|Director:||David Gordon Green|
|11.11.12||DVR||This Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2012|
I kept hearing how incredibly terrible this movie was so we put it off and put it off forever. I'm glad she was up for watching this though because that's exactly what DVRfest is all about so we finally sat down and gave it a try. To my slight surprise, it's not as bad as movies like Year One which I thought it would be.
Instead of trying to be a comedy and failing, they aimed for that uneven mix of genres like how Pineapple Express was kind of a crime thriller but also a comedy. This is mostly a medieval adventure but also a comedy. It's not hilarious or really that funny at all but it still has stupid weed references and sex jokes and modern language mixed in with the period stuff. It's helped along by a good supporting cast (The baggage that Damien Lewis and Toby Jones and Charles Dance brings with them help a lot) and pretty early on I decided that this movie is the execution of a weekend D&D session from when Danny McBride and Ben Best were kids. Like this is the movie going on in their heads as David Gordon Green is DM-ing their session and leading them on this quest, and the characters say the RPG-ish things that Danny and Ben say, including the stupid high school stuff that they think is cool like having their D&D character smoke weed or whatever.
Seen through that lens, this is a pretty sweet movie. I know when I was in high school going through my D&D phase, I badly wanted to see something fantasy-related on screen. I watched everything I could get my hands on, some good (Dragonslayer, Conan), most terrible (Beastmaster, Sword and Sorcerer, The Barbarians). There was even a D&D boardgame that came with a VHS tape that we watched that was really really crappy but at least it said "Beholder." In college when the D&D movie actually came out I saw it and was disappointed. Here finally is a decent D&D movie as long as you see it that way. I guess if you don't it's pretty terrible.
It's surprisingly expensive. All these elaborate practical sets and tons of vfx shots. It feels like a mistake while I'm watching it like there's no way this movie will ever make money but I also kind of like that about the movie... someone got away with something. Hopefully those involved creatively with the movie feel like it was a gift rather than a letdown. I didn't hate this. It is a weird mix of genres that probably doesn't work for most, but oh well. I like movies that aren't for everyone. Certainly James Franco's zeal for the role is pretty cool. It only works if he gives it 100% and he really does. I was expecting worse.
Well that wraps up DVRfest 2012! I'm just about at the halfway point to Peter Bogdanovich's record and have to say that I'm pretty impressed with myself for keeping this going as long as I have. *pats self on back for 15 minutes* Yeah, that feels good. Hopefully in the large-scale trend department I'll one day sway a little more back toward the volume that I used to watch and away from the last handful of lean years. I'll probably never see 700 movies a year again (unless I strike it rich with my awesome edible whisky stone invention) but maybe my gaming and reading and tv- and movie- watching habits will one day even out into more moderation for all. I've felt like the last couple years have definitely been gaming-centric (as evidenced by the constant battle this weekend), but who knows. I used to be really really into swing dancing and I never do that anymore.
If I had the time and inclination to ever update the codebase of this site or even redesign it completely, I would make the genre and director fields multiple choice. I feel like Drama and Comedy are the buckets I put movies in when I can't decide on a subgenre when really all Dark Comedies should also be Comedies and things like that. Also, movies with multiple directors kind of get screwed here because it's just a single string search of two names with a comma so if they do movies separately, the one they do together doesn't get counted (hence why it's Joel Coen instead of both Joel and Ethan). There's just a few things that aren't perfect, and the codebase as a whole is pretty damn old these days. Oh well. Let's see where I stand a year from now. For now it's back to Dishonored and Treme.
The ugly stats behind this year: 9 in the past week for a 1.29/day average (thanks, DVRfest), 11 in the past month for a 0.37/day average, 125 in the past year for a 0.34/day average, and a global total of 2363 at a 0.81/day average. Oliver Stone (14), Werner Herzog (12), and Joel Coen (10) top my directors list, Netflix (482), Alamo South Lamar (304), and DVD (240) top my venues list, Snakes on a Plane (11), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (4), and Sin City (4) top my movies list. Comedy (218), Drama (196), and Documentary (193) top my genre list.