Monday, November 04, 2013

two cents Monday

OMG there is seriously a band called Joanna Gruesome. You are really going for some serious longevity with a name like that. Although does band longevity even exist any more? It seems like the course of bands is twofold (whether they are good or not): you are either unworthy of that elusive hype factor (e.g. you are not young or goodlooking) or you are prematurely hyped, followed by being deemed overrated due to the hype, and then quickly forgotten.

After seeing Parquet Courts in Davis I seriously cannot believe that they got on they hype circuit and even as a non-pavement fan it seems ridic that their name would often be invoked. By no matter because they will surely soon be forgotten. I have nothing against them as dudes in plaid shirts.

But I'm not bitter about the state of music today! Ha!

I rewatched America Beauty for the first time, maybe since it was in theaters and boy what a piece of crap.  (from looking at imdb I just found at that the aerial shots in the beginning were filmed over sac!) and I LOVED it when it came out. Did it capture some end of the 90s thing that I can't relate to now? After all, I was 25 when it came out (goddamn I am old) and should have known better. I certainly could not relate to anything about any of the teens, nor the suburban career thing.

Remember how into it everyone was? Like creepy Lester's quotes that were practically bumper stickers: "I'm just an ordinary man with nothing to lose", "this isn't life; this is just stuff", etc. I feel like Lester was some kind of heroic sticking-it-to-the-man type character but in reality he's the biggest creep ever. I am usually in favor of boobs, but the teen boobs in the movie are just exploitative (including Thora Birch, who was barely 17 at the time). Crap crap crap.

I also watched "to die for" (guess I'm on a 90s kick) and I found it just as airless and unaffecting as I did originally despite the fact that I was a huge Gus Van Sant fan at the time (and still somewhat of a fan now).  Nicol Kidman's rigid all-pastel color scheme is something I am not in favor of in movies. It turns people into caricatures and deadens them visually. I feel the same way about Edward Scissorhands even though I love that movie.  But boy is To Die For prescient about modern celebrity, reality show type culture.  Ileana Douglas is really cool in it and very interesting in this av club interview.  Lots of stuff about Scorcese and the good old days of movie making.

My two cents

17 comments:

talkaboutcharles said...

In the end, doesn't he realize how lame his creepiness was? If memory serves. Is that too little too late? I always thought he obsession with that young girl was more a manifestation of his lost youth and unhappy life. I agree with you thou that the young women's beauty in the film was definitely exploited. The same effect or points could have been made with slightly less skin. Possibly?

I am going to re-watch this movie. Good thing there are 8500 VHS copies at every thrift store.

Charles Albright

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched American Beauty probably since it came out in video stores, but or some reason I put it and The Ice Storm together in my head. Last time I watched that one I think it held up okay. Kind of want to rewatch both now.

-CS

beckler said...

I think the ice storm is better. I've watched it within the last few years. The look of American beauty is not dated at all for some reason.

I can't think of anything that implies he has realized he's creepy. I mean, he doesn't devirginize the teen, but that is played as if it's a noble gesture. And his wife is written as almost without a spark of humanity. It's a cruel role. She is a more interesting character than he is. She's just portrayed as a shrill ballbuster.

Plus: plastic bag scene!!!!

beckler said...

LOL at thrift store copies. Jerry Maguire probably doesn't stand up either, and there are even more copies of that.

beckler said...

not that I ever thought Jerry Maguire was good, which I did not

talkaboutcharles said...

I'm gonna watch both now. Thanks.

Charles

Stephen Glass said...

"American Beauty" does not hold up very well. When I saw it again last year I mostly got fixated on the fact that I'm now older that Kevin Spacey's character. And I ain't going' out like that.

Stephen Glass said...

Also, remember how Wes Bentley, Thora Birch and Mena Suvari were all hyped as stars of tomorrow launched to fame by that movie? It must have cursed them. Maybe it was the Sacramento aerial shot.

Anonymous said...

Haha, when Spacey said "I'm 42" I was just like "What?? Damn!"

Anonymous said...

That was me if anyone cares

-miller

Stephen Glass said...

Yeah, I made it through 42 without being a creepy perv and then getting murdered by my closeted neo-nazi neighbor, so I feel pretty feel good.

Anonymous said...

Yeesh, spoiler alert! Some of us haven't had time in the last 14 years to see this movie!

Anonymous said...

I always thought American Beauty was overrated. Very unfair treatment of the wife character's affair when compared to the noble Kevin Spacey. HOWEVER, I am DOWN with Parquet Courts! Too bad the two week lifespan of current hype will leave them to be forgotten like other (new) 90's throwback bands like Yuck.

Heckamax!

Anonymous said...

The Joaquin dance scene in To Die For is to die for. Love it.

Jed

Scott Miller said...

LOL @ YUCK!

-miller

beckler said...

heckamax you weren't at the show in davis, right? that might have squashed your fandom a bit, although it's perfectly fine if a band is better on record. that was just my only exposure to them.

Chris said...

joanna gruesome album is pretty good actually.... american beauty worst movie ever....even the weed prices in that movie r hella annoying