Wednesday, March 09, 2011

2001, Fixed

Stanley Kubrick; the most overrated movie director until Tarantino came along. Of course there was an interlude between the two when George Lucas was writing dialog for Cigar Store Indians to recite like they were reading a phone book. But has anyone pissed away more money producing pointless screen time aimed at advancing a storyline nowhere using worse actors than Kubrick? I don't think so. No one in his industry can match him; only politicians have done less with more.


Thud said...

I rather like Barry Lyndon but thats about ti.

William Cook said...

Thank you! You've noticed too. Somebody had to point that out! I rather like the Mad Magazine title, "2001: A Space Idiocy", you may have seen the 'article'? I've always felt this way way about Kubrick. Ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag. I remember coming out of the theater going, huh? Such a great idea! Such nowhere effort! It's like the big idea was the monkey scene but he had to drag it out a little to make a whole movie out of it. Should have been a short called "Opposing thumb: Thus Shpake Kubrick". Great post. \\///\

Sixty Grit said...

I have had long discussions about why Kubrick was such a lousy director - it all boils down to what he puts up on the screen - a B52 on a stick, never moving from the center of the frame, poor R. Lee Ermey repeating the same dialogue 50 or 100 times until it has lost all freshness, 2001 - what the hey?, and so on. A Clockwork Orange, at least, was interesting, as the story it is based on is well written and has a moral. Eyes Wide Shut - tell me again how the zig zag painting found on London streets made it over to New York city - funny, I have been to both cities and can tell them apart. Poor Kubrick, he lived such an insular life I guess he thought no one would notice.

Casey Klahn said...

Except if you did serve around the era of Full Metal Jacket, you laughed until you embarrassed yourself in the theater at the gunney. Man that guy is funny.

And, the scariest scene in all of moviedom is the Hal gone crazy scene. Spine chilling.

My 2 cents. The Lego spoof is awesome because it distills 2001 and one into a minute or less. That's brilliant.

Andy said...

The only thing Tarantino ever did that wasn't a mistake is cast Tim Roth.

Bad actors doing unbelievable things in ridiculously boring scenes? Like, get with the program, man. It's called being edgy.

lorraine said...

When 2001 first came out I was an usher at the Pantages Theatre on Hollywood Blvd during many months of the run there. My life in the theatre revolved around the steps in the movie that meant I had to be doing different things. When I wasn't doing something else - such as talking down a kid on acid (LSD for those who are too young or can't remember)- from jumping off the balcony into "the lights". I watched that stupid movie more times than I can ever count and could never find one shred of sense in it except it gave me an appreciation for great music. Thank you for saying what many have been afraid to say.

Sixty Grit said...

Gunney's lines were very funny, but Kubrick made the actors do lines so many times that any sense of spontaneity or originality was lost. You can hear it in Ermey's voice - he was saying the lines, but the energy was shot.

And the Lego version of 2001 was the best ever possible version of that short story. Think of the hours that would have been saved if that had been the one released in the theater.

SippicanCottage said...

Thud- Exhibit A: Ryan O'Neal.

Hi William- Thanks for reading and commenting. Spy vs. Spy forever!

Hi Sixty Grit- R Lee Ermey is like Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed now,isn't he? And the movie hasn't got anything to do with him. He's just in there, and then a bunch of other stuff happens. It's a complete mess.

A Clockwork Orange is such a great book. It's like Orwell written by Elmore Leonard. The movie is a letdown compared to the book.

And there's no power on earth to convince me to see Eyes Wide Shut. Exhibit B: Tom Cruise.

Hi Casey- R Lee Ermey is now the official drill sargent of the universe, but he's like a Rolls hood on a VW in that movie.

Andy- Both guys have the pull to pay good actors. They just don't know what to do with them, or how to tell them apart from the dress dummies. They're around the edges, mostly, watching stiffs like Bruce Willis mill around and eat scenery. Tim Roth in Rob Roy is the greatest. villain. evar. He's just another guy burping non sequiturs in a Tarantino movie.

Lorraine - That story made me laugh. I've been in the Pantages. Awesome place.

People outside LA don't know how seedy Hollywood Blivid has mostly been over the years. It was a hellhole in the eighties when I was there.

Andy said...

Ever seen The Legend of 1900?

Eric said...

I dunno.

"Paths of Glory" works.
"Barry Lyndon" also works.
I never saw "A Clockwork Orange" but the subject matter didn't appeal to me at all.
"Dr. Strangelove" had its moments.
I had the singular experience of seeing "Full Metal Jacket" in a theater full of other GIs like me. When Lee Ermey came out yelling the place went to pieces.
I don't know what he was trying to do with "Eyes Wide Shut", but he did die before finishing the editing, from what I read.

I can think of worse directors.

Sixty Grit said...

Ed Wood might be a worse director, but Kubrick, for whatever reason, is more highly esteemed than his life's work really calls for.

No one has mentioned "The Shining". I have been to the Timberline lodge, which was used in exterior shots. The interior is nothing like the one seen in the movie.

Okay, Stanley, you entertained us, we still write about you, you were controversial, and now you are gone. That's life.

Oh yeah, reason to see EWS - Nicole Kidman!

Anonymous said...

Eyes Wide Shut made no sense. Maybe, just mmmaybe back in 1890s Vienna an illicit sex club was be something shameful enough to commit murder to hide. But updating the novel to 1990s New York made it absurd. At about that same time you could read articles in the Village Voice about stuff which made the EWS sex club look like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.