Friday, August 26, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #14

The Brothers Grimm

starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger

directed by Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys... oh for fuck's sake... it's Terry Gilliam)

Hey, I have a question: what the fuck is wrong with people?

Not just the obvious ones either--your Pat Robertsons, your Martha Stewarts, that creepy little Dakota Fanning--I mean "people" in general, the nameless-faceless that are responsible for making all of our lives a constant drumbeat of petty frustration, existential ruin and godless nihilism until we all die, bitter and sad, all too willing to leave behind a life primarily characterized by unrealized potential and crushing disappointment.

You know: them. The fuckers.

OK, I'll give you an example. For our anniversary this past Wednesday, my wife and I went out. Alone. I know. I still can't believe it either.

She works late Thursdays, so she can go in later that day. That means Wednesday nights, we have some scheduling latitude since she doesn't have to get up before the sun and contend with the armies of the undead who wander, terrorize and rule while daylight is occupied elsewhere.

The plan: dinner, movie.

Dinner? Check.

Movie? Uh...

This is what I'm talking about. Who are the people who schedule all the exact same movies at every single theater showing at the exact same times? And why, for the love of Christ, do they all start at either 8 pm or 10 pm and nothing conveniently at 9 pm-ish, when--as a random example--two people out for once without their kids might have finished dinner, but can't stay up until tomorrow to finish a movie because it starts so goddamn late?

You see what I mean? It's a Conspiracy of Fuckers to keep me from having a full evening of not-at-home-ness. We were home by 9:30 that night because there was nothing else to do. It's wrong, I tell you. Wrong.

I had the movie all picked out and everything. You remember last Friday when I was supposed to do this crappy recurring feature and I skipped it because I had planned to actually see a movie? I know you don't care because instead I got all freaky and threw down my best post in a long, long time, but we're talking about me now.

So I didn't write a MIHNIoS post about The 40 Year Old Virgin because I had intended to see it. People I like are in it. The reviews have been remarkably good. Even if none of that were true, I'd want to see it just for the poster.

I mean, look at it.


I said look at it goddamn you!

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See? Genius.

If one single theater operator in all of Riverside County would have had a showing that started after 8:10 and before 9:55, I would have had a very pleasant post about how I saw that movie and laughed until I vomited blood, but no. Instead we have this, The Brothers Grimm, which at first I was curious about, but the more I read about it, it just makes me sad.

From the reviews I've read, apparently it looks very nice, but it's all chaotic and spazzy, but not in the good Terry Gilliam way. The full reviews are uniformly underwhlemed. The blurbs put in the newspaper ads are impressive (Time's Richard Corliss and Peter Travers from Rolling Stone), but the Travers quote is suspiciously non-committal. It says "Eye-popping fun!" That could have been wrenched out of context to seem positive. Like: "This movie was so bad, in the middle of it I tried to puncture my eyeballs with a ball-point pen. And not the pointy end either, I mean with the dull clicker end, so you know I had to stab myself pretty hard. The experience of watching The Brothers Grimm was so monumentally horrible that it was enough even to make eye-popping fun by comparison."

See? That's them at work again. You know, "people" trying to trick you into watching movies that suck. Which I would totally do if only they would show them at the right time.

Plus, I've seen the commercials. Matt Damon's English-y accent is awful. I actually like Matt Damon, but just... no. He only has a line or two in the TV ads, but it's enough to come across like a staging of The Real Inspector Hound as done by the drama club at Amelia Earhart Junior High.

And Heath Ledger... is there any more of a non-presence getting steady work as a lead in Hollywood movies as Heath Ledger? I heard he was good in Lords of Dogtown, but I'll never know. I'll watch Monster's Ball again before I watch some damn skateboard movie, and that's even knowing I'll have to sit through Billy Bob Thornton's naked ass and everything else again.

So while I heartily encourage Terry Gilliam to keep making movies--even ones that seem overwrought and boring--in the hopes that he will (almost certainly) make great ones again, I reserve the right to Not Intend To See these place-holders between masterpieces.

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