Artistic Cinema and Quality Filmmaking are Nearly Defunct

A still from Red Desert (1964), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Initially, I wasn’t going to see The Batman (2022). When information appeared about this film and its release, I had almost no interest in it. I didn’t care about who played the role of Bruce Wayne. When it comes to superhero movies, DC Films has a bad track record. Therefore, I wasn’t going to waste my time and money on another DC blunder. But then, about a week ago, when I was taking out the trash late in the evening, something very unusual happened. When I was walking back to the house, I heard a familiar laugh. At first, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I turned around and began walking toward the nearby bushes, where I thought that the laughter is coming from. The darkness was illuminated by only a few nearby lights. The familiar laughter and giggling continued on and off. Finally, when I was close to the bushes, one of them ignited, but the flames weren’t consuming it. The burning bush spoke, and I realized that the laugh and the voice belong to the one and only Rich Evans, the god of bad movies. Rich, speaking through the burning bush, said, “You will see The Batman.” In my amazement, I said, “Rich, no. Please. It’s like 3 hours long. I don’t think that I’ll be able to withstand seeing such an atrocity.” Rich said, “Silence! You will see The Batman, and you will tell everyone you know about how bad it is.” After that, the flames and the voice of his holiness, Rich Evans, disappeared. I mean, I couldn’t defy a god. Therefore, I decided to see The Batman on home video. I definitely wasn’t going to pay the price of a ticket to see it in a theater. But I must admit that I was a little curious to find out how bad the film really is. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the Batman comics. I like the Batman films that were directed by Tim Burton a lot. His Batman films are still the best by far. I can even put up with watching Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, with all of their flaws. But The Batman is something else. It’s a modern film, it’s a film by a different director, and it’s a film by DC Films, a studio that just can’t make a good superhero movie. After seeing The Batman, I understand why the god of bad movies wanted me to review it. This film really is a new level of low. It’s a film that has no reason to exist except to make money, to make the dumb masses throw away their earnings only because the bought and paid for film critics told them to do so and because it’s a new film. This fact makes me weep for the human race, for how misguided and foolish people are. Anyway, The Batman is a mish mash of elements from other, better films. It’s clear that the director, Matt Reeves, wanted to make a kind of film noir, but he doesn’t have the skills or the knowledge to do this well. The detective story in The Batman, around which the clunky plot is structured, was clearly taken from Seven (1995). Seven is a superb film, but The Batman rips it off in a lame way and doesn’t do anything original with the detective story. The cinematography by Greig Fraser is so dark that I couldn’t see what was going on a third of the time. The music by Michael Giacchino is passable but certainly nothing special. The costume designs are bland and forgettable. There’s little action. The action scenes are brief, simple, and not memorable. The characters are poorly developed. None of them stand out. Robert Pattinson does almost nothing as Bruce Wayne. He has the Batman suit on for almost the entire run time of the film. We’re informed that Wayne is a philanthropist, but we don’t get to see him doing any philanthropy and we don’t get to find out what kind of philanthropy he’s involved in. Gotham City in this film is an uninteresting and grungy place that’s stocked with uninteresting people and sights. Like Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, The Batman features certain propaganda from the establishment, but I won’t get into explaining what this propaganda is. If you want to check what this propaganda is about, see this badly-directed and badly-conceived film for yourself. In conclusion, The Batman is incompetent, modern filmmaking at its most obvious. I just hope that the god of bad movies doesn’t make me go through a trial like this again.

Now that I’m done reviewing The Batman, let’s get to the good stuff. In the last several months, I’ve seen some very enjoyable films on home video. Seeing just about any film that got made before the 2000s is a pleasure for me. Even the so-called bad films that got made in the 20th century now appear to be good if they get compared to modern films. The film that I enjoyed seeing the most is The Shooting Party (1985). I had no idea what it’s about before I began watching it. I picked it up only because it’s a film from the 1980s. This British drama film turned out to be a delight. The clothes and the makeup for the actors in this film were perfect. The acting is excellent. In short, it’s a well-made historical drama. Like so many other films that got made before the 2000s, it has an artistic touch, which is something that almost all films that got made after the 1990s lack. Another memorable British film that I got to see recently is The Wicker Man (1973). This is an unusual film. It’s usually advertised as a horror film, but it’s not really a horror film. I’d call it a detective story, though the twist at the end of the film overturns the expectations of the viewer. The main thing that makes The Wicker Man work well is Edward Woodward’s excellent performance in the leading role. The other cast members delivered good performances as well. I had heard of this film many times before deciding to see it, but the film’s poster had always put me off from seeing it for some reason. Well, now that I’ve seen it, I can say that it’s definitely worth seeing. Another horror film that I got to seeing is Altered States (1980). This film is one of my favorites from the 1980s. There’s a lot to like about this science-fiction horror film. Now that I’ve see it again, I can point out that the direction by the famous director Ken Russell is very good. There’s a good cast, good acting, good special effects, good dialogue, and a good music score by John Corigliano. It’s just an all-around high-grade and memorable picture. Another film from the 1980s that I watched recently is The Prince Of Pennsylvania (1988). This film didn’t make it on my list of the 50 best teen movies of the 80s, but this was perhaps a mistake because The Prince Of Pennsylvania has some good scenes, especially at the end. Since it’s a film from the 1980s, I can watch it from beginning to end without any problems, but it’s still not a bad film by any means. I was surprised because it has some good comedy, a good cast, some memorable scenes, and it’s definitely worth seeing. I certainly enjoyed seeing the Poltergeist trilogy again. The first film, Poltergeist (1982), is known as a so-called classic horror film. It deserves this honor because it really is a well-made film with many memorable scenes. The cast, the acting, the special effects, the music, and the story in it are all good. It’s one of the most well-known films of the 1980s. So, what about the sequels? The sequels were made in order to cash in on the popularity of the first film. But are they bad? Not at all. They’re competently made and enjoyable films. The cinematography in the sequels is also often beautiful. The acting is just fine. The special effects are good and inventive. Some people criticize the sequels for not making much sense and for being cash grabs. But this doesn’t make them bad films, and I had a pleasure watching them. Like so many other so-called bad films from the 1980s, they now seem good if they get compared to modern films, which are bland and have no artistic touch. I’d rather watch the Poltergeist trilogy than Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, for example. I’ve already pointed out in one of my posts that I like to watch Westerns now. The Western that I liked seeing the most recently is Arizona Bushwhackers (1968). Like many other Westerns, it’s set during the American Civil War, which is a war that I became interested in after listening to Webster Tarpley talk about it almost a decade ago. It was a big and bloody war. It’s quite interesting to read about it, as it turns out, and, therefore, I recently acquired a book, ‘Battle Cry of Freedom’ by James M. McPherson, in order to learn more about this war. I began reading this book only recently, and I don’t yet know how good it is, but I have to start somewhere. It’s a book from the 1980s, and it’s critically acclaimed. So, I have a feeling that it will be a good read. I watched Arizona Bushwhackers because Yvonne De Carlo had a role in it. Another famous actor who had a role in it is Howard Keel, who also had a role in Dallas from 1981 to 1991. Well, I’d recommend seeing every Western that I’ve seen so far, but Arizona Bushwhackers is the one that I enjoyed seeing the most recently. Another film from the 1960s that I decided to see is Red Desert (1964). Since I’m not against seeing foreign cinema, I’ve already seen many films from overseas, like European, Soviet, Japanese, and Hong Kong films. I got to see many foreign films when I was in my teens and early twenties. For the last several years, however, I’ve been focusing on seeing Hollywood films that I haven’t seen before. I like Red Desert very much, and I think that it’s a memorable film, though it hasn’t become one of my favorite films. There’s a certain artistic quality to it, but it’s clearly not a film meant to entertain. It’s a film for adults because it was directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Antonioni and cinematographer Carlo Di Palma managed to make Monica Vitti look quite attractive in this film. Richard Harris also had a role in this Italian film, but I didn’t know that he’s in it until I looked at some info about Red Desert on the internet. Red Desert is definitely worth seeing for those people that like foreign films or artistic films.

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