23 November, 2012

A Movie I Am Thankful For

On this glorious Joe Toye Day I thought I'd talk about the movies-- or maybe just one movie-- that I am thankful for.

John Carter immediately comes to mind.

Key Largo was at the top of my queue, but because it had a "long wait" I ended up with John Carter and another movie I was looking forward to-- Young Adult.

Having watched the majority of John Carter (not of Mars, at all), I can safely say that Young Adult is the better movie. It must be the better movie.

Having survived Dune and Alien 3 and any number of other sci-fi failures, I felt that I was prepared for the depths that John Carter (still not from Mars, why would you even think that?) has decided to dwell in. It's garbage and it is garbage even by the standards of half-cocked sci-fi movies. I

It is literally nonsense. Front to back gobbledegook. Fuck this stupid movie.

I am watching this movie and thinking "This would work with a young Harrison Ford." Unfortunately we got Taylor Hitch, who I feel is most notable for being a Timothy Olyphant look-alike and having resulted in my friend's wife castigating me for daring to ask the question "Who the fuck is Taylor Hitch?" in front of her mother. I am American and I deserve to answers.

A young Harrison Ford-- or any actor with a range that could includes things such as "I am on Mars, this is a ridiculous thing" or "I am on Mars, I am glad for my experiences here"--  would have been awesome. Instead this movie wants to have a white-washed, half-assed Clint Eastwood act like he's Lawrence of Barsoom (or at least Dances with Wolves on Mars Minus the Humanizing Bits About American Indians). Clint Eastwood has never been on Mars and the gun-slinging, ass-kicking, whore-raping Eastwood that we all know and love has no place in a Disney movie built by committee and sold by invalids.

Thinking on it, John Carter makes Avatar look like Blade Runner.

It's Zardoz without the kitsch. It's gold plated garbage and I have never seen a more expensive movie look this cheap. Even the Star Wars prequel-- shit though they are-- had, wait. . . I'm comparing the prequels to something with a positive slant. Is this where we are? Is this what John Carter has brought me to?

Is this my life?

There's an old Dolly Parton line that goes "I takes money to look this cheap," well John Carter found a way to make a fool out of Miss Parton. Way to go, John. I hope you're happy.

I like attacking things. Invective are nice, but it's not why I love film criticism or talking about movies. Recently I have had a number of great conversations about why or why not Looper worked and why Skyfall is one of the greatest Bond movies of all time. I love movies. I love good movies. I love tearing apart bad movies, too, because sometimes this shit needs to be vented. Remember when Homer became obese and his drinking bird fell over and a meltdown happened? That's basically what happens when I watch a John Carter and don't get out there and bitch about it. Nobody wants to read about a clean-up.


The most legitimately human and funny moment in the film is when John and his army of native green people storm a city and find out that their princess is in another castle. At that moment there's this wonderful little pause and the green jefe slaps John in the back of the head. It's funny because it's a wonderfully set up joke, all of this thunder ending in no flash and that physical violence is inherently funny, but there is also this transcendent aspect buried in the moment. It's this moment where you realize that maybe even the film is aware enough to reach out into the world and slap somebody with a bad idea upside the head.

At the end of this grand holiday, I want it to be known that I am thankful for never having to watch John Carter ever again.