Caught a afternoon showing the new Star Trek film, and I liked it but I didn't love it. It's what I have come to expect from Star Trek, an epic sweeping adventure film with universe wide stakes. Solid acting, great looking production values and an energy to the pacing all make for a fun ride....
... only, the story jumps through the expected hoops and never really captures the fun, pulpy fun of the prelude that we see at the start of the film. I know that there is an expectation for a film this big that the story has to be more than a series of adventures-- but this is Star Trek, a five year mission to have little adventures-- that said this was also the set up to that type of adventure and it ends with the start of that 5 year mission.
So here we are, 2 films in. The first was introduce this Star Trek world, this one was the next step in the set up for the main adventure of a mission to explore the universe... so I for one hope the next one is able to take that next step and show us the adventured of the Enterprise and it's crew...
Roman Coppla’s follow up to CQ, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of
Charles Swan III is a film that has been wrongly vilified. It’s not perfect,
but it’s nowhere near as horrible and unwatchable as some would have you
What’s it about? Read the title, it’s about the mind and anxieties
of Charles Swan III as he processes his most recent break up.Charlie Sheen plays Swan and he is hit
and miss and might be the weakest link in the film. There are moments when he’s
clicking and moments when he’s not.The rest of the cast was solid to great.Props to Jason
Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Katheryn
Arquette, Aubrey Plaza
for their supporting roles.
I loved the dream/fantasy sequences that’s where the film
shines, Coppola has a great kinetic eye for moving the camera through great
artful sets. The lighting is a little off here and there, but that’s not a huge
problem for me. I did dig the art,
the music and the feel of the film.
Overall I give it a solid B- and I know that I will likely
pick up a copy on Bluray for my collection. All that said, it seems like each year there is one film that everyone hates that I like, last year it was Ironsky.. this year, Charles Swan III is it for me...
I was one of those teens who saw the Breakfast Club as a
film about the teen experience in the 1980s for the longest time, until I was
given a chance to reconsider the film and it’s message.
Set in the Midwest suburban wasteland of the 1980s it’s the
story of five teen criminals who are sentenced to be locked together in a high
school/ prison and engage in a kind of lord of the flies (metaphorically) encounter
group that is meant to show that they are all human.
Instead what happens is that the division of labor, love and
class is redirected, restructured and each of the criminals find that as long
as they fulfill their role they can continue to be a cog in the machine. They
also find that if they change... their pairings they can be fixed and their
rough edges can be sanded down….
The bad boy thug, the kind of guy that’s headed for a high
security prison, the kind where bad things happen in the shower.. the kind of
things that are worse that what happen in the showers in high school. And the
shower antics at this high school are nothing to sneeze as, as the jock
describes in vivid detail the quasi-homophobic physical assault that landed him
in Saturday detention as being something akin to horseplay. Would our thug have
gotten detention for committing the same act? I think not the bitter aging baby
boomer fascist running to the detention would have surely sent the thug to
The 1%er who couldn’t buy her way out of what ever her crime
was. She’s clearly so obsessed
with her status that she has lost the ability to see or empathies with those
around her who lack her money, her looks and her access to the “Good Life”. She’s
the kind who can’t see she’s part of a group and refuses to care about others.
The Jock is the kind of mindless muscle head that he makes
clear is following he example of his father.He’s the kind of guy who bullies people and rapes people
without any consequences. He’s the elite hero type who can get away with his
crimes with just a slap on the wrist as long and he can physically dominate his
peers. He finds himself up against
the arty/freak girl and the implication is that they domesticate each other.
The smart funny arty basketcase who is only there to give
voice to an ‘Outsider”, she’d a danger to everyone and herself. She’s got
issues and she’s headed for the grave… that is until she meets the Jock, who
inspires her to pretty herself up and change for the acceptance of the fascist
status conscious jock. Her salvation is by getting the approval of a member of
the status quo (just like Annie Potts in Pretty in Pink who goes from punk doll
to a yuppie, re enforcing the notion that selling out will make you happy). She’s
the artist who needs a conventional man to save her… and yet she’s isn’t the
most problematic of the character types.
The brain, the geek, the smartest of the group. He’s the one
that no one expects to be there as he cares too much about his future and doing
the right thing… only he’s been so dehumanized by the system that his failure
in a shop class has caused him to contemplate killing himself. He’s not a real person to everyone else.
There is a whole discussion in the film about who would talk to him in the
hallways—and it’s made clear that he has something the others want, his work…
and maybe he’s gonna get to be treated like a real person if he just completes
their work. This is a theme that reoccurs in other films including Harold and
Kumar go to White Castle. It’s a lame role, one that actor Anthony Michael Hall
disliked so much that his next notable film role (discounting Weird Science
which came out of the same year) was in Tim Burton’s Edward Sissorhands where
he played the… Jock Thug…
Lastly we have the warden, Paul Gleason as
Richard "Dick" Vernon, the school assistant principal, a typical Baby
Boomer Thug who uses tactics on the Gen Xers under his control in ways that his
generation never stood for. He’s angry, aging and taking out his frustrations
on the charges he’s tasked with monitoring… only he takes off, accesses personnel
files of co-workers and generally avoids doing his job. He’s unethical; he’s a
psycho who is no educator. He’s the like so many of his generation… he couldn’t
care less about the kids he’s in charge of after all, they are not his and they
are a challenge to his youth. I get the impression that he would have been happy
set them loose in the school Battle Royal style…
All of which is to say…. The Breakfast Club is a rotting
pile of 80s groupthink that wallows in the belief that it is positive, that it humanizes teen archetypes, that it
treats teens like people and that it’s thee reflection of an time long gone.