Sunday, April 08, 2007

Grindhouse, Sopranos and 24

From USA Today about the underperforming box-office of Grindhouse:
And Weinstein says that because the movies will be released separately on DVD, "we need to change strategy and educate audiences that the Grindhouse experience will only be in theaters. It's too early to call the fate of this movie."

Here's the link to the story.

Uh - actually, Weinstein, it's a safe bet to say that movie is done. I've never heard of a speaking engagement at a few midwestern cities raise the box office revenues by say - 100 percent for a major motion picture.

Hell with it - it's the public's loss. I remember a few years ago, Michael Savage was saying our society was at its collapse because Sin City was the number one movie around Easter. I saw Grindhouse in a fairly crowded theater and the crowd totally ate up the movie. The grindhouse phenomena was before my time, but I do remember all of the shitty c-grade monster/slasher/detective/disease movies on KPTM (a Fox affiliate, but in its early days, it was a local station that had to find hours of cheap entertainment to fill their schedule since they had no sports coverage and only a few shows on Fox at the time - think pre-Simpsons). I squirmed at the grotesqueness of Planet Terror and nearly doubled-over in laughter at the picture-perfect ending of Death Proof.

The next day, a friend of mine called and said she thought Ghost Rider was actually really fun and she had a great time at the theater. She knew what she was getting herself into (her nephew wanted to see it) - and she was genuinely surprised at how fun the movie was. I could only shake my head. But then I thought to myself "If that was a Tarantino movie, would I have been more lenient?" Maybe. But truth be told, Tarantino is still able to command attention and make you feel like you've gotten yourself drunk off of cinema like few directors of today. Ghost Rider, like Death Proof, may be intentionally cheesy, but without seeing the movie, I can assume Ghost Rider didn't have a spec of the dialogue that Death Proof had that gave viewers a reason to care for the characters.

Topic 2...

As my profile states, I'm a geek.
Geek to the point where I've been the weekly host for - to quote Mr. Rollins - a TV Party. During the X-Files heyday, people would come over to my roommate and my self's apartment. But then something happened. The show started to lose its novelty. When it looked like it was "the end" (e.g. most of the shrouded conspiracy architects getting pretty much toasted by aliens) - the Sopranos started up. With David Chase's gift for dialog and rich character development, soon my roommate and I started migrating to another friends' house to watch The Sopranos (they had HBO, we didn't). Soon, the Sopranos was so good, we subscribed to HBO. And soon I started cooking ziti for the occasion.

Then the Sopranos started waning. Then I graduated college, got an apartment on my own and realized I couldn't afforded HBO, so suddenly, 24 started to become the excuse for friends to come over and geek out. But this season has made me look at my watch and count the hours until this show ends and the trashy, but goddamn it's good trash Hell's Kitchen comes on the air. It's not the right-wing slant of the show. The show's creator's have teetered to the right for quite some time. Though it's surprising because most of Season 2 revolved around a president who stubbornly insisted on following every lead before attacking a country for an alleged tie to a terrorist organization who was set to detonate a bomb in LA. This season, we've pretty much seen a retread of Season 2 - and lacking several great cast members (mainly Xander Berkeley, who played George Mason, who could almost be described as a precursor to House).

So, without 24, what's left to pick up the slack? First off, I'm not really stressing. I usually allow myself the luxury of one or two television shows to follow during the year. An hour freed up will usually go to reading or searching for a better job. I'm obviously not going to be one of those people sporting a "Kill Your Television" shirt at a concert. Statistically, I believe almost every medium produces an equal amount of greatness (not much in each medium) and trash (usually a helluva lot more). I've sat through many-a-shitty one-act plays with dialog as bad as anything on - say The O.C. at its creative sunset (just using it as an example, I've never watched the show). And I've seen episodes of Twin Peaks, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, The Office (primarily the BBC version) and House that rivaled some of the best moments in cinema that year.

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