Monday, March 22, 2010

In Haste: Children of Men

I know I've already written about this film, but watching again yesterday --- man alive, this film is spectacular.

With the use of the Choral music, and the cacophony of bullets and bombs discovering their predestined coordinates, the film exudes a delicate hand of God.  I feel plopped in a world where Man has forsaken God, but God has yet to leave Man entirely to his own destruction; like the days of the earth during the time of Noah.

It's a ballad.  A long swan song to a lost lover.  I want to live in that world.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Momentarily Definitive Coen List: #9

I think I would perceive"O Brother, Where Art Thou" as something quite distasteful if it weren't so darn watchable.
Who would have ever guessed that a depression era soundtrack would be the beez-kneez?  
Not I... not I.

Take Homer's Odyssey.  
Did you grab it?  
You got it?  
Is it in your hands? 
Can we check that? 

remove the myriad of soap opera-esque gods
of the seas, lands, and skies.  
Leave their spots vacant for a moment. 
Picture Odysseus 
roaming around the Greecian seas without that pesky polytheistic vibe causing mayhem
in the form of
seven headed monsters, 
one-eyed giants, 
and those deadly
singing sirens. 
Odysseus, just by the sheer fact that his opponents are now only the natural world and the limits of his own intellect, himself falls to earth.  He becomes a plebian figure.  In other words, 
he becomes George Clooney.

Now, hopefully you didn't you condense your now-godless edition of 
"The Odyssey" down to mere paragraphs just yet.  
You didn't, right?  
Because we've got some substitutes.  
In lieu of our polytheistic universe, we are supplanting in its stead, 
the dualistic Christian worldview.  
So you've got 
the devil's minions running about,
a litany of salvific followers of the big God fella, 
and two arch-rivals, 
Satan and God, 
pawning around with the 
chessboard of the human race 
amongst a dust bowl south.  

Happy times, no?  
(I never really understood why the Big Baddie was represented by the Eyeless Boss from "Cool Hand Luke".  But that fella is effective, I reckon.) 
Personally, the ending of this one strikes me as a bit monotone.  Why would a smart schmuck like Everett Ulysses care to stay with such a demanding wife?  It almost has a sprinkling of Voltaire's "Candide" in there, but yet, Everett seems content enough by story's end.  It just feels like there's nothing left to do.  I want to play with the God's some more, not settle down to quiet life with an arsenal of singing children.  I don't want to cultivate my garden.  I want to fight.  And I want Ulysses to fight by my side.  

Oh well, I'll just start the movie over again, and begin the journey anew.  It's so darn watchable, after all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Momentarily Definitive Coen List: #10

Why so serious?

Once upon a time I discretely overheard bad whisperings regarding the romantic comedy Intolerable Cruelty, and henceforth, never figured myself to be one who would enjoy that specific time witnessing that story. Oy Vay! How wrong the whispers of times gone by were!

Oh, you. You just couldn't let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren't you? Huh? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.

These words could be the brooding philosophical debate of the Batman and the Joker, or it could be the evocative flirtation of two supreme forces in world of pityless inconsequenciality.

Our protagonists are two perfectly opposing forces; a divorce lawyer and a gold-digger. Plot the two in the real world and you've got the recipe for 90 minutes of vomitting up chunks of narcissistic puss-covered twinkies. But the Coen Brothers are masterful puppet masters. They pluck up our morally deficient specimens, and plop them smack dab into a world of relativistic nominalism. Nothing really matters.  

You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me. Set the dogs on me. Because that's what needs to happen.

Our protagonist friends are set free to be as vile as their putrid little hearts desire. The only rule is to experience as much emotion in any given instant as possible. Try it! It's blissfully intoxicating! As you purview the flick, ask yourself in every scene, 'what's the action that would lead to the most emotional response possible?' More than likely, our silver screen friends will execute your thoughts with sudden executional fortitude!  

They'll lie to each other, steal from each other, try to kill each other, but who cares? Why should those things keep them from a happy ending?  They're beautiful people, so let's see them end blissfully happy in each other's embrace. That's what I want to see.  That's what they want.  Win-Win-Win.  Everyone wins. 

This is a film that never second guesses itself. It knows its place in the world.  It's a comedy. It's a romance. It's a popcorn flick.  It's not reality. It's not a reflection of life. Man alive, this little movie would do well in Socrates book, for what other film 'knows itself' any better?  

Maybe you want to read the instruction manual first. 

P.S. Why waste precious picture space not showing Billy Bob Thornton in a big cowboy hat?  It's a big hat! It's funny.

P.S.S.Bonus: Slingblading Billy Bob for the triple-mega-action win!