Friday, September 15, 2023
Sunday, July 2, 2023
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
If you are looking for a really fine modern rendering of PETER PAN, look no further than P. J. Hogan’s 2003 version starring Jeremy Sumpter, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Jason Isaacs, Lynn Redgrave and Richard Briars. It is a beautiful and under-rated incarnation of the story that fully embraces all its themes. Roger Ebert totally Got It. Here’s a link to his review.
Now, then. Let’s discuss the latest cinematic turd bearing Peter’s name.
No fictional character in history has been more misused, abused or maltreated than Peter Pan. By my count, the new film (which I will not name nor link to in this post) is merely the third time in just the last decade that Hollywood has been unable to find anything better to do with its time and money than gang-rape Peter Pan.
This latest assault is pure revisionist Social Justice finger-wagging made by people who actively detest the original story, and see it only as a “problem” (their words) that needed to be “fixed” (also their words).
Their only talent is Arrogance.
Their laudable hatred of Injustice extends to a much less creditable hatred of all things from the past, all of history, all of art, and ultimately to all of humanity itself. People like this are incapable of creating anything original, because they hate originality.
This what happens when Hatred becomes so endemic to a culture that the people who Hate the Haters become worse than the thing that they Hate.
Here’s a principle that I wish more filmmakers would embrace: if you don’t respect the source material, find some other story to tell. Preferably something that hasn’t already been done literally dozens of times before. It shouldn’t be that hard. My bookshelves alone are filled with hundreds of great fantasy stories that have never even once been adapted to film.
The ignorance of the people who made this abortion is almost palpable. Bereft of any kind of creative instinct, brainless, ill-educated and one hundred percent talent-free they seek only to dismantle the work of their betters.
In fact they hate Talent itself: because talent is something that divides people into classes. And something they don’t, and never will, possess.
In theory, Talent is one of the more Egalitarian forces on earth, admitting anyone to its ranks regardless of things like background, ethnicity or education; and yet it divides people into haves and have-nots. Certain branches of Higher Education have trying to rid the culture of it for years, and sometimes to me it seems that they have finally succeeded.
It’s just a fact that Hollywood has never been more bereft of the stuff in the century-plus of its existence. And they know it. But the principle that they should be held to some semblance of Creative Standards causes them become Indignant. Why should wealthy, entitled, ethically challenged people living in luxury be denied a mouthpiece simply because they have no talent?
Rather than accept the blame of their own inadequacies, they behave like petulant children and point the finger of blame squarely at the audience. How dare we hold them to standards?
To paraphrase Patrick McGoohan’s THE PRISONER (a TV series that has seen no equal in the fifty-six years since its premiere) Standards are Un-Mutual.
Getting back to PETER PAN: James M. Barrie is not and has never been my favorite playwright by a long pinch, and yet he is by far the superior of the creatively bankrupt “filmmakers” who continue to lay siege to his most enduring creation — in this case, the Disney Company, which has devolved into an entity that Walt himself would despise, incapable or anything even remotely resembling invention or innovation.
And yet I see a positive side to all this.
The only thing that this newest assault on PETER PAN proves is that originality, insight and creativity that connects at a deep level with universal human experience can survive anything.
Pirates of every stripe and breed have laid down an almost relentless broadside barrage against Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up — but he’s endured and survived for over a century now, and done so in the face of almost unprecedented Hatred and Abuse.
Crow on, Peter. You’ve earned it. You are eternal. And they can’t keep an eternal boy down.
Monday, May 1, 2023
Sunday, April 23, 2023
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
In 2023, if you are a creative person working in any genre, you and your freedom to create are both in danger.
If you stray, even unintentionally, even in a small way, from the boundaries of what is considered to be socially acceptable art as determined by a small handful of very loud and self-important people, you will be silenced.
An apology for your Heinous Crimes will be demanded — and if you refuse to apologize for something that you didn’t do, or something that you reasonably should not have to apologize for, you and all your future projects, no matter how inoffensive, will be shut down.
God help you if you piss off the Entitled Minority.
If you don’t see the danger here, you’re part of the problem. Look it up: as many as eighty million people died in China's Cultural Revolution. Don't think it couldn't happen in the West.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Friday, February 17, 2023
Monday, February 13, 2023
Friday, February 10, 2023
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Friday, January 27, 2023
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Folks often talk about their "Top Ten" or "Top Fifty" favorite films -- I never made a formal list until the other day.
It was hard! At the start I had a list of 130 movies all wanting to be in my Top Fifty! As I whittled titles away, the choice of what to keep and what to cut was often pretty arbitrary, and often turned on whether the director or stars already had one or more pictures on the list. On any given day, most of the titles that got cut might outrank some of the titles that stayed. At least a couple of titles only made the final cut because better movies were culled for the above reasons, and others. Ask me tomorrow, and the list might be different.
Also, this is a list of FAVORITES, not a BEST list. A "Best" list would look very different indeed. It also wouldn't tell you as much about me as this list does.
The films are listed are in no particular order, not ranked in any way -- other than that the first ten or fifteen titles probably do rank higher the ones that follow.
I've already written about some of these pictures here on the blog: a quick search should take you right to those posts. I'll be writing about some of the other titles here in the coming days.
Why did I do this? "Just Because." I'm twelve years older than I was wren I started this blog. As you start getting on in years, you start wanting to codify things, if only to bolster your sense of perspective.
Here we go: "Doug's Favorite Fifty, Sort Of"
Sherlock, Jr. - 1924
Oliver! - 1968
King Kong -1933
Metropolis - 1927
M. Hulot’s Holiday - 1953
The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain - 2001
Modern Times - 1936
My Little Chickadee - 1940
Yellow Submarine - 1968
Kid Millions - 1934
Lawrence of Arabia - 1962
They Might Be Giants - 1971
The Maltese Falcon - 1941
Lili - 1953
The Wizard of Oz - 1939
Godspell - 1973
Adventures of Baron Munchausen - 1988
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - 1947
The Horse Without a Head - 1963
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean - 1972
Rose Marie - 1936
The Late Show - 1976
The Magician - 1958
The Bride of Frankenstein - 1935
Dumbo - 1941
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? - 1969
The Fearless Vampire Killers - 1966
The Crimson Pig / Porco Rosso - 1992
Annie Hall - 1977
Babes In Toyland - 1934
Duck Soup - 1933
Way Out West - 1937
Ninotchka - 1939
Sweet November - 1968
Paper Moon - 1973
The Commitments - 1991
7 Faces of Dr. Lao - 1963
Return to Oz - 1985
Peter Pan - 2003
The Mummy - 1932
The Abominable Dr. Phibes - 1971
Black Narcissus - 1947
The Night Stalker - 1972
Carousel - 1956
Flash Gordon (serial) - 1936
Duel In the Sun - 1948
The Ladykillers - 1955
Pay It Again, Sam - 1972
Willard - 1971
The Mark of Zorro - 1940
More later! I really am going to make an effort to post here more often. Thanks for stopping by,
Tuesday, January 24, 2023