Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's Enter the Dragon meets The Three Stooges

A common movie gimmick is to mix together too popular movies or genres, as parodied in Robert Altman's The Player;

A: "It's like The Gods Must Be Crazy except the coke bottle is an actress."
B: "Right. It's Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman."

Later a political thriller/comedy is pitched ... "a Ghost meets Manchurian Candidate".

When surfing online I found pitching hints by Aaron Mendelsohn, the writer of Air Bud, a movie that has had four sequels!!

As an exclamation point, it doesn't hurt to do the ol' "it's something-meets-something" trick. It's the Sixth Sense meets American Beauty. Or it's Gladiator set on Mars. Just don't reference movies that were flops. Saying your movie is Alamo meets Battlefield Earth probably won't get you too many hits.

Many criticize this method of movie creation as it can lead to disappointing stories that fall to capture the wit or pathos of the stories they meld. Cloverfield, for example, was Godzilla meets the Blair Witch project ... and while it may have been better than the Blair Witch sequel, it will did not live up to the movies it attempted to fuse.

So when I was lent a copy of a movie described by the lender, Art, as a Noir movie crossed with a High School movie ... a Breakfast Clubs meets The Big Sleep, if you will ... I was not that overwhelmed. I should have trusted Art.

Brick -- A detective movie by Rian Johnson, is a great movie ... one I am willing to recommend to anyone who reads this. All the standard noir characters are easily transposed onto a high-school culture. The manipulative nightclub dancer is made into a drama club diva. The crime kingpin is the school's dope dealer, who still lives with his mother. The cops are the school administrators, especially the dreaded deputy principal. What surprised me is how well it all works. Brilliant stuff.

The only criticism of it I have is the sound quality was lacking in places, making the dialogue hard to follow. Guess that means I'll have to watch it again.

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