Over the weekend - before H left for Oregon - I saw GRINDHOUSE. And then, last night, I saw 300.
I went to GRINDHOUSE hoping to find some mindless, but fun, fun. The old EL MARIACHI and PULP FICTION thrill. You know, a good sense of violence, a snappy story and some tense, terse, hip dialog.
The spoof trailer certainly seemed to be going in the right diretion. It was full of phrases like, "When you hire him to take out the bad guy you better be sure the bad guy isn't you." Etc.
Then the Rodriguez thing started and I was looking forward to following the story of Rose McGowan and her machine gun leg. But from the top I started having trouble. The Go-Go dance she did took forever. Then the dialog felt slipshod and uneven. The gore that followed didn't help at all. And, finally, the story was so fractured and shattered I just couldn't be bothered (at first I hoped to be exhilarated with finding out how/what was happening, but I gave up about 20 minutes in since there was so much going on besides Rose McGowan). I could see they'd done a good job crossing their t's and dotting their i's with regard to genre, but such slavishness to form lead to the same dead end the genre leads to: So fucking what?
Probably the best thing that happened is that I started thinking about my wife and her pregnancy. I wasn't interested in exposing this crap to her - or even to my yet unborn child. Perhaps absurd, but still.
Heather did her best to convince me to stay - she thought I might enjoy it without her. I knew she was wrong. We got up and left.
I'll never forget the faces of the people watching us leave in the dark. "You are not cool" they all said.
The other movie I was hoping would be more fun was 300. The horrible review in the Times gave me hope that the show would fantastic. Certainly, it's a visual stunner. But it's so humorlessly racist, homophobic and misogynistic I developed a sore sitting through it.
Plus, the bombastic tone is so thorough, it's completely boring. (I actually thought it was the kidn of movie George Bush and Dick Cheney would like us to believe is the script for Iraq - but that's a whole 'nother tangent.)
It reminded me of Paul Verhoeven's STARSHIP TROOPERS in which a world of perfect people with Nazi-like tendencies is justified by an invasion of inhuman insects. Except less interesting.
Again, I guess I am just not cool.