Now that the whole “award tour” season is over we can get back to normal as far as the world of movies is concerned. This year there was no real serious social film to impact how people thought and guilt them into voting for it like “Crash” did last year (unless you count Al Gore’s doc “An Inconvnenient Truth”...how else did it produce the Best Song winner when “Showgirls was nominated with multiple ones?). I didn’t expect Eddie Murphy (“Dreamgirls”) or Djimon Honsou (“Blood Diamond”) to beat out Alan Arkin (“Little Miiss Sunshine”) for Best Supporting Actor (Don’t these people watch the Independent Spirit Awards?)..I suspect Eddie won’t receive an award from the Academy until they present him with a lifetime achievement award a la Ennio Morricone. The Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) and Helen Mirren (“The Queen") wins weren’t big surprises either.
My curiousity has been piqued by all this “Pan’s Labyrinth” talk (and them winning everything under the damn sun), could it really be as good as advertised? I was convinced that Forrest Whitaker would take Best Actor for “The Last King Of Scotland” and that Scorsese would take Best Director for “The Departed” (it’s about damn time!), but I do have mixed feelings about it winning Best Movie. Being a black Bostonian is frustrating because there are very few people you can point to from the Boston, MA minority community that “made it” the same way other people from the Boston/MA area can. You could make a long ass list of celebrities, comedians, writers and directors form the MA area...but VERY FEW with any melanin. This ensures that the films that get made about Boston rarely represents the full experience of living in this city...just one side (the same side they always show).
I have people from other parts of the country e-mail me constantly with questions like “How canyou live in such a racist city?” or “How come there are no Black/Latinos in Boston?” This is actually FAR from the truth, the problem is that we aren’t actively working on getting OUR stories out to balance out all of the other “Boston” movies like “The Friends Of Eddie Coyle”, “Blown Away”, “Southie”, “Boondock Saints”, “Celtic Pride”, “Fever Pitch”, “Mystic River”, “Spartan”, “Monument Ave”, “What’s The Worst Thing That Could Happen”, “Next Stop Wonderland” and “Good Will Hunting” which all marginalize the existance of anyone in Boston that ISN’T Irish or Italian...and I suspect the upcoming “Gone Daddy Gone” will lean along the same lines as well...don’t even get me started on TV!
Why hasn’t my city produced a Spike Lee type (or types) to actually make accurate depictions of what life is like in the city of Boston yet (“Blue Hill Avenue” doesn’t count)? We have an overabundance of schools, resources and programs in Boston...so why aren’t the kids that would make these type of films in the future given access to them? Everyone doesn’t have a goddamn “pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd” accent (and if you find a brother with one in the city take it as a sign of the impending Apocalypse). Last but not least, who in the fuck did Jack Nicholson think he was banning people from wearing Celtics gear on the set of “The Departed”? In Boston? He couldn’t have pulled that shit in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan or the South End...heads wouldn’t have gone for it. The only people that were making Boston movies were Khari Streeter and DeMane Davis (“Black, White And Red All Over” and “Lift”)...they haven’t made a movie in six years! That’s enough ranting from me, onto other issues:
I could swear that the upcoming movie “The Last Mimzy” sorta reminds me of a Ray Bradbury short story called “Zero Hour”. Speaking of Bradbury, where the hell is the film adaptation of “Fahreheit 451”? I’ve been hearing the project being tossed around in Hollywood since 1999! My final question is why can’t I find La Haine (FR), Kidulthood (UK), or Guy Ritchie’s last film Revolver (UK) available anywhere for rental or purchase but I can EASILY get a new joint from Korea, China or Japan? Shouldn’t it bethe other way around? Anyways, on to the list.
Dart’s Three Trailers Of The Week (2/25/07-3/3/07)
Reign Over Me
More Netflix releases to consider putting on your queue now:
Threat (It took years to make and another 6 to make it to DVD)
The Dead Girl
Man Push Cart
Born Into Brothels
Close To Home
The Curse Of The Golden Flower
Letters From Iwo Jima
Lilya 4 Ever
An Inconvenient Truth
Dexter (Season 1)
The Prestige (they’re different..I swear)
An Unreasonable Man
Lost In La Mancha
Dart’s Picks For The Week:
A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints- Adapted from the book of the same name for the screen by the original author (a rareity nowadays). This coming of age tale set in 1986 Queens switches to the present day to give the story a completely different dimension as the author comes homes to the same place he wrote about in the fact based book about his upbringing. Great performances from Shia LaBeouf, Channing Tatum, Melodie Diaz, Robert Downey and Rosario Dawson.
A Scanner Darkly- Also adapted for the screen from the Phillip K. Dick story of the same name. This film was definitely not made to appeal to the mainstream and it might end up falling into the cult hit department along with films like Blade Runner, Fight Club, Brazil, 12 Monkeys and Donnie Darko. I was impressed with how well the film was made, if you don’t have the subtitles on you might miss key plot points, though. The computer generated animation also helped to alienate audiences.
Thank You For Not Smoking-This was a well written and well acted film from top to bottom. It managed to humanize characters that most films/writers would paint as absolutely evil and manages to make them somewhat likeable. If you haven’t seen it yet, do so soon.
Dart’s WTF? Award/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk:
The Marine- Anyone that has high expectations for an actioner starring a member of the WWE simply isn’t that bright...This was even worse than I anticipated, though (and I had LOW expectations going in).
Idiocracy-This movie had the potential to be really good, however horrible execution stifled some great ideas in a movie that tried too damn hard to be a satire/smart stupid comedy. Mike Judge normally comes better than this, I was dissapointed that he couldn’t bridge the idea of the systematic dumbing down of America with corporations invading every facet of American life. The studio decided to stifle this movie by not promoting it or screening it for critics. I thought they did it because they felt the movie was too subversive...nah, it was because it just sucked really badly.