Archive | February, 2015

10 Ways Hollywood Looks After Loved Ones — From The Afterlife

7 Feb


At last! I’ve been asked to write a sequel. Not of one of my film scripts, admittedly, but of an article. Hot on the heels of The 11 Best Films About Life Insurance comes 10 Ways Hollywood Provides For Loved Ones From The Afterlife.

You wouldn’t have thought there was a whole sub-genre of Hollywood films that feature dead people belatedly caring for their families, but from Always to Ghost via PS I Love You there were way more than ten – I had to leave some out (many thanks to my friends in the Facebook hive mind for suggestions). It even includes Oscar nominee Michael Keaton in a film he must be hoping Academy members have forgotten – have you?

Click here to read the top ten.

Why vice is nice, but not when it’s Inherent

5 Feb
Joaquin Phoenix bogarts that butt in Inherent Vice

Joaquin Phoenix bogarts that butt in Inherent Vice

After Foxcatcher left me cold, here’s one that left me just baffled: Inherent Vice. I love everything Paul Thomas Anderson has made. Magnolia: magnificent. The Master: masterful. Let There Be Blood: bloody brilliant. He even managed to make a good Adam Sandler movie (Punch-Drunk Love).

But this…

It doesn’t help that Inherent Vice is from a novel by Thomas Pynchon. His books always seem as though they must have been a lot more fun to write than they are to read, and they are patently unadaptable. Cool stoner comedy can work – just look at The Big Lebowski – but I’m not positive this is even pitched as comedy. It’s certainly not funny.

The killing non-joke is that the entire movie is exposition. I’m not kidding – the entire movie consists of Joaquin Phoenix, wasted in both senses of the word as the stoner detective, going up to a succession of people and being talked at. Each one telling him some other thing about some other person we have no interest in and some other plot point that makes little sense and would hardly matter if it did.

It’s worse than that famous King Lear quote: “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” There’s not even any fury, and the sound is so bad you can hardly hear what Joaquin is saying half the time. Worse, you suspect that’s a blessing.

How it garnered any raves I have no idea. Please, someone out there – tell me you liked it. And tell me why. I genuinely want to know.