Bad Hair Day

avengersI’ve alluded to this before, but I think it’s time to talk about summer movies. Has this summer been really mediocre, or is it just me? I’ve seen only two of the tentpole blockbusters (Star Trek Into Darkness and Pacific Rim), but it seems like there hasn’t been a stand-out amazing film from any of the big studios. I liked the two indies that I saw (Upstream Color and Much Ado About Nothing), but we haven’t seen an Avengers or Dark Knight Rises, have we? I’ll go ahead and say that DKR is my favorite of Nolan’s Batman films. I loved Hardy’s Bane (almost as much as Ledger’s Joker, incidentally), and find it odd that people complain about plot holes and general messiness when the previous film had that in spades. It was big, ambitious, and grand, and did a pretty good job of tying up all of the threads that Nolan had been following through the last two films. Oh, and Hathaway was surprisingly good as Catwoman. Who knew she had that in her? And The Avengers, of course, was amazing, deserving of Oscar nominations for screenplay, direction, and picture, as far as I’m concerned. As for this summer…well, Star Trek was okay, if a little rote (and trying way too hard to pay homage to the classic stuff) and Pacific Rim was great fun, but still pretty shallow. (Side note: While it’s underperforming at the American box office, it’s evidently making enough money overseas to justify a sequel. Whoa!)

What to make of all this? To begin with, there is the obvious problem, which is that everything these days is a sequel, a remake, a reboot, or something or other, and people are tiring of that, even if such films continue to make a fuckton of money. For another, a lot of producers and directors don’t even seem to be trying anymore. It’s very rare that you can sell an adaptation of a book based solely on the book’s popularity (Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are exceptions), yet I still can’t believe that the makers of World War Z couldn’t have tried at least a little bit harder to make the movie resemble the source material. The book was a fake account of humanity’s war with zombies, taking the form of dozens of interviews with survivors that collectively form a frighteningly believable picture of how such an event might go down if zombies were real. If you wanted to make a film, you could just adapt it verbatim, staging a bunch of fake interviews and airing it as a miniseries or something. Or you could make a big ensemble piece that checks in with a bunch of characters all over the world as they try to make it through–like Game of Thrones, but as a film. Instead, the film is a standard disaster movie, following its handsome star and his wholesome American family as they try to stop the zombie apocalypse. You might just as well stick a happy ending on Romeo & Juliet, so that the two lovers walk off into the sunset at the end while the Montagues and Capulets shake hands.

It’s been said by a million people before me, but every movie does not need an assload of explosions, a $250 million budget, and more CG than a Pixar film. Why did The Lone Ranger tank? Simple: Who fucking asked for it? Who thought it would be a good idea to resurrect a hokey old franchise, throw in a couple of stars and slap on a bloated running time, then expect it to work? To listen to the makers talk about it, they thought they were offering an alternative to the standard summer fare. Man, it takes some balls to say that with a straight face. I don’t begrudge Johnny Depp for taking roles just to cash the enormous paycheck, but he used to make stuff that was daring and original, and sometimes, I miss that guy.

I’ve run out of shit to say about Hollywood. So I’ll just say that right now, I’m exhausted. I’m on a sort-of vacation, but there’s so much that needs to get done that it’s hard for me to know where to begin. I’m committing to a one-year lease, my parents are committing to bailing me out if I need help, and their not doing that depends on my finding a job. So I’d better find a fucking job. I’m strangely confident about that, but kind of worried. I mean, what if I don’t? I often find that you only get shit you want when you face the possibility that I don’t, so I’m trying to be realistic about my options. I kinda feel like I’m starting again from zero after graduating, so I want to make sure that I at least have some kind of plan. Because if I don’t have a plan, God can’t find a way to fuck that up. And we wouldn’t want to disappoint Him now, would we?

Although it bears repeating that this is the only god I believe in.

Although it bears repeating that this is the only god I believe in.

My roommate grows more insufferable with every passing day. In the beginning, he was simply picky and not entirely forthcoming, but now, he’s just a dick–rude, pushy, and hot-tempered. He’ll knock on the bathroom door when I’m shaving, and when I tell him that I just need a minute to shave off the lather I’ve just applied, he’ll pace for sixty seconds, then knock again. I do have a tendency to spend a while in the bathroom, but this is the first roommate I’ve ever had who feels the need to remark upon it. Most either wait until I’m done or, after knocking, give me, oh let’s say FIVE FUCKING MINUTES before knocking again. Is that so much to ask? My new roommate will confront me because I put the toilet lid down after using the bathroom, then not accept the fact that I am BRUSHING MY FUCKING TEETH as an excuse not to answer. He snarls at me for muttering not-terribly-mean-spirited things to him, then mutters that I’m “fucking pissing [him] off” as he leaves. Funny thing is, setting aside the tiny bathroom and lousy water pressure, I like this apartment. It’s him I don’t like, but strangely enough, I’m more ambivalent towards him than actively angry.

I’m not sure why I’m so attached to this place. As I was sorting through the Craigslist ads, I happened upon this one and almost instantly thought that I was going to move into this place. I’ve invested so much time and money into it that I don’t want to have to start over again on a new place. Besides, my name is going on the lease, so any problem that the two of us have is as much his problem as mine. I just hope he mellows out. He needs to learn that this isn’t his place, but ours. Seriously, I do almost everything he asks me to do, and he still thinks I hate him. I would like him more if he stopped projecting his problems onto me, although that would require a level of emotional maturity that he, at 29, has yet to achieve. Oh, well. I certainly don’t plan on going anywhere. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

Besides, I just saw They Might Be Giants. I’ve posted this song before, but they make me glad I live in NYC, even if my roommate doesn’t.


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