff is no longer the Star Wars hating prick he used to be. (Well, at least the prick part is gone) And Dr. Livingston actually hasnt liked two Coen brothers films!

And then there is me, which explaining all the changes in my life would take a few hours and a good bottle of Jameson (of which I have neither right now).

So we have all changed, but I think thats a good thing. Hopefully we can all still appreciate our friendships, and at times our shitty tongue and cheek humor. (For evidence at that please see my statement on Jeff being a prick). You know I love you guys, and you are all sorely missed.

Chase said...

Yes, that's it Justin. Tongue in cheek. And I know what you're about to say Jeff. "there's a little seriousness in every joke." It's no sin to be predictable.

As much seriousness as may be in any joke, interpretation is everything. I have always had difficulty expressing myself, especially on the internet. I quite commonly come off a whole other way than I intend. What was that you used to say, Jeff, about learning to explain myself? Well, I try. Some hints: if I use words such as "martian" and "brain" I mean no harm, on the other hand if I use words like "fucking" and "bread" I may be upset.

I was pretty dumbfounded that you guys liked the movie. But I don't care what you like. I disliked it so much that I took for granted the possibility that you all may have loved it. Last year it was fun when we all (save Justin) ragged on No Country.

Jed, remember last year I told you I wanted to see Lakeview Terrace? You could not believe those words had come from my mouth. You even said that I used to have taste. I'm not offended by that but I will say as it turns out that was a great movie. When I told you I also wanted to see BAR, it was as if I regained some credibility. You advised me to see the one and avoid the other but you hadn't seen either. I anticipated its DVD release and when it came out I rushed to the REDBOX to rent it. I was let down. But you guys don't seriously think that is because I am narrow minded on film, do you? I like a lot of weird movies and I give plenty more the opportunity. I allow myself the risk of being burned by some people over and over again. I'm looking forward to A Serious Man.

There is very little pop culture stuff that I can write about which might instigate conversation. When one comes along I snag it up. I've spent enough of my time being neutral on such trivial things, being oh so careful to use all the acceptable phraseology, "in my opinion" blah blah blah. You guys don't have to worry I'm not going to take to the streets in protest of this movie or its makers. In truth, I like what I've liked of the Coen's so much that I would never move for their disbarment. I may even re-watch it sometime.I just felt the concept of a "three strikes" rule was funny.

I've changed. There's a whole lot of shit you don't know about me. Its a given that we have all changed but I would never make serious accusations or presumptions about the kind of change or the reasons behind them. I'm smart enough to know I don't know you as well as I used to. I'm glad we're all pals though.

Jared said...

I believe there is a little penis inside every one of your jokes, Chase. That's why I make it a point not to get them.