You might consider "The Road" as
a zombie movie without zombies, which, like all zombie movies, takes to task
the abuses and consequences of an out of control consumer culture while making
a plea for basic family values. It also contains what might be the greatest
product placement of all time; I regret now not asking Hillcoat about whether
they got any deal with the Coca Cola people (yes, I know the scene is also in
It's Thanksgiving Day, time to get the family
together and see -- what?
Piss, shit and fart jokes in "Old Dogs?" A
multiply addicted and deranged Nicolas Cage abusing people as he tries to solve
the mass murder of an immigrant family in "Bad Lieutenant?" Ninjas severing
limbs, lopping off heads, disemboweling bad guys and in general filling the
screen with screams and gouts of blood in "Ninja Assassin?" The end of the
world as a CGI spectacular in "2012?" Or the end of the world as a vast expanse
of ash, ruins, and gnawed-on corpses in John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac
McCarthy's "The Road?"
A comment on a colleague's MyFace page jumped out at me
recently. The discussion was about John Hillcoat's upcoming (November 25)
adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's
end-of-the-world-with-cannibals-versus-family-values novel "The Road." One of
the participants in the thread said, "If you don't include the baby on the spit
what's the point of making the movie?"
I was watching the Patriot's game last Sunday, the culmination of
an already lousy weekend [see previous post], and was diverted by some of the
commercials. One was for "Avatar," the much-hyped, upcoming James Cameron movie,
and I thought, "Wow, that looks like a really fancy video game." Then there was
a commercial for the video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," and I
thought, "Wow, that looks like it would be make a better movie than ‘Avatar.
It's not always easy being a film critic. Okay, you're right -- it is.
But some days are not as easy as others, like yesterday morning when I had to
slosh through a Nor'easter, destroying my umbrella and soaking myself from head
to foot, to join about 100 unamused children and their parents to watch "Planet
51," one of the worst movies of the year.
People in the Fenway, where I live, have gotten pretty blasé
this fall about big movie crews shooting in the neighborhood. One weekend "The
Zookeeper" was shooting late at night a couple of blocks away and it
seems every week the helicopters, swat teams, police vehicles and light towers
of Ben Affleck's "The Town" have
taken over the streets around the ball park.
After writing about "Disney's A Christmas
this week, I fell into a cold sweat, a panic attack as if I was about to
remember something I was trying to forget.
Details of that movie - the dim sense of
hideous entities invading the bedroom, the flashing lights, the feeling of
being lifted bodily from under the covers to some horrifying destination -
touched on something repressed and dreadful.
Did you ever notice how all the classic Holiday movies are about capitalism? Not surprising given
the fact that the season is the epitome of consumer culture, an annual shopping
spree which, this year more than ever, sustains our economy.
And so we have It's a Wonderful Life (1946), the Frank Capra perennial which centers around a systemic financial failure,
the distraught and suicidal owner of an insolvent building and loan company,
and a conniving capitalist eager to reap
profit from the misery of others.