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At the late night... er... - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
April 14th, 2007
04:38 pm

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At the late night... er...
I decided to go see "Grindhouse" at the local Cineplex Odeon theater (except that now it's an AMC theater) last night. I checked the times, had a light dinner and a few drinks at a restaurant within walking distance, and proceeded to the theater to get comfortable for a long stretch of movie-watching.

As the kid rips my ticket, he says it might start late, because they're having technical difficulties. That's fine - I'm in no particular hurry.

Five, ten minutes later, I'm the only one seated at the screen, and a manager comes in and profusely apologizes - they're canceling that screening due to technical difficulties. Fine - these things happen. She offers to let me see any other movie ("FREE!"), but I couldn't think of anything else on their marquee that really interested me. When a man's in a mood for zombies and psychopaths, "Meet the Robinsons" isn't a good replacement.

Instead of some lesser movie, I accept a refund. It occurs to me that the manager might have been able to sweeten the deal a bit, had I decided to be cranky. Perhaps a voucher for refreshments, or a discount for another show. I do have my runs of grouchiness, but I do it for the pure artistry; I don't like the idea of financial benefit from my surliness.

So, it's something like 8:30, and I'm in downtown Woodinville (woo!), and I'm probably safe to drive (yes, I had a few drinks, but hey, I'm a large guy). Probably. To be on the safe-safe side, I visited Target (woo!) and Barnes and Noble. Target on a Friday night is a grim place to be. After convincing myself that I was no menace to anybody on the road, I went home without incident.

Today, I found a different movie theater in the area playing Grindhouse, and I headed out to get a seat. Turns out, most people in line at noon on a Saturday aren't there for the walking dead - they're there to see a Disney movie in 3D. Oh, you can tell the ones that are itching for their Tarantino fix - they're the ones in line without kids. The "quiet loner" types.

So, hey - it's a fun movie event. Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, zombies, werewolves, car chases, strippers, wall-jumping, barbecue. It's got it all. And it occurs to me that the whole "aged 70s movie" gimmick is pretty fun, and maybe that's what threw the earlier movie theater into a tizzy. ("Why is the movie so jumpy and scratchy?")

On the way home, I find myself having a hard time driving at polite highway speeds. It's entirely possible that I'm a worse driver after a violent movie than I am after a drink. I'd prefer not to think about that, though, because that might lead to even more byzantine controls placed on film.

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From:tsmaster
Date:April 15th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC)
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Hee! Yes, that's exactly what I was going for, but I didn't know if I obscured it too much.

And the late night double feature didn't really seem like it fit so well, given that I had pretty much just got out of bed. :)
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From:tsmaster
Date:April 15th, 2007 07:00 am (UTC)
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Damn, now I'm regretting not going to see it last weekend.

I think you'd probably have fun with it, too - but I wouldn't recommend it to everybody. F'rexample, my parents. This is not a movie I'll be telling them to go out and see. And I have some friends who would really not enjoy certain gory scenes. Like the scene that starts 5 minutes in, and goes for an hour and a half. Oh, I mean the first MOVIE.

Specifically, if you have a hard time with a movie with very wet footstep sounds, because there's a half inch of gore on every flat surface, you probably won't enjoy it.

But if you enjoyed any part of "From Dusk to Dawn", this is a movie for you. Also, "Kill Bill 1" is a good litmus test - the homages of this movie are very similar to those made in the Kill Bill movies. And "Kill Bill 1" had similar amounts of violence.


So, having seen "This Film is Not Yet Rated" recently, I've been thinking about violence in film, and there's no question that this movie should be at least an R - and I'm a little surprised it wasn't NC-17. I guess a lot of the graphic violence is so over the top that it becomes silly. In TFiNYR, Kevin Smith made a comment, saying that if he had to make his own hierarchy of what's most offensive in film, it wouldn't be a couple of guys talking about blow jobs, but instead rape would be the most offensive - above killing people. And just below that would be the larger category of "women in peril". And I thought about that, and I really admire that way of looking at film. Kevin Smith's movies don't have a lot of women being pursued by predators.

Tarantino, however, feels free to jeopardize the well-being of everybody in his movies. His entire film was "women in peril". And I actually found that more disturbing than the Rodriguez' zombie hordes marauding and eating human flesh.



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From:ginsu
Date:April 15th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC)
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a lot of the graphic violence is so over the top that it becomes silly

I'm not surprised, since this was my reaction to the violence in Kill Bill. My inner teen male did not find The Bride a badassed warrior. He just wondered why the 80-100 people she slew in three or four minutes only attacked her in tiny groups, instead of all at once, and why none of them considered the possibility of shooting her from an elevated position. It wasn't gross, and it wasn't impressive, and it wasn't stirring; it was just ludicrous. The fight between vicious duelling rabbits Bigwig and General Woundwort in Watership Down was a lot more impressive.

rape would be the most offensive - above killing people. And just below that would be the larger category of "women in peril"

This is my take as well, although I don't know from this quote if Smith found it offensive because it's such a blatant movie cliche or because he finds the subject matter so appalling.

Certainly as a culture we are infinitely more desensitized to violence than rape. My guess is most of us would be more comfortable with a movie in which the heroine is (a) shot dead in battle, as opposed to (b) raped... even if the heroine from (b) then goes on to lead a productive life and dies peacefully at eighty. There's a really good season three Sopranos episode that hits this topic.

I remember watching Kill Bill and contrasting it with Buffy the Vampire Slayer along these lines. "Would Joss Whedon put his genre-defying blonde warrior heroine in a coma, and then repeatedly subject her to unconscious rape by a sadistic hospital orderly? Mmmm... no, don't think so."
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