|Tower . . .
||[Mar. 22nd, 2017|09:23 am]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
. . . is a well done documentary about the University of Texas at Austin clock tower shootings back in '66. It's interesting because the UTA incident happened before mass shootings became an American tradition. It was a real shock when it happened. Nowadays a mass shooting has to have a spectacular death toll or some stranger-than-usual circumstances to warrant more than a mention in the national media.
Tower is done with that weird animation-over-live-action technique to soften the reenactment scenes a bit, but they do talk to to some of the real folks involved. Remember, we're talkin' fifty years ago here. There are only so many people left to talk to. It's done as well and tastefully as such a film can be done. I still have reservations about celebrating disasters---we should never forget them, but we needn't annualize celebrations of them, either. The survivors and the victim's families can do whatever they feel is appropriate, of course, but as a society we need to be careful of turning the perps into folk heros.
'Mater Meter: 100% Phrembahmeter: 75%
. . .
Life (2017) is dumb, if you ask me. It's one of those space operas (not sure it deserves the term "sci-fi") that relies completely on manufactured crises and emergencies to create drama. Like in so many horror flicks, if the characters hadn't been dumber than dirt, there would have been no movie. A lot of the human interest factor in Life (2017) is generated by characters grimacing into the camera for way too long. That's how we know to care about what just happened or is about to happen. On the real ISS, the crew and dozens, if not hundreds, of people on the ground think long and hard before the crew does anything, and as a consequence, they simply don't do stupid stuff. There's no real drama to speak of because there are no catastrophes to speak of. When projects like the ISS and Mars missions are manned by Hollywood characters, dumb shit will happen all the time until they just all die of stupidity, like they do in this movie.
This got 63% on the 'Mater Meter and Passengers got 31%? I think we got some dumbass Hollywood politics goin' on. Life (2017) is shrinking as more people see it. Yesterday it was over 70%.
'Mater Meter: 63% Phrembahmeter: 45%
Oh, and you know what? They start the credits over Norman Greenbaum's Spirit In the Sky and I thought, "Well that's a plus. We get to hear Spirit In the Sky on a full theater sound system." Nope. About halfway throught Spirit In the Sky they fade into some obtuse unrecognizable-by-anyone-but-a-stoned-millennial song. Just served to piss me further off. One of the great things about Jesus Camp (besides being a very entertaining if somewhat disturbing film) is that they ran the credits over Spirit In the Sky in its entirety. You almost never get to hear it in is entirety, especially not on a real theater sound system, because it's a four minute-long song and American radio stations just don't have the attention span to play it out without talking over it.