Setter’s ‘Spectives: Bad Puns and ‘Good Will Hunting’

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613I have five things to say about Good Will Hunting, which I just saw for the first time a couple of days ago.

I. Did. Not. Like. It.

Part of me knew this would happen. The bad pun in the title gave my future cinema verdict away. I couldn’t appreciate something that didn’t take itself seriously enough to give itself a sharper moniker.

But there were other problems that rubbed me the wrong way. A script that was both sappy and abrasive. An unlikable lead performance. Schmaltzy music. And a plodding pace. All of which undermined several good performances, notably by Robin Williams as a therapist helping the title character.

Direction was also problematic. The film moved so slowly it was unbearable. I’m not a big fan of Gus Van Sant’s other films, including the dreadful To Die For and the frustrating Elephant. GWH is just another movie in his canon that I don’t care for.

I realize GWH is very popular. Once again, I’m in the minority on this. I don’t know why, though. To me, it just didn’t work.

Setter’s ‘Spectives: The Trying Is the Hardest Part

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613Please, let me never need to watch any more of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? again.

I realize it’s vaunted. I understand people like it.

Here’s the truth: I don’t. And I sure as heck ain’t forcing myself to get through the rest of it.

That’s right, I didn’t finish the movie. I only started it recently because it was on and I realized this was one hallowed film I still hadn’t seen.

Too bad I didn’t let it remain that way.

Lots of screeching, via Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. Not fun. There didn’t even seem to be a crescendo … just one wobbly plateau.

This just isn’t my shot of bourbon. If I want a flick about marital difficulties, I’ll choose Far From the Madding Crowd. Really.

And remain in the minority for all my moviegoing life. So be it.

From Skip and Setter’s Creator: New Year’s Movie Resolutions

Blog Sketch of Me 092213Hi, everyone. Just want to wish all of my followers and anyone else who has checked out my blog a happy and healthy New Year. I have a number of cinematic resolutions that I mean to adhere to for 2014, and though that’s easier said than done, I believe they’re basic enough so as to preclude any straying. Here they are:

Resolution #1: to refrain from counting aloud the inordinate number of previews shown before movie viewings at any theater

Resolution #2: to keep guffaws to a minimum while watching trailers for any feudal-Japan-set film with an American protagonist who has been enslaved or recruited by samurai who need him to fight some sort of ludicrous supernatural enemy

Resolution #3: to smirk only briefly at every ad touting a new stage musical based on a flick that wasn’t so good to begin with

Resolution #4: to continue to praise unsung motion pictures and criticize overrated ones

Resolution #5: to avoid any concert films starring bands or “artists” who raise their hands while they sing

Resolution #6: to run far, far away from 3-D flicks about flash mobs, dance contests or zombies

Resolution #7: to eschew the butter-flavored topping on my popcorn during at least one trip to the cinema

Resolution #8: to lament the dearth of $2 second-run movie theaters in my area

Resolution #9: to shun animated films about polar bears, talking birds or prehistoric hominids

Resolution #10: to watch as many good movies as I can

Setter’s ‘Spectives: The ‘Wind’ Beneath My Consideration

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613I’m a Gone with the Wind denier.

I deny that it’s a great film. I deny that it’s even enjoyable. And I deny that it should be shown on TV as much as it has been … or, for that matter, at all.

Saturated with racism, it’s a relic that defies viewing. Someone should lock it up and store it away, à la Raiders of the Lost Ark. Yet every so often, it appears on the small screen, as if it’s a tradition akin to watching March of the Wooden Soldiers on Christmas.

Whose tradition are we following here? The tradition of offending people?

I believe in dissociating the creator from his or her art. But GwtW‘s so infused with cordial hate that it infects the film as a whole. You can’t separate the parts.

And I’m still wondering why it gets the green light on the tube.

Many people like it. Some feel it’s a masterpiece. I don’t. From a cinematic perspective, it smacks of tripe. Soapy, tiresome tripe. Oh, yeah: It’s long, too, and not long in a good, Lawrence of Arabia way. You feel every minute of it.

I’m in the minority on this, and normally I accept that. In this case, however, I don’t. GwtW shouldn’t be shown on TV, and its racism alone should be reason enough. The fact that it’s plain tedious offers further proof that we should blow it off.