It is fall. Soon. I know it. The leaves haven't quite changed yet, but that's okay. The nights are pretty brisk sometimes, sometimes it even smells like frost when I breathe a little too deeply walking home from seeing James. I know that things are getting there. We watched Sleepy Hollow last night to get in the mood for all of it: the gray days with strange burst of color, the walks in the woods, the strangest version of Christopher Walken ever put to film (and he wasn't even playing himself!). But I am not here to speak on the season that is fast approaching. I am here to tell you about a movie. But first, an anecdote.
In spite of my school status, I am stuck living in the freshman dorms. Yeah, it's kind of awful, but I have my space, and I am learning to enjoy being so secluded. About a week ago, my next door neighbor and I made a Staples run for some class necessities (the only school supply I have purchased this semester is a binder, go figure), and on the way home, I made sure to stop at Best Buy, because new movies come out on Tuesdays, and a movie very dear to my heart was set to be released this particular Tuesday. When I walk in, I make my way over to the new releases stand immediately, so excited to finally own my favorite movie of the summer. Yes, I liked it even more than The Dark Knight, and I know that puts me in a very small minority, considering how few people saw this movie when it was out and how much money (nearing $500 million last I checked, and getting a rerelease in January to remind the Oscars that it happened) Chris Nolan's masterpiece made, I really must be crazy. I loved The Dark Knight, it really blew my mind. But in terms of pure escapism (with a heart, of course), I would take Tarsem's The Fall any day. And that's what I was trying to do. However, in spite of its new release status, the DVD was not in the rack. I cursed the day that entertainment superstores started cropping up. I was forced to dig through the drama section. And on the very bottom shelf, turned sideways and completely hidden from anyone who wasn't dead set on buying it, was the movie I have waited all summer to see again. I took a whole heap of mass transit to get into New York back in June so that I could be at the independent theater on Houston at the exactly perfectly right time in the middle of an on and off rainstorm to see this movie. I got there an hour early and ate all of my popcorn while reading Jane Smiley's Ten Days in the Hills by myself on the floor outside of the particular room the film was showing in. I wanted this movie so badly. And Best Buy, in its infinite wisdom, thinks it isn't worth the time it would take to display it properly. Or even have more than one copy.
Anyway. I bought it. The one copy available for purchase at the Hampshire mall. And now, the only question I am left with is why do pieces of crap like Baby Mama get to be sold in bulk and plastered all over said store, while a piece of true art is thrown on a bottom shelf all by itself? Granted, limited release and visibility have a lot to do with it. Movies that only see the art houses of New York and Los Angeles have a tough go of it. I guess I'm ust frustrated with the treatment of the movies I love. The Fall, hidden in plain view. Fur, Nicole Kidman playing crazy again, and therefore forgotten because of more famous efforts where she is unnerving (see The Hours and Eyes Wide Shut, particularly the stoned bedroom scene). The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, a movie that got shuffled around for years before getting a release date, and outside of the festival circuit, very few people saw it. All of these tragedies, and many more, and yet, whenever Judd Apatow takes a dump, somebody wraps it in tinfoil and sells it to you as if its the most mind-blowing hash brownie ever fabricated. The only truth to that claim is that his movies have ended up only leaving me confused. As to why he is still working, because clearly his jokes (and a lot of his actors) are funny for the first maybe...eight minutes of a script? And from them on, it's just downhill. Look at Pineapple Express. What a piece of shit that was. I spit on everyone who dragged down James Franco's brilliance. I spit, especially, on Seth Rogan, who is a likable guy, and I do like him in movies. But he is NOT an actor. He just isn't. He shows up to set stoned and improvs a lot. Sparkle and fade my friends, sparkle and fade.
I am constantly wondering what will make the pop culture sum-up-my-decade show about now. Will we all look back on Apatow & company like people look back on the Brat Pack? Because they shouldn't. I think he's more of a Pauly Shore than anything. One day, we will glance over our shoulder and sigh listlessly, wondering how it was that we ever thought he was all that great in the first place. In this, I am quite confident.