May 25, 2011

[Kubrick] I Am Spartacus: The Film Stanley Kubrick Was Never Able To Claim As His Alone

Previously published at Hope Lies

Ah, Spartacus. The lone wolf. The odd man out. The "one of these is not like the others". Ask a fan of Kubrick what they think of the film, and they'll usually be disappointed because it's done in a much more commercial style than the rest of his work. Ask someone who's not a fan of Kubrick what they think, and they usually quite like it... because it's done in a much more commercial style than the rest of his work. Out of all the films of Kubrick's career, this is the only one that he didn't personally select and build and nurture from the earliest outline to the final edit. This is a film directed by Kubrick, but it's not a Kubrick film.

May 5, 2011

Why Is Pirates Of The Caribbean My Favorite Film Trilogy? Sea Turtles, mate.

Previously published at Hope Lies.

Being a member of the geek communities that I am, the question often arises of which trilogy I prefer: Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings. To the puzzlement of many, I always answer with Pirates of the Caribbean. But Star Wars is a classic, you say, that revolutionized filmmaking and technology while hearkening back to the theme of classic legendary storytelling. Yes, but other than the middle entry, The Empire Strikes Back, there's little depth beyond the surface archetypes. It's all spectacularly well put together, but it's almost iconic to a fault, lacking much to chew on beyond what's clearly there. And then there's The Lord of the Rings, equally revolutionary, and filled with depths and layers as it adapts a fully fleshed tribute to the lore of ancient times. Marvelous films, all three, but extremely heavy and ponderous at times, particularly in the never ending third entry. There are moments I treasure, and moments that feel like wading through mud to get to those moments I treasure.

And then there's Pirates of the Caribbean.