Writing this one from my phone ‘cuz the god damn Internet had been down for like 3 days here at the Starbucks. Nobody knows how to restart a router? Gotta wait for AT&T to come fix it? You’re losing customers this way, idiots.
Anyway, what shall I talk about.
I kinda blew it yesterday. No Internet here plus no motivation to do anything kinda messed me up. I did do some work on a radio show, so that’s something, but it’s no where near finished. I need to bring up production on those things.
I also get the feeling I should stop watching tv… Now that most of my day is devoted to shit not around a TV, when I get home I just wanna watch TV. But I only have like 2 hours before I just crash, plus I have to share the TV, and the people I share with don’t always want to watch what I watch. Basically that means I end up watching Perry Mason when I get home from work. Don’t get me wrong, I like Perry Mason, but is that what I want to be watching? I’ve got a DVR full of shit I’d rather watch, but I’d have to be antisocial to do it.
If I cut that out, maybe that’d be the way to go. Maybe.
I have enough stuff to watch even without having TV. Speaking of…
I’ve seen 2 movies and I haven’t reviewed either of them. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be! So, briefly, here’s my critique of one of them. I’ll get to the other one another day, hopefully when the Internet is working.
Trash and Progress by Abe Dickman
So, as I said before, I worked on this movie. I actually did the production sound for a very pivotal day’s worth of shooting. And, either they looped it really good, or I was able to record some good sound up there on that hill. Just because I was there, I’m going to assume it was looped really well, but I at least gave them some good guide tracks to go by.
First the good: the movie looked good, sounded good, had good effects, good music, good production design. Considering a student made this on their spare time with their own money, all there is to say is Bravo.
But then come the faults. This movie felt long. Really long. And I don’t think it was very long. The writing was kind of bad, but maybe that’s not fair. Maybe the problem really lay in the acting/pacing. I didn’t care about any of these characters. There’s this girl that was naked on a space ship with some dude, but then the ship crashes and the guy dies, but so what? There’s nothing about this girl that makes me want to hear her story. And then she’s there for the rest of the movie, but she does nothing at all. Is she the main character? Why does it start and end with her? Why was there a shot of her holding her belly? Is she pregnant or something? By the dead husband from the space ship? What does any of that have to do with the rest of the movie?
Speaking of pregnant, in the middle of the movie there’s this scene of this adult kid and his parents, and the mom has like performed a coat hanger abortion on herself, and then the dad has subsequently beat her because of it–all off camera, thankfully–but why was that there? What is he trying to say about society there? Another problem was the dad and the mom looked around the same age as the kid.
Speaking of casting, everyone in this movie was probably too young to bring any weight to this story. It ends up feeling like a high school play.
There was a half good idea at least, band of rebels…should I say spoiler alert? Nobody is going to see this movie unless they make in some festivals. But if you’re a festival goer, maybe skip this paragraph. They rebel against this chancellor or governor or general or something, but at the end it turns out the scary dictator is actually a computer enforcing a subconscious democracy. So they’re all really rebelling against the little bit of themselves in the larger majority. Not a terrible idea for a macguffin. But it comes down to the problem where I just don’t care.
One more thing, there’s some weird choices for effect shots in this movie. For instance, there’s a long shot of a 50s style radio that I’m 99% sure was computer generated. Why? Couldn’t find a radio that was satisfactory? Couldn’t get that camera move on your own? And the big computer at the end looked 2 dimensional.
But still, I can’t really pick on the look of this movie. It’s good.
I hope it leads to other projects for the guy, ’cause there’s clearly some talent there, but I hope he gives up trying to write his own stuff. And he should get a casting director that knows more than 8 people.
If I were like a classical Hollywood executive, and I saw this movie, I’d probably be upset. I’d say probably advise to focus more on the scientist and the lesbian bounty hunter out for revenge. Cut the bit with the abortion, and the whole religious crazy guy. Shift the importance of certain characters. Never mind if the reporter/writer/outworlder is pregnant, because nobody cares what she thinks anyway. If she’s there to tell the story, she needs to be a part of the story.
That’s my 2 cents anyway. If you have the chance to see it, I’d still say see it, ’cause its visually pretty good, and it is kind of inspiring to know that such work is possible from a first-timer. It’s a reminder of what you can do…
So why am I not doing it? This movie kind of shows why. I would not allow myself to make those mistakes, at the expense of not doing anything at all. I wouldn’t get past the writing stage of a movie like this, because I’d ask all these questions before I even put anything on paper. It would fall apart and go nowhere. So I have to applaud Abe for getting past that stage and just diving in to make a feature.
So that’s all for now.