If this is going to be a blog about films, what I think of them and whether you should invest your time and money in their viewing, then I feel some introductions are in order. Now, it's worth noting that this certainly isn't an OKCupid profile, so such introductions are going to have a lot more to do with my view of films and why I am a qualified judge of them (in my mind at least). So, let us begin at the beginning...
My passion for movies began well after that first time I went to the cinema (I was three or four and got ill during Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and then I was not ill when we went to see it at the drive-in, but neither of these are formative, simply memories). My love affair with cinema began with an unnaturally voluptuous cartoon that shimmered in a way that I had never seen a cartoon shimmer in all my time with Tom and Jerry, Bugs and Daffy and the Tasmanian Devil. Who Framed Roger Rabbit hit me like a cannonball. It was just a hair more bawdy than anything I had ever seen before, and while I can't say that I got it then, I'd like to think that my grandmother and grandfather were a little mortified at 'Patty Cake.'
It continued with a television program called Movie Magic that detailed the artistry and some of the science behind Special Effects in movies. Now, I hadn't seen a whole lot of the movies that they were showing, young as I was, but it all just revved my engine, so to speak. From piles of bullets and cartridges in Hot Shots! Part Deux to liquid mercury in Terminator 2 and a bullet-ridden Cryogenics chamber in Demolition Man, there was a little bit of something for everyone.
So, I grew up watching everything I could get my hands on. In high school, I acted and I read and I watched more and more and more. Everyone thought I was going to be an actor, but I wanted to make movies. So, I went to Film School. It was the best four years of my life... and then I didn't get a job in the industry. So now, I"m working retail, trying to get back on the job. My specialties are writing and, surprise surprise, Special Effects Makeup.
Now, to the meat of the matter...
When it comes to what I see, and what I look for, it's tough to put a firm finger on. The tough thing about Great Cinema (and, for the record, the beautiful thing) is that there is no formula to get it right. The last piece that I consider to be truly great cinema is Wall-E. Who could have imagined that a film about two 'cartoon robots' who have at best a rudimentary ability to speak could be so fulfilling. It's a game changer... the kind of movie that you look at and know that a certain genre can never be looked at again in the same light. Inglorious Basterds came damned close to being there, but that doesn't make it a damned fine film and something not only worth watching, but worth celebrating.
So here's a list of some of my top all-time movies, just to give you an idea of what the truly excellent pieces are going to be measured against: Wall-E, The Usual Suspects, Goodfellas, The Godfather, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Seven Samurai, Pulp Fiction, Raging Bull, The Shawshank Redemption, Raise the Red Lantern, My Neighbor Totoro, Akira, The Princess Bride and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Now, not being on that list doesn't mean I didn't like it. Hell, I liked Avatar, but that doesn't mean that I want to get down on my knees and worship James Cameron, or that I think I was a Navi in a past life. Heck, there are a lot of BAD movies that are worth at least taking a look at; I mean, 2012 wasn't something that I see myself adding to the canon of so-called important, 'Great' cinema. But it was a hell of a fun movie; a special effects masterpiece with pithy dialog thrown in for great fun. But that's a bad example, because it's not really a bad movie.
So, that's what you'll get here, both the enjoyment of the kid who fell in love with Jessica Rabbit and the would-be screenwriter and makeup artist with the critical, sarcastic eye (and deep reverence) that one can only get from the deep learning. See you again soon.