Monday, May 18, 2009

I Cannot Pan Adventureland, or Who Watches The Watchmen For Twenty Minutes?

So, it's been a crazy amount of time since I have been back to the LaGrange. Between my schedule and the theatre's schedule, it just hasn't worked out until now. The LaGrange is currently undergoing some major remodeling, which has resulted in it being closed for days at a time. Theatre 1 is currently torn up, and the lobby is unrecognizable.

La Grange Theatre renovations in the home stretch

Agh! According to the article, after all the remodeling is done they will bump up their prices from $3.50 to $5.00! It's following the path of the Davis Theater! Oh, mercy!

Alright, anyways, what the hell were my options?

Taken - Seen it!
Watchmen - Seen it!
Adventureland - Okay!

So, Adventureland it was -- a movie following a guy out of college who is forced by circumstances to work the summer at an amusement park in Pittsburgh. I had the same problem with this movie that I had with Juno. Too much fucking music that I liked being plugged into every stray silent moment. I felt like I didn't have the opportunity to interpret moments myself, I had to have the Velvet Underground tell me what to feel.

I know how powerful music can be when accompanied with a giant moving image, and know the allure it must have to a lot of filmmakers. But still, I don't know, it can be awful if it's overused.

Adventureland wasn't a great movie, but I feel like I can't really be snarky or snide to it. It wasn't awful, certainly. This is one of those really personal coming-of-age films. I felt like there were strong emotions and experiences behind this story, but they didn't resonate in the movie for me (maybe they did to other viewers).

I never felt more than when I was young, when everything seemed to hit me so hard, and my emotions were bigger than anything else. I had one of my most "human being moments" as a lowly worker retrieving shopping carts from a supermarket parking lot during sunset. I want to like movies that deal with that time of life, when you're just this raw nerve experiencing the world for the first time.

It's one of the reasons I like Almost Famous so much. It's not made by Cameron Crowe the-guy-who-directed-Jerry-Maguire, it's by Cameron Crowe the-kid-who-was-painfully-awkward-and-alive.

So, I wanted to experience Adventureland like I was that young man in the amusement park, but I just couldn't get to that space. I don't know if it was the distraction of Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as his bosses, the overuse of music, or what. It just didn't feel real to me. I am sorry to the filmmaker for not feeling it -- I wanted to.

So the movie lets out and I slip into Theatre 4 for some of the Watchmen. As I sit down Malin Ackerman gives a brutal bonesnap to a dude in an alley. Stinky. I saw this movie halfheartedly in a first-run theater a while back, and the twenty minutes I watched didn't really change my opinion of it. I was annoyed by Dr. Manhattan's muppet-on-lithium manner of speaking, I was annoyed by every little facet of the guy playing Ozymandias, and well, I still liked Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach.

Ah, you don't need to hear my opinion about the damned movie. Here's what you need to know -- some pieces of work are such sublime examples of their medium that it really is quite silly to adapt them to another medium. The Watchmen is one of those pieces of work. The Watchmen movie doesn't offend me, enrage me, whatever. But I don't need it. You don't need it, either. Read the comic.

1 comment:

domboy said...

“Basquiat” was almost a perfect movie, but when they launched into Tom Waits after Andy Warhol died I was completely sucked out of the world I was immersed in.