As I read over my old columns, I feel a bit guilty: I suspect I've been misleading you, dear readers. Take Your Queue From Du generally has an optimistic, positive tone, all about the good movies out there, great actors and directors that Hollywood is lucky to have. Reading my column is like jumping into the plastic ball pit in the play area at McDonald's, all shiny, carefree, and fun.
We'll look back on this and wish it never ended.
But just like a ball pit, I'm filled with piss and bile and nasty germy things just below the surface. I'm often a downright snarky person, made impatient by things I don't like and flummoxed by people whose tastes conflict with my own. Follow me on Twitter, and you know I can be dark. For me, Facebook status updates are a means of complaining about life's pettiest things.
Often, though, I see the bigger picture and consider the possibility that if I don't like something that most of the developed world adores, the problem just might be me. Take Starbucks Breakfast Blend. Or ice cream with crap mixed into it at places like Cold Stone Creamery. Adult Swim. And don't
get me started on STAR WARS or THE LORD OF THE RINGS (books or films, take your pick). I don't doubt that they are brilliant masterpieces; I clearly just don't get them.
Remember when Woody Allen played neurotic, dorky types?
But there are some films that are so overrated, so revered for no good reason, that it's time for me to speak up. In a future column, I'll feature underrated films, but for now, I'm getting my bitchiness all out there.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB 1985
Don't get me wrong, I like THE BREAKFAST CLUB. I adore Molly Ringwald. I watched it many, many times at my friend Karen's house while we drank grasshoppers and applied Mudd masks. Like most of us from the class of '91, I can quote it extensively. But out of all the movies that stand the test of time from my high school years, why this one? Uninteresting stock characters, tepid teen angst that was trite then and even triter now. Why is THE BREAKFAST CLUB the one that's on TBS constantly, with the word "brat" obnoxiously overdubbing the word "bitch," when it's so obvious what Molly's lips are saying? HEATHERS, LESS THAN ZERO, SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL, shoot, even FOOTLOOSE is way better at capturing '80s teen angst than THE BREAKFAST CLUB.
I'm an arteest. The scarf is the giveaway.
Again, I like ANNIE HALL. I like it a lot, but why it's considered a gem and Woody Allen's greatest opus escapes me a bit. I don't know, maybe part of it is that the whole menswear thing on Diane Keaton that wasn't a cliché then but is now. Yes, it's funny. Yes, it took risks. But overall, it's a standard romantic comedy with a guest spot by Marshall McLuhan (which, granted, is better than a romantic comedy with a guest spot from Jeremy Piven).
FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA
When I was in my late teens, early 20s, I dated a guy who loved gangster movies. We rented tons in those three years, including the GODFATHER films (okay, I didn't make it through the third film). There are such good mob movies, like GOODFELLAS and A BRONX TALE (the latter almost no one talks about, which is so fantastic it makes me cry). But the GODFATHER films are these long, drawn-out dramas that bring us into a despicable family as if they were a heroic, supernatural clan from a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel . . . well, it just didn't sit with me. Coppola's style, this approach to let the story unfold, letting the drama grow is so boring that I'm getting drowsy just thinking about it. Same with
APOCALYPSE NOW: long and painful. It's like reading Moby-Dick while getting dental work done ... in the middle of the Vietnam War. Martin Sheen's tortured. I get it. But you don't have to torture me by having him do some crazy mirror dance (or was that tai chi?) to the unedited cut of "The End." I'm glad that Coppola bought that winery, because drinking his reds is a hell of a lot more pleasurable than watching his movies.
Sometimes a gun is just a penis.
THE MATRIX 1999
THE MATRIX used to fall in the same camp as THE LORD OF THE RINGS: good things that just fail to impress me for whatever reason. But the more I ruminate, the more I realize that, no, I do get THE MATRIX. How could I not? Its attempts to be symbolic are overdone to the point of absurdity. (Ooh, wow, Keanu's character goes by "Neo." What could the Wachowskis be getting at?) It's all a gigantic spectacle that makes teenage boys fool themselves into thinking that they're so deep. Guess what? You're not. You just like watching Carrie-Anne Moss in tight pleather shoot a big gun. And we all know what that means.
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Every other Sunday
Semi-wholesome Midwestern girl and certified Geek Magnet offers her suggestions - often new, sometimes classic - for DVDs that are definitely queue-worthy.
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