Thursday, May 23, 2013

If Only There Was Wi Fi

Movie theaters are working hard catering to all types of audience needs.

There are venues where they will serve you a full-blown meal while you watch the movie.

There are other multiplexes that feature "21+ Showings."  They'll serve you a smart cocktail while you sit in front of their screen.

I have a new idea.  Guaranteed to make some theater chain a fortune.

"Wi Fi Showings."

Open the theater up to the internet so that people can bring their laptops to selected screenings.  Because when a movie like "The Great Gatsby" comes along, you just want to do your blog entry right then and there.  It's impossible to remember all the jokes by the time you get home.

To say that "The Great Gatsby" is a total mess is like saying that it can get humid in New York City during July.  Overstating the obvious.  It was one of those horrible concoctions that I was mystically drawn to.  Because I knew that I'd get a deliciously vicious blog piece out of it.

And I could only remember half the jokes by the time I got home.

Here again is arguably the greatest American novel of the 20th Century and it is completely and utterly destroyed by one of the worst film directors working today.  Baz Luhrmann once again soils so many movie screens that theaters should put newspapers down whenever he has a new release.  There are some dopes who actually think this guy is a genius.  After all, he directed "Moulin Rogue."  Uh-huh.  One of the only movies that yours truly walked out of.  Baz a cinematic auteur?  He couldn't direct an evacuation of a room if he was the only person in it.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, dead from a pickled liver in 1940, has died all over again.  He certainly deserves better than the treatment he gets from Luhrmann and his stock company of actors from the Jaleel White Acting School.  Wait, that's actually an insult to Urkel who did Hamlet compared to what these jokers emote.  Most of them were hired to simply look into a mirror and shoot longing and loving glances at themselves.  Pasadena's annual parade has nothing on this production.  The Tournament of Egos.

I would suggest that you all know the legendary plot revolving around Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, George, and Myrtle.  But, then again, there are some dolts out in the audience who may not even know this was originally a book.  Under Luhrmann's inept guidance, the story is turned into an episode of "Real Housewives of the Roaring Twenties."  There is lots of razzle and hardly any dazzle.  Like most of this hack's cinematic work, your eyes start to actually hurt after five minutes.  The director throws anything and everything up onto that screen.  With emphasis on the words "throw" and "up."

Once again, Luhrmann pays little attention to the story, the setting, or the historical accuracy of his films.  He simply bends everything to fit his own ego.   To conjure up the mood and music of the Roaring Twenties, Luhrmann pulls in hip hop tunes from the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce.  To show the wild decadence of the era, he turns one of Gatsby's lavish parties into a 30 percent off clearance sale at the Cirque Du Soleil gift shop.  And when he was stumped for his next vision, he simply gives up some of the cheesiest computer graphics ever.  Your little brother's fifth grade science class rendition of a volcano was more authentic.

If Baz Luhrmann can do this to "The Great Gatsby," let's hope that he doesn't attempt to film "The Gospel According to Matthew."  Jesus will be played by Kanye West and the crucifixion will be staged at the next Coachella festival.

Of course, the acting in this swill is as bad as expected.  Leonardo DiCaprio plays Gatsby as if he's constipated.  He calls out the expression "old sport" so much that several stray neighborhood dogs wandered in during my screening.  Meanwhile, Leo's wearing so much pancake make-up that this could have been an assisted living home production of "The Mikado."  When he pops on his straw hat, he actually looks like Mortimer Snerd.

But, wait, there are others.  As narrator Nick Carraway, Tobey Maguire puts even himself to sleep.  Everything sounds as if he's reciting yesterday's obituary page in the Los Angeles Times.  Carey Mulligan, in the pivotal role of Dumb Dora Daisy, conveys little acting ability.  She spends most of the movie in a sullen state as if she just missed a callback for a "Glee" audition.  Some hunk of processed meat named Joel Edgerton is the villainous Tom Buchanan and his acting choices in this are so manic that people with bi-polar disorders would appear more centered in comparison.

Of course, who knows how these actors would have been if only they had been guided by a more competent director?  But, of course, Luhrmann's too busy getting multiple takes from the confetti throwers than his cast.  In any Baz film, story and character development don't just take a back seat.  They don't even get to buy a bus ticket.

On the weekend that 'The Great Gatsby" was unleashed on an unsuspecting America, I was once again aghast on Facebook.  Reading the rave reviews from "friends" who have been since deleted from my profile.  It made me wonder if there are actually two versions of the film out there.  Now that would be a neat trick for Hollywood to pull.  Announce that there's a new Baz Luhrmann film at your local multiplex....and then surprise the audience with something good.

Which would obviously be directed by somebody other than Baz Luhrmann.  

Meanwhile, I'm racking my brain.  I know I had a couple more good one-liners.  They went racing through my head so fast that it hurt.  Like when you eat ice cream too fast.

Another very good argument for my concept of "Wi Fi Showings."  


Dinner last night:  Pastrami, Swiss cheese, and cole slaw sandwich.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was held back a long time so it could be "fixed." Guess they needed more time.

Fitzgerald in 3-D? Really? They did know this was not a Marvel comic or a graphic novel, didn't they?

The CGI looks laughably fake in the trailer. Not a good sign.

This one stunk from way back.