Movie nights, actually–Gwen and I have had a couple recently that are worth mentioning.
First we saw Turkish Star Wars. OK, that’s not what it’s really called–it’s really called Dünyayi kurtaran adam (The Man Who Saves the World). Utter mind-warping dreck. This movie must have been made by Turkey’s Ed Wood. The first ten minutes was nothing but a few minutes shamelessly pirated from the original Star Wars, cut and re-cut. Much of the soundtrack was stolen with an equal absence of shame from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The quality of the filming may have been worse than those bootleggers who sneak videocams into movie theaters achieve. There was a mask-wearing bad guy, but not Darth Vader. He looked more like a kachina doll. And of course the tape has no subtitles or dubbing, so you’re pretty much obliged to fill in dialog a la MTS3K. I’ll be lazy and quote the Film Threat review here: “‘The Turkish Star Wars’ makes film criticism moot.”
Last night was a double-header. First up, About Schmidt. This movie left me a bit underwhelmed. Not a bad movie, but very flat. This was intentional–the writers clearly went out of their way to make almost every moment as blandly trite as possible, and that’s an achievement: somebody probably racked his brains to come up with a song as mawkishly awful as “Longer” by Dan Fogelberg (badly sung) for the wedding, and I salute that achievement. Perhaps the problem with portraying a universe of triteness is that the portrayal itself risks being trite.
Movie number the second was Hedwig and the Angry Inch. This was much better. A sort of earnest Rocky Horror Picture Show, if you will, it had good musical numbers, an interesting lead character (admittedly most of the other characters were slim to nonexistent), and interesting ideas, some conveyed through song. Having seen it now, I’m actually a little surprised that it hasn’t attracted more of a cult following.