Thursday, May 24, 2012

“I’m Against It”

I don’t know what they have to say
It makes no difference anyway
Whatever it is
I’m against it
No matter what it is or who commenced it
I’m against it

from one of Groucho’s songs
in 1932’s
“Horse Feathers”

Today’s post is pretty stupid, but I want to do it anyway.

I’m a very opinionated and judgmental person.

I have been for as long as I can remember. That having been said, however, I really enjoy when there is some issue, or some occurrence, or some anything, whatever, that I feel no particular engagement with, so I feel no particular opinion about it and I make no judgments at all about it.

I can just sit back and enjoy it however it comes out.

Times like that are rare for me because I have—usually dubious—opinions and judgments about almost everything.

However I’m not really a comic book person so, in general, I don’t have a lot of involvement with comic book movies. In general.

For instance, I don’t much care one way or the other about the series of Christopher Nolan films known as the “Dark Knight” trilogy.

However something caught my attention about the up-coming film, “The Dark Knight Rises” and now I have an opinion.

First of all, everyone probably knows that Anne Hathaway plays Catwoman in the new film.

At first I just thought this was funny. So far as I know—and I’m kind of a film buff and I usually talk to one or two other film buffs every day—so far as I know nobody is a fan of Anne Hathaway in anything so she seemed an odd choice for such a high-profile role. But, in general, I didn’t care.

Then I saw the first few trailers for the movie and, in general, I didn’t care. The movie seemed almost insanely dark and pretentious but nowadays that is just how filmmakers telegraph and underscore that they are “serious.” Like I said, in general, I didn’t care.

But I was surprised because I thought Anne Hathaway was playing Catwoman with some energy and she looked interesting and not flat-out laughable so I was staying neutral on the Catwoman casting issue.

Then, just recently, the filmmakers released to the internet the latest TV teaser for the movie.

You can watch it here: New “Dark Knight Rises” TV spot

First of all, clearly the studio is trying to lighten up perceptions of the film by including a little bit of humor—or attempts at humor—in the new spots.

Fine. I don’t care.

But look at the last joke.

Bruce Wayne goes to get his car. The parking guy tells him his wife said he’d be taking a cab home. Bruce Wayne says, “My wife?” Cut to Catwoman driving Bruce Wayne’s car.

That’s what passes for a joke nowadays but: It makes no sense.

Bruce Wayne is a famous millionaire businessman. Everybody in Gotham City knows all about him. He’s a celebrity. And he’s something of a playboy. Everybody in Gotham City knows Bruce Wayne isn’t married. So it would be impossible for any woman to pretend to be Bruce Wayne’s wife and drive off with his car.

It’s a perfect example of stupid Hollywood scriptwriting. They need something “light” so they stick in some cornball schtick about a woman pretending to be the hero’s wife. Even though every fan will immediately frown and cringe because the joke makes no sense in the context of the story.

The filmmakers posture as being all serious and pretentious, all dark and dealing with heavy issues like terrorism and what makes a good citizen. But the filmmakers are so uninvolved with the content of their story that they make “jokes” that have no connection to the presumed reality of the story.

So I’ve gone from being neutral about this film to hoping it bombs.

It’s one thing to be awful and pretentious and insanely dark, but when you combine that with bluntly and obviously bad writing, totally uninvolved writing, it becomes too much.

So I feel bad for Anne Hathaway because I had kind of started to enjoy the energy she was bringing to Catwoman. But that pretend-wife-steals-car schtick is so stupid, so out-of-place, that to my eyes this movie deserves to bomb as big as all the other recent big-budget bombs.

Awful stuff.

So I’m against it.

(For what it’s worth, I very much enjoyed and admired the low-budget film, “The Devil Inside.” It’s almost unbelievable to me that careful writing and careful filmmaking like that gets ridiculed just for having an out-of-the-ordinary ending. It’s really good low-budget stuff.)

Anyway, I’m against “The Dark Knight Rises.”

But then I’m against most things on principle anyway, and the principle was put into song more than seventy years ago!

Here it is:

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