Monday, August 31, 2009
Everyone's A Critic: TV, Movies, Marvel Merger Move
PATRICE ONEAL HBO special – He, the star of various VH-1 talking heads shows, COLIN QUINN SHOW, TOUGH CROWD, WEB JUNK, and erstwhile OFFICE bit player, is one of my favorite comedians. Half the time it's not even the jokes, it's just his delivery and reaction to eveything. Too funny. So glad I caught him on this one, working blue. He and Dave Chappelle, man....We need these guys more than ever!
BEING HUMAN (BBC America) – A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost share an apartment in Bristol, England. Wow. What a concept for a series. I hope an American remake doesn’t come along and ruin it.
TRANSFORMERS 2: RISE OF THE FALLEN (2009)
I loved the first one but I could not get past 40 minutes of this one. It’s back to the old Michael Bay of THE ROCK and CONAIR, where everything’s a whirling blur of camera movement and editing with no quiet or stillness in-between. Here, it’s a dark whirling blur…I can’t even tell my Autobots from my Decepticons. And unlike in the first one, the touches of humor here are hokey (Optimus Primal, after blowing something up: "I'm good!" Ba-dum-chh!)
I very much enjoyed this critically acclaimed character study. Ryan Gosling and the lead actress who plays his student are terrific. It might ramble a bit past where it should have ended, but it’s still a good film with interesting commentary on how various American cultures undermine their gifted youth.
Just saw this Pixar favorite and liked it overall, although I think I enjoyed the first part of it more than the last part, where everything boils to the usual Pixar climax clatter. Also enjoyed its message (warning!) to the people of Earth and I enjoyed its mockery of current American culture, which, by the way, is not so far off from the technologically mesmerized, dumbed-down fatso future depicted in this movie. Finally, I don’t think this film was Oscar-worthy. Maybe a clear winner for a Best Animated Film Oscar, but definitely not for the Best Picture category (although it was surely better than BENJAMIN BUTTON, which should not have been in that category either). If Michael Bay gets his mitts on WALL-E 2 (WE2??), there will be no distinguishing him from the Autobots or Decepticons.
TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS (2008)
I also saw TYLER PERRY’S THE FAMILY THAT PREYS (2008) recently. I’m digging these entertaining dramas. Have yet to see the Madea movies (although Madea makes a cameo in MEET THE BROWNS).
DISNEY BUYING MARVEL FOR $4-BILLION!
Hmm. This feels like the final nail in the Marvel Comics coffin.
My first reaction was what a perfect union in the sense as you’ve got two companies––the House of Mouse and the House of Ideas, respectively––who have been surviving for the last few decades by royally rehashing product from the past now that their chief innovators (Uncle Walt and Stan the Man, respectively) are no longer running things (in Disney’s case, Pixar notwithstanding, for what would Disney be today without Pixar, which it did not create but acquired?). While both companies might still be making tons of profit, they seem overall creatively dead for many years now.
Notice how recent Disney executives have ushered in the death of traditional animation. Notice how recent Marvel executives have ushered in the near-death of the “pamphlet.” Once, both were standards of their respective industries. Not anymore! Hmmm…..
No good has ever come out of Disney buying out a company with characters of a different aesthetic sensibility (I’m thinking about The Muppets property right now, the “George of the Jungle” and “Underdog” movies). Disney has a way of sanitizing/cutesifying/casting artificial whatever it touches.
Well, I’ve never been quite sold on Marvel Comics post-Image gang. The ‘90s were surely Marvel’s low point, and the 2000s, while in some ways better, is in some ways worse, in terms of regurgitating old concepts.
I’m glad alternative, art comics and graphic novels are proliferating more than ever today. I’ll probably have less reason to buy a Marvel Comic than ever. But that doesn’t really matter to Marvel/Disney anyway, because this is really about Marvel’s current Golden Age in Hollywood. The comics are almost irrelevant (Marvel supposedly didn’t even bring any comics to sell at Comic-Con this summer).
I wonder how this merger will affect stuff like Disney’s participation in Diamond publishing, San Diego Comic-Con (as it’s creating its own conventions), etc. This will surely have weird repercussions industry-wide. This is only the beginning….