Sunday, November 05, 2006


The movie that Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Rinko Kikuchi, and Adriana Barraza were acting in? A

The movie that asshole Alejandro González Iñárritu was forcing them to be in? D

So there was this guy that was in the first film class I took in college with me. He made short films where he played with speed, like obsessively; every one of his movies involved something being slowed down or sped up, always looking very cool, very music-video-ish. And then, this charming fellow, was also always the first one to rip someone else's film work to shreds, asking what it meant or where was the meaning? Because, apparently, nothing has meaning if it's just at 24 frames per second.

Iñárritu is that kid. No, not literally, my classmate was some spoiled rich American brat who wouldn't have known meaning if he puked it up with last night's Grey Goose. And Iñárritu doesn't have that kid's obsession with slo-mo - though his screwing with time is starting to feel as pointless a tech-circle-jerk exercise as that.

I have to wonder if Iñárritu knows how to find any meaning in the endless barrage of misery that spills out of him without tricking it out in some sort of multi-cultural pluralistic hodgepodge of time-looping bullshit. I mean, what was the point here? Everyone will make the wrong decision, will end up put in the wrong place because of that, and then no one will listen to them and everything will go to shit because of it? Uh, okay? What again?

Maybe I just wasn't listening.

But it gets to the point where you just stop empathizing with his characters and just want to turn the fucking camera around and yell to his characters, hey, see this asshole pointing this camera at you? He's the one inflicting this shit on you because he seems to think that the more shit he piles on you, then the more "hardcore" or "real" he is; the more "meaning" he's flinging at the screen like some sort of diarrhetic monkey, the more Important what he's saying is; even if he appears to have nothing to say beyond "There's shit on all of our faces."

I have to give the man props, because it's been awhile since a movie's made me so angry that I've wanted to leave and/or punch the director in the face. I seem to remember having the same reaction to, hmm, oh right, 21 Grams as well. Hmm, I don't think I'll be seeking out Amores Perros any time soon, then. Unless, say, I feel the need to work myself into another righteous furor.


Glenn Dunks said...

See, I liked 21 Grams but was underwhelmed with Amores Perros.

The last movie to make me wanna punch the director in the face was American Dreamz and you know how I feel about that trainwreck.

Jason Adams said...

21 Grams didn't anger me as much as Babel did; I think because even though I hate what Inarritu does with his characters, there it was on a more personal level, but here he tries to make some broad statement about international relations just rakes his shitty view across the entire globe.

An actress I usually really like, Naomi Watts, made me want to scratch her eyes out in 21G, though, and in Babel the same thing happened with Gael GB; I fucking loathed his character; it was really the whole Mexico storyline that pushed me over the edge into anger. Because Inarritu gives us actors who make these characters completely empathetic, and then his feels the need to barrage them with bullshit until you can't even care anymore. Barraza was amazingly good as the Mexican housekeeper/nanny, but at a certain point I was just like, why? Why are you doing this to this woman? You aren't teaching me anything that a fifth-grader doesn't know about American relations with Mexico, and you're cramming it down my throat in the most ham-fisted, trite way... I'll tell you what this movie reminded me of : it's an international version of Crash. And we know how I felt about that movie.

Javier Aldabalde said...

I have strong suspicions regarding "Babel" (is it like the "Crash" of globalization??), and hated "21 Grams", but "Amores Perros" has to be one of the major works of the decade. It's detailed and it finds the connection within characters on an internal level, very much UNlike "Grams" or "Crash".

Anonymous said...

It's so odd. Everyone hates this film and I really liked it. I feel Kris Tapley. *shudder* Maybe I should pretend that I hated it, haha. I really think a lot of my love for it has to do with: a) it had been a while since I had seen anything that aesthetically and technically well done; b) the acting; c) the fact that it played on everything I've been learning in the past couple weeks in my Cinema Studies class; and d) it was just the right movie at the right place at the right time, for me I mean. And I do think its message that our society's inability to listen (on an international level) really does make things go to shit in a big way is actually quite relevent, whether or not it's been said before. I really don't think it's something that can just be learned in a fifth grade social science course. This is intense stuff, but as I said in my review I can't wait until he gets out of this pattern of "ahhhhhh depressing ahhhhhh!" He really has an amazing talent, so I hope that eventually he'll channel it into better projects. Regardless of anything, though, it's the first film this year to really get me going. Even The Departed --which I loved-- was fun and exciting, but it lacked something that would have brang it to the next level.

Anyway, I'm rambling now. But I totally dug your review! It's completely legit. In fact, I will never completely understand why I liked the film so much.

Jason Adams said...

I think no less of you for liking it, David; I am good friends with people that hate Amy Sedaris, which chills me to my very bones, so no worries. ;-)

I know what you're saying, though, I have to say I was somewhat primed, once I sat in the theater, to not like the film, having disliked 21G so very, very much. But mood and place and time all effect how we end up feeling about a movie, and there've been plenty that I've initally hated that I've gone back and found plenty to appreciate in.

Just... I don't think this'll be one of em.

Anonymous said...

I'm also not a fan of Babel... I've started a campaign to stop the mad thoughts that it's the best picture of the year.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone! It's "doesn't get it" guy!
I guess the visceral emotions of a story that reflects the common thread of humanity, throughout a spectrum of cultural and socio-economic boundaries, was a little too "heady" for you.
Perhaps you would be more comfortable "commenting" on the likes of "Norbit."
God forbid a director attempts to tell of story of SUBSTANCE through METAPHOR. It was a story of how our various differences and circumstances can have a cause/effect result in the events of our lives. Read between the lines, ass. (I hope you are detecting my sarcasm.)
Yet...I see that you are have a "Comment Moderation enabled, so will most likely be too cowardly to allow this comment to be posted.
The tragedy of this internet age is that naive, ignorant Jackasses like yourself are given a forum to publicly post your patheticly short-sighted "opinions." See, now you got ME all worked up to a froth. I thought this movie was great, but, CLEARLY, its not something that will appeal to the "average Joe" American audience.
Eat shit.

Anonymous said...

I just watched the film and googled the filmmaker's name along with the word asshole and this review came up. My sentiments exactly. Thanks for articulating the revulsion I felt!

GhoulieJulie said...

Ugh, that shaiman guy sucks. Anyway, I never got over the fact that I had to watch a prepubescent boy grip his naked little thighs in ecstacy and see his "o" face. How fucked up is that, and why does anyone need to see it? I mean, I know it's normal behavior, blah blah blah, but it is not a scene that needs to be fleshed out to that degree. I can't believe he directed a child to enact getting off on camera. I'm not a prude or anything, but this creeped me out and wouldn't serve any purpose in any movie.

Anonymous said...

Coming in from mark Ruffalo post. I had to sit through this film as a teenager with my father. just remember the asian girl skirt scene was peak uncomfortable. Maybe I need to rewatch it but I really don't want to because as much as I liked it then it's not going to be any less depressing now.