Monday, November 5, 2007

More like "The Wes Anderson Limited", AMIRITE?

Brandon did a cool piece on "The Darjeeling Limited" a few weeks ago, so rather than enter the depths of unbiased critical analysis he took, I'm going to be a raging cunt.

...What a piece of shit. Even more disappointing because I liked "Bottle Rocket", "Rushmore", and "The Royal Tenenbaums", and the same charm to all of Anderson's movies was still prevalent here. Here's the rub: He's lost it.

A shame, the guy had a voice. He has a style both childlike and full of heavy adult themes. Ever since Rushmore, the very techniques and set designs he uses feel unreal, everything is a giant, amazing primary color diorama, almost like a pop-up book when it came to the disappointing "Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou". The aesthetic was perfect, and that is still there in "...Darjeeling...". Beef? Useless movie. All of the irony Anderson uses, which I think Brandon discussed, falls flat. There's a strange fake feel to his films, the acting is rarely emotional in an "actor" way, and there's this constant winking in the films sometimes, like you're watching a play, really. Makes sense, considering the sets, that all of his films feel that way, grand filmed fleshed-out high school plays with great (until recently) writing.

This movie, despite it's undeniable charms and my bias towards Jason Schwartzman, seriously goes nowhere. From having Bill Murray in the film doing nothing (seeing to be there just to incite discussions of why the fuck he's there, making the film more "important") to the overuse of those goddamn slow-motion music montages of late 60's/70's rock (seriously, shit needs to stop), it's all bad. There's literally four slow-motion music scenes, a new record I think, and they were all goddamn unnecessary and killed the pacing and impeded on the experience. Also, only one of those songs was actually really good, the one repeated throughout "Hotel Chevalier", which is notable for really great asshole dialogue from Schwartzman and Natalie Portman nude minus nipples/bush.

It says something that the fault of the movie is not really going anywhere and being completely Anderson-by-numbers and predictable, rather than being awful. Christian hated all of the actual camera direction and thought the dialogue was flat, so I'll take his word on that. I've never been to a movie where I saw a hipster leave and loudly proclaim, "That sucked!" while doing the ol' "comment-under-my-breath-as-I-cough". The moment that inspired this comment, and made me suggest to Christian that we egg this twee bastards house is the Whitman brothers discarding of both their physical and emotional baggage at the end of the film.


That one-two combo nullified any potential and likability or urge to ever view it again. This twee bullshit. This indie tripe. This self-fellating-Robocop 3-Sufjan Stevens cuckoldry. This dilated cervix of a gaping craw of fail.

As twee as "The Decemberists: The Movie" was, it's still somehow better than "Resident Evil 3" and "30 Days of Night". After "Transformers" and "300" made millions, I gave up. I'm watching "Walk Hard" and calling it a year.


josephlovesit said...

'"Children of Men">All'
That is very true.

I was all excited to see this movie and went to a free screening a few weeks ago, but was turned away due to overbooking. The lameness of that theater's actions really turned me off, so I still haven't seen it. Hasn't he always been really twee though.. Or are you saying that it's all right when justified?

I was pretty satisfied w/2007 in terms of movies. I'm no movie buff though, and usually only see a handful a year. I dug Superbad, 28 Weeks Later and Knocked Up quite a bit. Thoughts on any of those?

josephlovesit said...

Whoops, I forgot to mention my favorite movie of the year: Hot Fuzz

brandon said...

Eh, see it again. 'DL' even more so than other Anderson movies is certainly not twee indie crap. The entire movie is a sort of breakdown of this kind of retarded lifestyle. You can hate it, but the baggage is like an anti-symbol.

It's mainly a parody of the way wealthy white liberals love to go to spiritual places on their own terms (visiting India with Louis Vuitton bags!)...of course, they throw their baggage away at the end, but they aren't free of their father's death or their psycho bullshit do-gooder mother; the bags signify nothing (similar to the 'Play with Fire' sequence, which is impressive but exists to mean nothing)...

This is also his loosest, least art-directed movie since 'Bottle Rocket'. What Anderson has finally done is made his anti-hipster, anti-white liberal sentiments palpable as opposed to sort of floating around in the background. So many Anderson fans hate this movie and its because it's his first movie that explicitly rips them a new asshole (in the past its sublty parodied, see converse all-star wearing Blanchett in 'L.A').

The close-up of Brody crying when he reads the story, the funeral flashback, the dolly from the boy touching Owen Wilson's hand to the grieving father head-in-hands, all excellent, emotional things in the movie. I may have to write a proper review.

'Children of Men' is good as like, an emotional sci-fi nightmare of progressive types, but it says nothing about human emotions. And those long-takes (aided by CGI) are equally obnoxious as anything Anderson does...

Christopher said...

Joey: Def. I liked the same movies. Unfortunately, I usually miss %56 percent of the year's smaller releases of just wait until stuff comes to cable, so I can't make a generalization of all movie like Patton does when he says that TV is currently better (apparently that's a popular opinion right now, which is weird because I don't watch anything but Dexter)

Brandon: Haha, I kid about the twee. I listen to too much Interpol to be that guy.

There is a lot to like about the movie itself, but there was something odd about it that made it falter by the end. I placed blame on two or three things, and if he did them on purpose, then it makes sense, and I trust your opinion on matters of subtext.

My actual issues with the film were kind of scant, I think I shared much of the sentiments you have about the film, I just came away initially wishing I had seen "Saw IV" instead (not because "Saw" is actually good, but because it's a B- grade horror franchise, and I love horror)

It is interesting also, how much he's implying in his movies lately. How much attention is required or patience to catch details.

brandon said...

Yeah, there is something a bit underwhelming about the movie. It kinda lacks a "third act" but for me I like those things and I think for most, that's problematic.

I think he's growing more subtle and more angry at the same time, which leads people to be increasingly confused by his movies.