Monday, March 31, 2008

Turkey Shoot

I am not one to complain about the unfortunate aspects of my life. Unless something truly devastating and/or irritating comes my way, I adamantly avoid the "woe is me" song. No matter how bad things get, I’ve seen far worse times, and after all, there are people starving and dying in countless less fortunate parts of the world... blah, blah, blah...

What am I getting at? Has something terribly tragic befallen me? Alas, yes indeed it has. While I’m wonderfully excited and grateful that my writing and my film reviews are finally seeing official publication (modestly, but still), it’s beginning to wear on me that the time in which that regularly began to happen had to be THE YEAR’S WORST SEASON FOR MOVIES.

Late winter/early spring is notoriously the season in which the lowest quality motion pictures get pumped out of Hollywood. The exciting, must-see summer blockbusters have yet to arrive. All of the award-worthy titles have just ended their runs and are selling like (to quote the eloquent Heidi Klum) bagels on DVD. Video stores become a more attractive haven for cinema than multiplexes, because what’s primarily found in multiplexes in the cold-to-warm transition months is lackluster, throwaway fluff.

It is almost April, and I have seen one - count it, ONE - great movie in 2008 thus far. That would be the Irish gem In Bruges. While cute and whimsical offerings like Horton Hears a Who! and Be Kind Rewind made me smile, and the surprisingly innovative Cloverfield shook me up, I’ve had to endure far too much crap like 10,000 B.C. , Mad Money, Definitely, Maybe, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and worst of all, Will Ferrell’s disastrous Semi-Pro, of which I walked out after the first painful hour.

Contrary to popular belief, film critics - just like anyone else - long to see art projected onto the screen. While it can be fun to blast the occasional disaster, it’s an occupation that’s born from a love of the movies - the good ones. I’d much rather sing the praises of a smart and beautiful masterwork than slam yet another misfire.

I’m currently procrastinating in finishing my critique of Kimberly Pierce’s Stop-Loss, a hot-button issue picture that I found to be not only poor, but borderline offensive. At the moment, I can’t think of how to continue the piece, and the subject matter doesn’t even seem to be worth the over-activity of my brain.

Please Tinseltown, and the rest of the world, hear my plea. Start serving up more appetizing fare. I don’t know if I can take another turkey.

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