17 January 2005

I miss being a movie critic. There's something about being forced to write five hundred words about, say, Heather Graham's Committed that really focuses the brain. It's harder when you aren't on deadline, and aren't getting paid.

I'm not sure why, but there are some movies that I just can't bring myself to blog about. I haven't written a word about I Heart Huckabees, for example, even though it's a fascinating and sometimes wonderful bad movie. Closer, by contrast, I can talk about for hours, even to somebody who hasn't seen it yet, as Noah discovered during a recent visit. (Sorry about that.)

Also, it's been over a week since I saw The Aviator, and I haven't felt too inspired. The exchange that took place between Noah and me after leaving the theater is worth blogging, though:
Noah: I can't imagine a main character I'd have more trouble identifying with.
Alec: And I can't imagine a main character I'd find more fascinating.
True. The Aviator is all about the three subjects that I find totally irresistable: Hollywood, money, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It could have been one of the great movies. The first hour comes close: it's frothy, glittery, tasty in all the right ways. But it seems to lose its momentum halfway through: Scorsese, who is so good at getting inside the head of crazy, coked-up or otherwise deviant personalities in the closing acts of Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, and, yes, The Last Temptation of Christ, can't seem to do the same with Howard Hughes. By the time GoodFellas reaches its incredible final twenty minutes, the viewer is Henry Hill, and his tortured mood of paranoia and guilt can linger for days. For the last hour of The Aviator, by contrast, we're just watching weird behavior and dirty fingernails.

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