Saturday, April 28, 2007

More "Pirates"

Pirates of Penzance Pix

From the school musical. Good production. Note, my AF was broken so I had to use manual focus for all of these....

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Partial Birth Abortion Ban Upheld!

Finally, a step forward! And I like this picture as well.

The Court's opinions here (in PDF).

Kill Quentin?

Article on The Times' web site about why Tarantino's latest, Grindhouse, flopped and how he may be on the out and outs. There was one particular passage which struck my eye:
How, pundits asked, can a moronic sword’n’sandals romp such as 300 make $400 million at the box office, while a smart cine-literate action parody such as Grindhouse completely dies? The New York Times suggested that this wasn’t the end for the Weinsteins, just a bump in the road. But Business Week announced that it should be a lesson for Hollywood, and that dumb audience-friendly movies such as 300 and Ghost Rider were the way of the future.
Well, it seems rather obvious. "Moronic sword'n'sandal romps" appeal to audiences looking for violence and action. A "smart cine-literate action parody" requires several factors for success. First, people need to have actually seen the films parodied. To hazard a guess, I would say that most of the people who saw--and liked--Kill Bill weren't familiar with the films Tarantino was honoring/paroding. Same here. How many people have seen the 70's "B movies" which Tarantino refers to in Grindhouse. Does Tarantino's knowledge of these films make his "cine-literate"? Am I "cine-literate" if I am quite knowledgeable about low grade horror/action films from the seventies? Are B movies the cinematic equivalent of literature? Is Grindhouse worth seeing?

On the face of it all, the lesson Hollywood should learn is not that dumb audience-friendly movies are the way of the future. At least I hope not. What Hollywood ought to learn is that exceedingly "clever" directors, like Tarantino, aren't necessarily making movies which appear attractive to the the average joe--or teenage boy in the coveted 18-24 demographic. If critics want Hollywood to make good films, there is not much that they can do about it. Hollywood doesn't care about critics until the Oscars roll around or until the studio's ad department has to fill in the space of newspaper movie ads with words.

Critics are right for lamenting moronic dreck like Ghost Rider. But Grindhouse isn't intelligent. It's "smart" but not intelligent. It's "clever" but not witty. Simply put, Grindhouse failing is nothing to cry about. Critics lamenting its failure is.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Pearls is funny

Oh, I'm almost at 300 posts. Yipee.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

More backup from Feb.

I call it "Untitled" because I don't have a title for it. But I do like it quite a bit.

Style from February