Boy, did I ever love this Michael Antman piece on the terrible new DeNiro/Pacino flick Righteous Kill (the true twist ending now would be no twist–ask David Mamet), the unadulterated joy of experiencing the 1964 schlock-fest The Flesh Eaters as a boy and the relative joylessness of modern cinema:
When I was in college, I worked nights as a typesetter for a publisher that distributed television programming guides, and part of my job was to type in the descriptions of old movies. In the off hours, usually around three or four in the morning, I would count the movies I had already seen, and even then my list was more than a thousand movies long. I can only imagine how long it would be today, if I had the time to count.
But lately, I’m starting to fall behind in my movie-going. The predominance of CGI, the utter falsity of emotion on display in most Hollywood product, and the joyless, stultifying sameness of scripts (thanks to those screenplay consultants that tell you every movie “has” to have three acts, and must have a precipitating event on page 17) have taken most of the pleasure out of the movies, as have the soulless multiplexes where they’re shown. If I were a nine-year-old kid today, I wouldn’t even bother flicking Ju Jubees at the necks of the automatons in front of me, watching Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson play-acting their way through whatever detestable nonsense they’re getting paid millions for; I doubt they’d feel a thing.
I personally think there is plenty of great filmmaking going on today if you seek it out. (It might be a matter of taste. I did pen an appreciation of “torture porn,” after all.) Still, Lord, in a general sense, all I can say when I see someone attacking CGI–no, I haven’t seen The Dark Night or Iron Man, I prefer other Christian Bale vehicles and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath–and formulaic soullessness is Amen!