In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_power_rangers_ver22

Power Rangers

Trashy, goofy, and surprisingly sincere, this superhero fantasy is better than you expect but not as good as it should be.

Thumb_a-woman-a-part-movie-poster

A Woman, a Part

A Woman, a Part mixes passion and ambivalence to create a work whose ambiguities seem earned, and lived in

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Journal Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

On the devaluation of monsters... and movies

vegalien.jpg

Wiley Wiggins has some beautifully phrased thoughts on why monster movies aren't scary anymore:

Now we no longer populate these movies with humans but with fodder. We've learned how to show the Monster but forgotten how to show people, and they become increasingly flimsy, predictable and mawkish -- to stare at them too long is to get bored while waiting for them to be eaten. Instead we fetishize the Monster, and in staring at it too long, it loses its power too -- everything has its depth stripped away, nothing means anything, and we've diffused or at least ignored our fears by shining a flashlight on every menacing shadow in the room. These movies have lost the capacity to connect to any real fear, and instead only appeal to our infantile desire to break our toys against each other.

Spectacle has been diminished in the name of "showing everything." Just because it can be shown, doesn't mean it should be. A movie with all "money shots" has no climaxes. It just neutralizes itself. The rules of storytelling apply to CGI: if anything can happen, then what's the significance? Today's CGI, when noticeable as a "special effect," plummets fatally into the uncanny valley. It's so pristinely close to photo-"real" it looks utterly fake.

(image by Till Nowak)

Advertisement

Popular Blog Posts

Mysterious Beauty: A David Lynch Retrospective Comes to IFC Center

A celebration of director David Lynch's filmography in anticipation of an upcoming retrospective at the IFC Center in...

“Marvel’s Iron Fist” is Netflix’s Biggest Original Series Misstep

A review of the fourth original Marvel series for Netflix. And the worst.

Man on the run: the haunted grace of "The Fugitive"

A classic thriller that moves with a sense of purpose.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus