Friday, January 21, 2005

Kill Bill 1 & 2

Last weekend, we finally got around to watching Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2. And I really liked the first one, but...well...I thought the second one kind of sucked. It's like Tarantino was like "Um...I have to finish this up, tie everything together, and make my POINT. But I'm tired. So I'll just bang this out in two days and be done with it." The first movie was great--there was lots of development and humor. I loved the explanation of O-Ren and her posse. The second movie explained nothing. It was like "This is Elle Driver. And she's kinda evil. This is Budd. Oh yeah, he's Bill's brother." Not to mention the fact that after all that build-up, Bill turned out to have become this lame-ass soccer dad who loves to make PB&Js with the crusts cut off. Also, the second volume had way too much of what Professor Flamejob (my former playwrighting teacher) would have called "talking heads." As this is my fatal flaw, I recognize it in others. In some formats, it isn't so bad. In movies like Garden State, you can get away with it because that's what it is--it's about small interactions between people. However, Kill Bill is not about subtle interactions between people. It is about bad guys getting hacked to pieces with swords and flailing giant metal balls on chains at one another. There was only one good fight in the second movie, and no one even DIED at the end of it. Maybe my dissatisfaction is merely a result of my lack of cinemaphilia--My Lady Disdain or The Prancing Prince could probably explain to me either why I'm right or why I'm horribly wrong--but...I just thought it was a big let-down. I have yet to see Resevoir Dogs, but I'm not going to hope for too much. Aside from True Romance I have yet to really appreciate Tarantino. This is probably a personal flaw.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Welcome to the Dollhouse

So the other day, I tried to watch Welcome to the Dollhouse and found myself completely unable to do so. It was just too physically painful. I haven't seen a movie that relentlessly depressing in a long time, and I don't think I'll subject myself to another one any time soon. Part of the reason I disliked it was that I remember what a complete torture middle school was. I remember how mean kids can be and how adults really just don't get it at all. But the other side of the issue--and the one that disturbed me more--was how much I wanted to kick Dawn Weiner's ass myself. She was just so dorky and pathetic. It brought up a lot of old feelings I always had about a girl I was friends with at that age. I mean, I liked her--she was okay most of the time--but there were many times I wanted so badly to shake her until her teeth clacked together and yell "If you'd just be normal for five minutes, they'd leave you alone! Why do you have to be so fucking WEIRD?" I suppose this reveals me as not being the non-conformist free-spirit I've always tried to play myself off to be, but in middle school, it's less about ideals and more about surviving the day basically intact. I guess what I learned was that there were times that being "weird" was great, but that there were some times you had to suck it up and try to blend in. A part of me applauded that girl and her complete refusal to even try to fit in, but I have to admit that a larger part of me wanted rather badly to kick her ass. I suppose you could say that I lost some of my creative sparkle or childlike naivete or whatever, but looking back now, I go "God, no wonder everyone picked on us--we were complete fucking freakballs." And that's probably not a good thing, but I totally understand the urge that other kids had to pick on us. Because I definitely felt it watching Welcome to the Dollhouse. Even though half of me would be thinking "This poor girl," the other half would be thinking "Jesus, could she BE any dorkier?" The only character I even sort of liked was Brendan Sexton, and he was a complete jackass. So there you go.