Tag Archive: film


High School Musical has a RiffTrax…

… which was entertaining to find out and almost as entertaining to actually watch.* It was worth watching just to see Tony collapse in on himself trying to cover his ears to get away from the singing. And the Riffers, the A++++++ team of Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy, were in rare form. So I have to say that this particular RiffTrax/horror movie combination is a definite “must watch.”

What concerns me coming out of having seen this film is what’s going to happen to poor Zac Efron’s career. The thing is that while watching HSM, there were actual moments where it looked like Mr. Efron was actually ACTING – moments where things like genuine concern floated across his face, completely out of place with the inanity of both the plot and his character. While acting during a Disney film admittedly shows a marked lack of judgment on Mr. Efron’s part – because doing so can constitute nothing other than a waste of effort – it doesn’t deny the fact that it looks like the kid CAN ACTUALLY ACT. Which makes me realize that I feel sorry for him.

Why should I feel sorry for Zac Efron? The kid is so absurdly good-looking that *insert absurdly over the top metaphor of your choice here – I’m tired and not in the mood to think of one*, and yet he’s only done one film this year that got any advertising (why hello there, Charlie St. Cloud, your commercials maketh me to need the insulin shots).** Meanwhile, someone like, say, Michael Cera, who is both not good-looking and ludicrously overexposed, is in pretty much everything. Because Michael Cera is not-good-looking in a sort of quirky hipster way that means he can be taken seriously as an actor, whereas Zac Efron is so insanely good-looking that he could out-act Sir Ian McKellen and people would still assume that he was only given a role due to his looks.

I think this is roughly the type of issue that made Brad Pitt start taking awesome roles in films like Fight Club. Which means, I hope, that we can have the opportunity to watch Zac Efron do something completely outrageous here in a few years, if only to prove that he’s more than just a pretty face.

*Yes, I realize that “to actually watch” is a split infinitive. No, I don’t care that I just used a split infinitive. No, I am *not* going to revise my wording. Because, to be perfectly honest, the only reason that I’ve found for not using split infinitives in English is because it’s impossible to split infinitives in Latin – therefore, because it can’t be done in English, some doddering fop in Victorian times (or earlier) decided we shouldn’t do so in English either. Perhaps because it’s barbaric or something. Who knows. Either way, I do and shall continue to gleefully split infinitives because, well, I CAN. Suck it, Latin.
**It occurred to me during the writing of this blog post that Zac Efron would have made a way more convincing Edward Cullen than RPattz did. That, however, is an issue for someone else to unpack – I’ve spent way more time during this blog post than I’ve ever meant to spent in weighing relative celebrity guy hotness.

I’ve now been laughing about this for twelve hours, in between groans of “OHCEILINGCATNOOOOOOO” and “they absolutely positively CANNOT BE SERIOUS, right?” and then more laughter.

Hollywood has decided, apparently, that the time is right for a film of a particularly long and dense epic poem.

I’m not honestly surprised that they’re doing a film of this poem, as it’s been getting references all over the place in books being written right now, especially in the world of YA, where it feels like I can’t open a book without a 50% likelihood of this poem being referenced, if not heavily leaned on.  I blame Philip Pullman.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, they’re making a film of PARADISE LOST.  Really.  In 3-D most likely, and which, as the second article says, “will be crafted as an action vehicle that will include aerial warfare.”  Of course it will.

Yes, Paradise Lost will be an action film.  Directed by the guy who directed The Crow.  It’s like life just handed me a freshly baked cookie.

I’m heartened by this is many ways, as the fun parts of Paradise Lost should make an effing FANTASTIC action film.  Angels throw mountains on each other in Paradise Lost.  Think about it.  How COOL would it be to watch ANGELS THROW MOUNTAINS ON EACH OTHER.  I am *all* over this, and I want popcorn, and a Guinness, and maybe some Reeces Pieces, and then HELL YES I WANT TO SEE THIS.  On an IMAX screen, if possible.  OTOH, if for some reason the director et al decide *not* to include angels lobbing mountains on each other, I’m going to feel cheated.

(As an aside, sorry for the yellies here.  I’ve been laughing about this for hours now.  It kept me up at night because I was laughing so hard.  I can’t believe I managed not to wake up Tony because my laughter was shaking the bed.)

The part that has me worried is that there’s no way in fucking hell they’ll EVER manage a plausible interpretation of the poem that manages to even glance at the depth of meaning in it, or recognize any of the major themes (much less do them any justice).  I also figure almost goes without saying that Satan will be played by Hot Guy, and that, being Hot Guy, he’ll be the hero. Big misreading of the poem, no matter how sexy Satan is in the beginning.  To put it in modern terms, Satan in Paradise Lost is the rhetorical equivalent of Glenn Beck, if Glenn Beck looked like Clive Owen rather than a pink-faced fuckwit.  Satan’s arguments, when parsed, hold exactly as much water as do Mr. Becks (i.e., none), but he’s blustery enough that he comes across as sexy as hell* anyway.  Until God turns him into a snake and Satan turns, if possible, MOAR EMO.  Really, though, if you read the poem carefully, it’s pretty clear Satan is the bad guy, no matter what William Blake et al thought.

So I’m torn.  On the one hand, this is assuredly going to be a disaster on any philosophical level, pretty much guaranteed to debase the poem from greatness to a handful of headache-inducing 3-D special effects battle scenes.  On the other, ANGELS THROWING MOUNTAINS ON EACH OTHER.

Thoughts, oh world?

*Forgive the pun here, please. It was unintentional (when I first wrote it, anyway – obviously I decided to leave it).

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