Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rogue PIctures, Fox, the WB and how I got fucked last evening

Remember that last post, the one where I said "hopefully not disappointed" in reference to watching the Simpsons?

Yeah. Let's all go ahead and take a moment to consider those hopes as they lay dashed on the shoals of ruined imagination (wow, what an insanely crappy sentence...fuckit, I can't help myself).

This is not a case of "Expectations were too high and I set myself up". Indeed, it is generally (I believe) an accurate prediction that an animated series getting its own movie can be relied upon to be at least one description level lower than its general series description.* For example, in the case of the aforementioned Simpsons movie, it would be natural to assume that what (for the most part) has been a Great series will spawn a motion picture that is merely Good, or a level lower still, Decent.

*a notable exception to this, I think, would be the South Park Movie, a movie that was at least as good, if not better than the series.

Disappointment begins making its way in when the realization comes home that the movie on the screen warrants a lower descriptor. Much lower. My raging disappointment with The Simpsons is such that it's become difficult to decide between "travesty" and "omigod, does Matt Groening also whore his children at the truck stop if the price is right?" Doubtless, the answer (like most things) lies somewhere in between, but damned if I can think of what that might be.

Moving on, but, since we're on the subject....

Let's talk some more about the movies I watched and how I feel about them.

Good, I'm glad you're still here since I will take this to mean that you also think this is a good idea. Those other people that left just now? Well, fuck them.

I'd like to talk about Balls.

of Fury. (pardon my clumsy use of base humor)

Not even the most intellectually devoid could harbor illusions regarding the quality of this movie. Normally, even Bad films (not to be confused with Horrid) can be at least partially redeemed (in the "hey, it had its moments, I haven't entirely wasted the last 90 minutes of my life" sense) by the presence of Christopher Walken, who lies in that wonderful space of acting talent that is both very bad and very fantastic at the same time. It is the same in every movie, with only slight variations and relies primarily on the movie which surrounds it, like Christian Slater, but without the urge to gouge my eyes out and seal my ears shut. Not so with Balls of Fury. It wasn't the lame humor...the movie itself was just plain fucking lazy, in the vein of Taladega Nights or Blades of Glory (incidentally, it is these last two which prompted the vow to never lay my eyes on another feature-length Will Farrell movie as long as I live--truly, 4 hours of my life completely wasted). Literally, I think someone pushed the comedy button the Rogue Pictures Script-o-Matic, but only on 25% power in order to save on the electric bill (gotta be "green", you know).

The short version? "Mindless Entertainment" would be entirely too generous. Walken couldn't even earn this one a minor redemption.

And last, but certainly not least....let's leave movies for a moment and talk a bit about a series called Smallville. Yeah, the one that comes out of the WB Teen Script-o-Matic bosom. I didn't want to take it from the friends who were pushing the DVD's like the CIA pushing crack into the ghettos. It's the WB, which basically means that it would be better for your brain if you ate an entire sheet of acid. Nonetheless, coerced as we were by the protestations of "It's cheesy, but it's really cool" (and other variations of this same theme), we took them and promised to "give them a chance". Over the last couple of weeks, we have done so.

It's bad. It's really really bad. It so fucking bad I was reaching for the home tracheotomy kit to try and open another airway, so large were the demands of my gasping.

(is this alienating anyone?)

In contrast to the The Simpsons Movie or Balls of Fury, which simply left me annoyed and in a generally bad mood, I can at least handle Smallville to an extent. It's very fucking bad, but with a wholesome tinge so benign in feeling that I find it difficult to be too annoyed. Rather, I don't mind having it on, as I can do other things while the painful nature of the dialogue delivered by acting-folk that defy description makes me giggle and/or laugh out loud. I can just hear the set....Director--I need you to show me angst! Actor/Actress--Ummm...angry?

But here's the thing that gets me. It's not the show per se. As I stated in a very roundabout way above, I don't despise the show (at least not nearly to the extent that I despise, say, The Today Show). Smallville is what it is. What bakes my noodle dark is the sheer amount of people I've run across who "love" this show and rave about how "cool" it is. That is not hyperbole, it is not exaggeration, and this is exactly what perplexes me. If an "adult" is watching this, and talking about it to others, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect at least something to the effect of "it's so bad, it's good". However, I have yet to come across anything like this. The words "love it" and "really cool" are uttered in nearly every single instance with no irony whatsoever, and this seems a loud comment on what should be described as an intellectual emergency.

Bad special effects, worse acting, and filled to the brim with the most transparent and scripted pop-culture platitudes imaginable. This is cool? This is what keeps people riveted?

And this is where I'll stop, since I've gone off in a direction that wasn't intended and that requires more words and time than I've got at the moment.

Short version? Don't watch The Simpsons Movie. Don't watch Balls of Fury. And if you must watch Smallville, be careful that you don't wake up one morning to find yourself brain dead.

UPDATE: Reading this made Mrs. Head want to watch Smallville. Her excuse is, "I'm pregnant." I tried telling her it's going to make the baby household is doomed.