My pal Brother Wease and I talk about new films, the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., massacre, books – and almost (almost!) no politics if you click here.
A South American director once observed to me that everything was political.
He was referring to entertainment in general, more specifically the films that Hollywood chooses to make, even when they seemingly have nothing to do with politics – because that, in itself, is a political choice.
That’s still true – even as we try to deny it as much as possible (and as Hollywood does its best to scrub all obvious political content from its output). (More…)
In the case of the Aurora multiplex shootings, the story is not “The Dark Knight Rises”; the movie has nothing to do with some violent creep looking for his 15 minutes of fame by wiping out a bunch of strangers at a movie.
It was a premeditated crime of opportunity – and the crowds for the Batman movie happened to provide that opportunity. Does this mean we need metal detectors at movie theaters? C’mon – would a metal detector have stopped this guy?
No, it’s about the one thing we won’t have a serious discussion about: gun control.
Natch, the NRA’s response is so predictable: This had NOTHING to do with gun control, that the real problem (as that crazy Texas congressman said) was that no one else had a gun to shoot back. Because that’s what we needed: Gunfight at the OK Corral in the local multiplex. Their solution is always the same and always so reductionist – more guns! For everyone!
More about this and other stuff on my podcast with Brother Wease, which you can access here.
As the minor media frenzy about me being the first critic to post a negative review of “The Dark Knight Rises” reached its mini-crescendo on Wednesday (when I actually had six requests for interviews – five of them from Canadian outlets – about so-called “death threats” on Rotten Tomatoes aimed at me), I kept thinking to myself, “This must really be a slow news week if I’m the headline.”
As if to prove the point, actual news happened last night in the form of a tragedy, when someone walked into a suburban Denver multiplex and killed more than a dozen people. And it happened at a midnight show of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
So let me say two things: (More…)
I got the chance to chat with my friend Brother Wease about “The Dark Knight Rises” and the fanboy response to my negative review, as well as a couple of terrific docs here.
I was on the Internet radio show “For Your Ears Only” (formerly: “Newsweek on Radio”) today, talking about the week’s movies. Find it here:
I owe a pen to a kid named Tyler.
I took his pen almost a year ago, when he was running lights for a play I was directing that I’d written for a one-act festival. I borrowed it to take notes during a rehearsal and it wound up in my pocket afterward, as often happens.
But it had such a smooth, easy feel to it that I never gave it back. It was a black ballpoint with the Amnesty International name and logo on it. And I apologize for not returning it.
But I’m not sorry I have it. (More…)
What’s the best picture of 2012? So far?
It is, after all, the year’s halfway point. I’ve been posting a 10-best list for the first half of each year for about a decade now.
The idea was based on the 1981 Major League Baseball Strike, when a shortened season led to the decision to pit the winner of the season’s first half against the victor of the season’s second half in various playoffs.
It occurred to me: Conventional wisdom has it that, in terms of Oscars and 10-best lists, the bulk of any year’s best offerings don’t reach theaters until post-Labor Day – many of them not until post-Halloween. But the first half of the year inevitably has worthy entries that get overlooked because of the magpie syndrome (fascination with the most recent shiny object they’ve seen) inherent among Academy voters.
In fact, 2012 already has thrown up a host of solid films that have nothing to do with super-heroes, comic books or massive computer-generated special effects. Hopefully, a few of them will stick in memories – or get year-end publicity pushes – when awards season rolls around.
Here, in brief, is my list of the year’s 10 best films at the halftime break: (More…)