While present-day American cinema is known for its tentpole blockbusters, with Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer leading each summer release blazing to theatrical premiers in their futuristic alien jet-space car that shoots lasers where headlights should be, and is able to project cgi buildings which it then proceeds to barrel into, throwing virtual debris on the Fandango populace held at bay by the velvet rope, it's not exactly consistently producing innovative or groundbreaking material on a semi-regular basis. Don't get me wrong...God Bless America and all that, but damn, do we really need a remake of The Fly?
Maybe it's me getting older and being more critical of what I watch. Maybe it's the dumbening of America, when the hallmark of comedy is the next new Will Ferrel Anchorman-70s retro-basketball star-stepbrother vehicle that's misting my vision. We all know that Dubya is a big fan of Will's movies, which, by all reasonable calculations done on my stupiditron device indicates that they are inherently evil...save for 'Stranger Than Fiction'.
Of course there are the handful of recent and relatively recent films that stand out as being uniquely powerful, stimulating, and provocative:
The Departed (based of the Hong Kong film 'Infernal Affairs')
Little Miss Sunshine
The Usual Suspects
Batman Begins & The Dark Knight
The Lord of the Rings
Being John Malkovich
The Royal Tennenbaums
No Country for Old Men (Look for the next adaptation of McCarthy's book, 'The Road' and Michael Chabon discussing The Road).
'Brick' is another film. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, it's been called a neo-noir crime drama played out among highschoolers who talk like cats from the 1940s where the protagonist works to solve a murder. It was good. It was different, and it required some involvement from the audience. Johnson's next one coming out ('The Brothers Bloom') looks pretty interesting as well, but it's 'Looper' that's sounds compelling to me.
"It's called Looper," Johnson said during a recent visit to the edit bay for The Brothers Bloom. "It's sci-fi, but it's very much -- well, I think people toss out Philip Dick sci-fi when they mean 'small, dark' sci-fi. Although, when I think of Philip Dick's books, it's something very different. I think people are confusing it with the movie Blade Runner.
Being a sci-fi uber nerd, and a Philip K. Dick fan at that, the comparison to Dickian themes whets my appetite, while the nerd is busy nodding his head and in complete agreement with the Dick |does not equal| 'Blade Runner' comment.
So, until then, I'm satisfying myself with Oliver Stone's next unbiased biopic, 'W.', which delves into the background of the only monkey ever to be elected President of the United States. Well done red staters!
'City of Ember' also looks interesting, but I'm reserving judgment. Just because Tom Hanks' company is producing it doesn't mean that it's going to outshine 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe'.