Sunday, March 11, 2007

Review: Brokeback Mountain

I figure that, since I technically didn't post yesterday (oops), I might as well roll with the piss everyone off game and recreate my three reviews of the film Brokeback Mountain.

Let's go back, way back, to a simpler time, when I trusted in film critics and Hollywood Awards Hype to tell me what I should see and appreciate as groundbreaking independent cinema.

December 11, 2005:
I arrive at my favorite little chain movie house in NYC to an opening night screening of Brokeback Mountain. I hear it is one of the best films of the year, and quite possibly a film that will survive the ages as one of the truly great pieces of filmed art. I had read the novella before I even knew there would be a film adaptation and loved the tragic story and beautiful, sparse prose.

2 Hours and 14 Minutes Later:
That is the single worst film I have seen all year. My God, it makes Saw II look like Rosemary's Baby, and even I'll admit that the Saw franchise is mediocre at best (let's save that for another review...). It was 2 hours and 14 minutes of cloud porn, with an occasional beat down or gay sex scene. Anna Faris was incredible (of course she is, she is the single most underrated movie actress consistently working today: thanks Scary Movie franchise for simultaneously creating and destroying her career in one gloriously so-bad-it's-good farce), and that cloud porn sure was pretty, but NOTHING.HAPPENED. Nothing. Heath Ledger was strong, Jake Gylenhaal was just awful (just like in Donnie Darko - another review for another day), like I always knew he was. Michelle Williams was far better than the character she played and full well deserved the attention she received. But this was a film with more shots of clouds than plot, and truly, if it had been about a straight romance: it would have been critically panned for being an exercise in self-indulgent filmmaking.

2 Weeks Later:
Maybe I overreacted. It was opening night, I wasn't feeling my best, the theater was overcrowded, and I was tired. So, I'll go buy another ticket for Brokeback Mountain. Just in case, I'm bringing a magazine and sitting near the aisle.

2 Hours and 14 Minutes Later:
That was a great issue of ReadyMade Magazine: I have some great ideas for projects to do over break. Oh, the movie? God awful. That score is one of the most snore-inducing things I have ever heard, yet everyone talks about how brilliant it was. Jake Gylenhaal is a little better than I thought (on the scale of From Justin to Kelly acting, with Justin Guarini being the lowest and Anika Noni Rose being the highest, he falls into a firm Greg Siff - which for non-American Idol obsessists, is the equivalent of, say, David Arquette in Scream III: passable, not great, but good enough to barely create a realistic character and advance the story), while Heath Ledger is worse than I thought. The accent is great, as is the physical embodiment of the character - including not moving his jaw - but that's as far as it went. No real emotion (other than that great beat down scene at the fireworks I love so much: drunken rage rocks! woo!). Anna Faris and the rest of the female cast acted circles around the males, and that's fitting, considering they were in the only scenes that weren't just an excuse to shoot pornographic scenes of clouds slowly passing by a mountaintop. What the hell? Stop with the cloud porn! Does Ang Lee have a fetish or something, because this isn't his only film that likes to focus on clouds. I mean, Quentin Taratino has a thing for big ugly amazonian feet, but at least they aren't in every damn frame of his films. Jeez! Wake-up people: It's a bad movie.

Three Weeks Later:
Hmm...a whole lot of award recognition for Brokeback Mountain. Maybe I should give it one last go...

2 Hours and 14 Minutes Later:
Those poor clouds. Wait: did I really just spend 33 dollars in less than two months to rewatch a film that I absolutely hate in NYC? Fuck that. Brokeback Sucks.

March 5, 2006:
What do you mean this won for best score, adapted screenplay, and direction at the Oscars? Well, look on the bright side: how much worse could a Gustavo Santaololla score get?

November 10, 2006:
Gosh, Babel would have been such an amazing film if it wasn't for that awful score. So boring and repeti...oh, of's that same guy that did Brokeback. Suddenly I appreciate that score so much better: at least it had more than one chord repeated over and over. Shoot, this score makes Notes on a Scandal sound like Mozart.

February 25, 2007:
WTF? They gave him Best Score AGAIN? Screw this, I'm going to the opera.

So you see class: God really does hate me.

Please feel free to comment with all your hate messages. I've taken far worse flack for far greater films than Brokeback Mountain.

I'd link to a Brokeback Mountain video, but I'm afraid it would eat away the rest of my soul.

Varb For Me