Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Is Hollywood out of original ideas?

I've been generally discouraged by mainstream Hollywood for years. Although I'm not typically a huge fan of Hollywood crapola (as I tend to much prefer foreign and indie films), there's still something to be said for a solidly directed, well-acted, slickly-produced bohemoth of a film. Hollywood can't even seem to get this right anymore. The current trend in film-making seems to be borrowing from a more clever past. It seems that the bulk of today's films are just a sloppy rehash of something that's already been done. They're turning TV shows into movies, redeveloping superheroes, replacing models and fishing line with computer animation, and re-making classics. Actually, a film doesn't even need to be a classic to be re-made any more. As long as a director (that has grossed enough to appease the studios) has a "new artistic vision" or "direction" for a shitty old film they get the "green light". This bothers me. I guess that's why I enjoy foreign and independent films. I'm sick of the formulaic bullshit. Rather than re-shoot a film 20, 30 , or 40 years later (significantly dumbed-down for the current movie going audience), why not just re-release the original "classic" in theaters for the current generation to witness. Oh wait, I'm sorry, kids today don't have any sort of attention span and have never seen a black and white TV, let alone a black and white film on screen.
Case in point- I went to see Alfie yesterday. Although it's not entirely bad, it's certainly not great. It's a mere shadow of the original. It was not my first choice. I wanted to see Sideways (which was not showing at the theater), Ray, or even The Incredibles. By process of elimination we settled on Alfie. It was certainly a better choice than most of the other options. It was not my first choice because I knew I would be in for a letdown. It was solidly cast, well-acted, and shot well, but it was disappointing all-around. Jude Law is a brilliant actor and has an amazing future ahead of him (not to mention that he's got about 300 movies in theaters now). His portrayal was solid and charming, but flat. The original Alfie with the amazing Michael Caine just had more style. Michael Caine's "Alfie" character had more "cool", "confidence", "style", and his emotions were worn on his sleeve. It's like comparing George Lazenby or Timothy Dalton's "James Bond" to Sean Connery's. The film was entertaining. It didn't suck. It didn't insult my intelligence. It just didn't have any spirit. Thanks to the often underrated and oft joked-about Michael Caine for one the performances of his career. Thanks, Hollywood for screwing with a classic. Which brings me to my next point...
"Don't fuck with a classic!"
So, I was watching VH-1 tonight and they had this "Retrosexual" thing about sex in advertising and entertainment in the 80's. God, I miss the 80's! I wouldn't want to repeat that time in my life, but the 80's were fun, irreverent, and stupid. Good times...good times.
If anyone is reading this I'd like to insert a stupid random poll to see if anyone is paying attention. "Which way do you put the toilet paper on the holder? Are you an over or under person?" I'd appreciate any response. Thank goodness for "Double-Roll Toilet Paper". I think it's one of the greatest developments of the last decade or so. I used to occasionally find "Triple Roll". I haven't seen any in years. Do you know where I can find some? Just curious...I'm not obsessed.
Today's wine recommendation- 2004 Yalumba Y Series Viognier $9.99
This stuff is one of the best buys around! This Aussie beauty is made by a fantastic gal named Louisa that I met in Australia. I had the great pleasure of spending 24 hours on a train with her and then dinner at Chateau Reynella with her in Adelaide. She's in charge of white wine production for Yalumba. Viognier is a fickle grape, and it's hard to find such a good one for such a low price. Peach and honeysuckle are evident on the nose and continue on the palate with subtle citrus, pear, and mineral. The finish is relatively short, but ever so enjoyable. Try with lightly curried halibut, apricot chicken, or mild scallop ceviche.
Until the next bottle...



Blogger Michael said...

Over. And then MC pulls 50% of the roll onto the floor and then I roll it back on and it looks like what it's designed to wipe.

PS: maybe, just maybe :

12:59 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Thanks Michael! It's a very important survey and I appreciate your answer. New favorite Ralphie quote, "I wanna be a triangle." Say hi to the brood.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Glen said...


I'm a confirmed OVER guy, the UNDER method equals anarchy in the loo...I'm not down with that crap!

12:12 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Definitely OVER. My cousin will actually change the toilet paper roll to the way she likes if she's somewhere they don't follow her guidelines. I don't think I've ever done that, although I've been tempted! ;-)

9:13 AM  

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