Friedkin, Funnybooks, & Fab-Films.. I am hoping that someone, somewhere, someday, can make a great film, tell a great story, that JUST HAPPENS to have a “superhero” integrated within the movie, rather than being a blockbuster for merchandising. Do not dumb down the story to the lowest common, repeated denominators: This is Superman, these are his powers, here’s where he comes from….blah blah blah WHO CARES? Don’t bother to explain ANYTHING . . . If you don’t know it by now, then too bad! If a film maker cannot deliver background information with subtlety, that does NOT require an origin story or white subtitles “Krypton AD 1972”, then S/He is not a film maker! How about a fantastic, layered narrative, that includes the Superman character. How about no Clark/Lois/Daily Planet/Alfred/Bat-Copter/Bat-Knife etc etc????? Jettison ALL THE STUPID BAGGAGE. (losing the Red Circus Trunks is a good start). Now at the risk of offering a solution, that in itself sounds like more “generalizations”: An Alan Moore-like, treatment about the Human Condition (ala “Watchmen”) for the Justice League? Great films HAVE been sourced from Graphic Novels before (say “Road To Perdition”). Does “Matrix”, “Cruising” or “The Crowe” qualify? How about a “Perdition” or “Memento” caliber story that includes Batman? Never Happen. (? see Avenging Superman minus Spandex = “The Flying Man” Film )

So what are the REAL Super-Movies out right now? As usual, not too many. Great film: “End of Watch”, with superb integration of new-style shooting, particularly action-cameras. This is not your Daddy’s “Cops”. This is the natural evolution of Friedkin”s careening around with a pillowed camera in the “French Connection”. Realistic portrayal of East LA crime including Human Trafficking. Narrative and character development moves right along, but still feels like “slice o life”. One of the best “cop dramas” ever. See it.

READ about the ACTION CAMERAS used in “END OF WATCH”

Another Best Film Of Year “Killer Joe” by William Friedkin http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/killer_joe/

AV Club: It’s interesting that you put it in terms of not wanting to be on the set, rather than not wanting to watch them. You came out of live TV and documentary initially, and even a movie like “The Exorcist” is shot with a certain fluidity, without a lot of standing around and waiting for lights to be set up.

William Friedkin: My earliest influences were comic books, obviously. I love comic books, but I never thought of making a film out of one. I love videogames, too! I still play videogames. There’s become a certain sameness about them; the only thing that seems to have improved is the technology. But I don’t want to make something like that as a film. I think they’re fine as what they are. I tried to watch some of these comic books, and I just can’t. I can’t do it! It’s not that they’re bad. People think they’re great, so they must be great because I don’t think the audience is wrong, usually. But you can differ. You know, people vote for some of the strangest people imaginable that I couldn’t vote for. They’re willing to send them to run our government, run our lives, you know? That’s a stronger decision than making a Spandex movie, voting for some guy who, you know, sounds like a dork and a liar to run everything! So I don’t feel myself politically engaged or engaged with contemporary culture.”

*READ THE REST of this Friedkin Interview at AV Club
Plus! Another great Interview with Friedkin in 2012 about “Killer Joe” in “TV Technology” magazine, TVTechnology.com, if ya can find it…

Other “REAL Super-Movies” . . . . I had a chance to see the films worth seeing in theaters. Just shorthand notes of what I think, for what it’s worth.

“Lincoln”. I’m always leery of IMPORTANT films, about IMPORTANT people, made by IMPORTANT people. Daniel Day Lewis was great… I thought he WAS Lincoln… Or at least, what we all would like to imagine that Lincoln was like… Perhaps a fantasy version we grew up with. It was, alas, just that: “Great Moments with Mr Lincoln” (which is copyright The Walt Disney Company, please don’t kill me). This projected “Winkin’-Blinkin’-Lincoln” was marred by some ham-handed scripting, Tommy Lee Jones as Tommy Lee Jones oops I mean Senator Stevens…and a shrill Sally Fields insisting she “WAS NOT crazy!”… Ummm, no.

“The Hobbit” was great fun, as expected, with everyone in makeup trying to be younger than their later “Lord” selves. Despite the three hour indulgence, and padding it out to another trilogy for commercial reasons, it was delightful to see Tolkien’s Appendices brought to life.

“Django Unchained” was great as long as you can stand at LEAST 3 musical interludes… Why push that routine?… Well, it is quirky Tarantino, so I do not wish to pick nits. The “N Word” was not intrusive, but was offensive (in a good way). DiCaprio and other Leads were entertaining, bringing a clever, funny script to life. Not his best, but worth a look.

Best films; “End of Watch” and “Killer Joe”… Also “Argo” worked very well. Affleck redeems himself with subdued acting, and low key direction. It felt like a great, small film. (Unfortunately, the Voice-over by President Carter was a mistake, everyone still thinks he was one of the worst presidents. Trying to improve his legacy in such a forced manner was not a good idea). “Zero Dark Thirty”: was strong, if slightly maudlin, although I have no idea if any of it is true or accurate. “Hitchcock” was carried very well by Helen Mirren’s performance, and some clever shots and ambiance. His “perversions” were probably soft peddled here, and his true Directorial genius understated. I love Hitch’s very early (pre-“Psycho” work particularly, such as “Sabotage”). “The Master”: Performances shine, not so much for Joaquin noodling around, but I enjoyed Philip Seymour Hoffman. Great Visuals. Kinda long and ponderous. Worth Seeing. Loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” though.

Some of these 2012 / 2013 films have left theaters, and APOLOGIES for any others I have left out, it was NOT intentional. These include, but are NOT LIMITED TO: “The Grey”, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “The Avengers”, “Killing Them Softly”, “How to Survive a Plague”. “FAQ About Time Travel”, “John Dies At The End”, “The Imposter”.

See our detailed review of the excellent “SkyFall” elsewhere in this Blog. Other reviews in this blog include “Looper”, “Flight”, “Prometheus”, and “Dark Knight Rises”.

 

 

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