Sunday, January 14, 2007

Smokin' Aces and Jo ... again

Smokin' Aces
It's really good and I'll write more about it when I get the chance.

Jo Again
Interestingly enough, Jo had a fair-enough comment in response to my Open Letter. Problem is, he followed it up with another comment and this is in response to that ...
First off, I shall quote Jo;
"I went on IMDB to check where else my dislike for Gibson comes from. I have seen six of his movies and not a single one of them contains a performance that I feel justifies his reputation. And the seventh is Passion."
Right, I also went on IMDB and had a gander because I was sure that Gibson hasn't directed that many films - let alone seven. Turns out he has only directed five projects:
1) The Man without a Face
2) Braveheart
3) The Passion of the Christ
4) Three episodes of 'Complete Savages'
5) Apocalypto
I think I did watch 'The Man without a Face' but I cannot remember much from it so I shall say nothing. 'Braveheart' and 'Passion' I own and have watched a few times - and think they are worthy of reputation. 'Apocalypto' I have recently watched. Funnily enough I did not get the chance to watch any episodes - let alone Gibsons - of 'Complete Savages'.
I have a funny feeling that the 'Gibson' films you have watched are only the ones he has acted in (and 'Passion' being the 'seventh' film of his you watched - Gibson didn't act in that so ... ). Mel Gibsons reputation as an actor is not huge - he has never won an Oscar for acting roles - although he did earn two awards from the AFI (The Australian equivalent to the Oscars) for his acting roles in 'Tim' and 'Gallipolli'. He also earned critical praise when acting in 'Hamlet' in 1990 - but alas, no Bafta of Oscar. I have not seen 'Tim' or 'Gallipolli' so I would not know whether his acting was brilliant in them. Suffice to say, I make no judgement.
Personally, I think Mel Gibson is a high class DIRECTOR, for which this is reflected in Braveheart 'for which he won two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director'. I thought 'Passion' was well directed and, considering the limited and bias source, it attempted to show the story as 'real' as possible - all whip lashings and thorny crowns included. Again, 'Apocalypto' is yet to earn awards, if it will earn any at all as it has some very strange plot points (As pointed out by Elisabeth, there is absolutely no need for the birth of child at the end. Very shit) and a wealth of inaccurate historic references. But visually and cinematically it is as epic and impressive as the deserts of 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

Now, here comes the twisted knife Jo - You have only seen Passion. You may have seen 'The Man without a Face', but if it was as long ago as when I saw it, then I reckon it would be difficult to really form an informed judgement. And 'Complete Savages'? I doubt it.

For one, the whole "I have to confess that I have never been a fan of his work probably because I have seen very few of his films" - you have seen ONE film that was higly criticised across the board, a film that earned no nominations and had a bias box office opening. It might be better to say that you are not a fan of 'Passion' rather than grouping all his directed pieces into one box without viewing them.

You stated yourself that 'I did catch some of Braveheart the other day and it did look motivationally interesting' and this is the film that earned him his initial reputation - and it is that epic scale that he has become famous for directing.

I advise you to watch 'Braveheart' and 'Apocalypto' because they really are worth the watch at least, but the chance of you doubling back on yourself and stating 'Wow, Gibson is a great director' are slim to none because your (un)informed opinion on why you shouldn't/wouldn't watch 'Apocalypto' says alot about how you form a judgement before watching a film.

I reckon the latest edition of 'Heat' probably didn't give 'Apocalypto' the greatest of reviews though - although it may have stated that there are topless guys and girls running around throughout the film - woo hoo! Five Stars. As legitimate as 'Empire'. (Game, set, match)

1 comment:

Jo said...

The phone is still being held,

A miscommunication has obviously extended this argument beyond the limits of possibility and into the realms of literal madness. When I said I had seen six Gibson films of course I meant ones he had acted in. All credit to you, you do refer to the fact that this could be the case but then choose to continue down the winding road of me apparently making a mistake about the number of his directorial efforts as it supports your conclusions more heartily.

Of course you also ignore my criticisms of Gibsons public persona as being a reason for not choosing to see his films. I acknowledge the fact that my reactions may be irrational but they are also part of a wider picture. As for Passion being widely criticised, methinks the millions of people who saw it (some on several occasions) seemed to generally like it very much, but perhaps they weren’t being as objective as film critics have to be? That’s a cheap shot, but it balances with some of your own ‘funny feelings’.

The fact of the matter is there are several films, in the cinema and on DVD, that I would rather watch than Apocalypto. There are several factors about each one that appeal to me and, as I have said, there are also elements of Apocalypto that interest me. My dislike for Gibson (and for the single film I have seen that he directed) counts in the minus column when it comes to deciding whether to watch the tale of Mayan malarkey.

I apologise for being glib, but I'm afraid you lowered the tone when you bought 'heat' into the equation. Yes it's true, I do read Britain's premier gossip magazine, but only for the film reviews. I'd like to point out that's a little bit of sarcasm as you have been known to take things too literally if it supports your conclusion.

So you thought my initial response was good but I spoiled it by writing a brief which you then misinterpreted. Many thanks, I have also found your arguments and facts to be interesting. However when you rely on the tired old chestnut- 'Jo's so stubborn he won't ever change his mind, however good something Simon likes is'- it all gets a little tiring. It's a little personal and some might even suggest it's a little boring to be using a throwaway generalisation to 'win' an argument. Thus I shall have to answer you with a more specific charge to undermine your own position as a cinematic expert; you are a fan of Brett Ratner. And I rest my case.