Sunday, November 04, 2007
watched Blades of Glory yestreen. Will Farrell now identified as a go to guy. neither of the WF star vehicles that I've seen are perfect but they have a consistent artistic demeanour, let us say. I don't think that Farrell is a one trick pony. it seems like he has a vision of his work. but my experience of his work is slight so I wouldn't want to press this opinion too far. this one is about competitive skating, which is as likely as a subject, because of its local weirdness, as NASCAR. Farrell is paired with ugh I can't recall the actor's name, as rival skaters. the other skater, Jimmy, is fey (1st time I ever used that word) and sensitive, stereotypical skater type. Farrell's Chazz is bumptiously macho, rowdy rock star. our 1st encounter with the adult Jimmy, he wears peacock feathers on his rump and is a study of ridiculous skaterly grace. the movie captures the obsequious patter of skating announcers, and the crowd as suckers for the show. near the end, famous Jim Lampley gets to tell his announcing partner (Scott Hamilton, in fact) that he just wet his pants. Chazz comes on like a pro wrestler, strutting and emblazoned sex. it's such a toot to see. naturally the 2 get into a fight during the awards ceremony, naturally they are banned for life from competition. after a quick 3 years of dark night of the soul for them, they are brought together as a pair, since it isn't specified in the rules that they can't. that's all de rigueur stuff. fire and ice. I'm not capturing the good parts of the movie with this recount. the two actors work well together. Farrell, the star, looks comfortable sharing the screen. his characters need something to bounce against, anyway. his swagger arrives from the moon or somewhere, just as in Talledega Nights. Jon Heder, who must be someone but he's new to me, looks properly whippet-like to suggest a skater but Farrell looks like sitting on the front porch with a beer. the movie sneaks past campiness, just barely I think. for all the grace and athleticism of the sport, it has a high density of schlockiness. the whole play to the crowd aspect is what undermines it as a sport. so the target is rich. the skating routines are great, combining piss ant drama and physical impossibility. the movie tails off when the plot becomes needy. I know plot and denouement are integral to such a spoofy approach but plot really becomes dead air so often, a linear express to the next set piece. it's time, friends, that we review our need for plot. the resolutions seem mostly sham or incomplete. the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have been criticized for their confusing plot. I think the confusion comes from a need to make plot sense. if Johnny Depp et al weren't bound by that necessity, the play could be more adventurous. poetry is far from cured of that narrative need, that sort of storytelling completion, but at least the issue is on the table. we're totally inured to the auto pilot in artworks, it's hard to break thru to the mechanics. in the finale of Lord of the Rings, movie version, there's a smirky grand depletion of plot points amongst the survivours. Tolkien did the work at a respectful pace. in the movie, clock running, it's a nod to all. which particularly gives the scene with Viggo at marrying point with Liv an odd scantness. the movie's so homoerotic, another word I've never used before, that this ceremonious inclusion of a female jostles the mind. where'd she come from, basically. from a need to tie loose ends. a satisfaction exists in that, but girls are so rare in the movie that we really aren't prepared for this normative streak. it almost happens in Blades. you can see the bond between the guys, similar drives and interests. when the girl comes along, the attraction is mostly that she's kinda pretty. well gee whiz, if you want to make plots work, you have to cut out a lot of interesting stuff. if you want Viggo and Liv to look right together, you'll have to cut out monsters and sword play. in Blades, if you really need to tie Jimmy to the sweetheart, you'd have to sacrifice the good stuff on the ice. ah well. it was a fun movie, anyway. I'll take Farrell over Jack Black, who seems like a 2nd rate Lou Costello or even Curly Howard.