An interesting aspect of the “healthy fast food” phenomenon is the proliferation of salsa bars. God only knows why we’re so smitten. If someone had told me 20 years ago that I would choose one restaurant over another because they allowed me an unlimited supply of free condiments to take home in tiny plastic cups I wouldn’t have believed them. But I guess, when it comes down to it, free salsa is like a Happy Meal for adults. Read the rest of this entry »
I have a secret to share with you. I see everything in 3-D. That’s right — everything. I have ever since I was a small boy. I don’t even have to wear the glasses most of the time. It’s just there — the world popping out at me. And I gotta say — it’s pretty darn cool. If I’m standing in the middle of the freeway it actually looks like the cars are COMING RIGHT AT ME. How much does this effect cost me? 0 dollars. That’s right. I don’t pay a penny for it.
Now apparently the rest of the world isn’t as fortunate. Because ya’ll seem to go head over heels nutso whenever a new movie comes out in 3-D. Sometimes you’ll pay up to 30% extra for a movie ticket just so you can see stuff flying straight at you — like Superman or James Cameron’s giant blue Smurfs or Robert DeNiro’s mole.
So why don’t I care for 3-D movies? Well, it’s simply this. Any film producer can write a big-assed check and get themselves a big ol’ heaping scoop of 3-D. Where’s the risk in that? Where’s the mystery of the creative process?
Handing a blank check to Judd Apatow or Quentin Tarentino or Wes Anderson is where filmmaking gets more gutsy and interesting to me. Sure, you expect those talents to deliver a decent story, well-crafted filmmaking, laughs, tears, seat-of-your pants thrills, but you can’t be certain. You could end up with Grindhouse. Or Life Aquatic. Or two and a half hours of Judd Apatow’s daughter’s ballet recital.
But that’s the true wonder of movies. The great mystery of motion pictures is why you can assemble a team of artists at the top of their game and yet only some of those movies “work” and others just sooo do not work.
Going to see a 3-D movie, on the other hand, is like paying someone $15 to flick on a light switch. It’s not wondrous. It’s not surprising. And it’s no longer awe-inspiring.
So instead of getting all excited about the next empty 3-D spectacle, let’s root for some gutsy producer to unearth the next Spielberg or Coppola or Scorsese.
3-D is everywhere. But true movie magic is hard to find.
Some Olympic musings (part 1): Read the rest of this entry »