Shockingly great. I was really apprehensive before seeing it, not only because I’m sick of comic/film adaptations, but because of the Batman movie curse (which is pretty clearly the fault of Joel Schumacher now). The first Batman (from ’89 with Nicholson) was fantastic and this one might have even surpassed that one. Bale was perfect for the role; he wasn’t a nice guy, and that seems more like the way that it should be. I’m told that this one is much more faithful to the original Batman, issue number one, which includes things like the Tumbler instead of the bat mobile. The villian, Cillian as the Scarecrow, was incredibly great. Who could have seen this coming? I can’t wait for the next one, but I believe there’s really almost no chance at all that anyone can match Nicholsons performance as the Joker. My only qualm – why did they cast Katie Holmes as the love interest?
It’s All Gone Pete Tong
Surprisingly touching. I expected it to be more like Go or Groove, but it was sentimental, insightful, and introspective. Included a lot of hilarious scenes, and the protagonist for most of the film is sort of a cartoon. Not just a movie for the dance scene like I thought it’d be. Wilde’s interview on Radio One with Tong at the beginning of the film is outstandingly absurd.
Wag the Dog
I’d heard a lot of talk about this, especially after 9/11. It tells the story of a presidential scandal (the movie was released weeks before Clinton/Lewinski scandal) and a government cover-up involving a fake war to distract the public. It’s meant to be a political satire, but post-Clinton it’s not so much of a satire anymore at all. Deniro was only okay, Hoffman was great.
Another surprisingly touching film. When I think of View Askew and Kevin Smith, I think of Jason Lee and Mallrats. All of View Askew cast members were present – Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and so forth. A few scenes were incredibly funny, but I suppose that would make this some kind of romantic/familial comedy. The protagonist, Affleck, copes with an inner struggle to move on in his life, away from his lost wife and into a domestic life raising his young daughter. It could certainly be classified as a feel-good movie, which generally means that I don’t care for it, but this one had enough pockets of greatness to prevent it from getting too slow. George Carlin was great as Afflecks father and the caring grandfather of the child.
2003 Cannabis Cup
Can this even be considered a movie? In 2003 High Times cast and filmed a reality show at the 15th annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. They selected half a dozen High Times readers and set them up in a house in Amsterdam for three to be official judges of the ‘Cup. The responsibilities to smoke, grade, and eventually vote of all but one strain of bud off the list of nominees falls squarely upon the motley group of potheads and medicinal marijuana patients. Most of it consists of them sitting around getting obscenely stoned, watching live shows, and participating in local events. It looks like a blast, but somehow it felt like I was watching someone eat a hamburger on TV while I myself was starving. One of the six cast members gets so high that he claims to have a religious experience in which he’s instructed to never smoke anymore weed, for the rest of his life, and hence, he drops out. The guy is a white American college-age guy who calls himself Gat and wears a giant black afro wig all day long. I wouldn’t expect any less of the Cannibus Cup. It still didn’t really make a worthwhile viewing experience.