I Hate Stupid Movies

For about a year or so my wife and I have had a subscription to Netflix.  It is among mankind’s greatest achievements.  I believe the order is: 1) fire, 2) polio vaccine, 3) Netflix, 4) surgical anesthetics then some other stuff.  We have the cheap, one-dvd plan, but mostly rely on the instant streaming deal through our Xbox.  The few dvds we do select to have sent to us are usually chosen after careful consideration and thoughtful discussion.  Except our last choice.  See, I had heard some great things about The Wrestler and particularly Mickey Rourke’s portrayal of the title character (or Randy “The Ram”).  Plus, I’ll typically watch anything Marisa Tomei is in, she’s great.  Unfortunately…..

                The Wrester is stupid.  It starts out as a pretty typical tale of a broken old man trying to get his life in order.  He meets a girl, tries to work, attempts to reconnect with his daughter and then BAM – heart attack.  So now he’s a broken old man who could literally die at any minute.  Cliché, sure.  The reason this cliché exists is that people like to see the downtrodden try to make good and improve themselves.  It makes us feel good about ourselves.  But, because this is a Darren Aronofsky film, the plot is about to get idiotic.

                Randy’s love interest is a stripper who likes him, but doesn’t, then does, then yells at him, then leaves him right when he actually wants someone there for him.  His daughter is a whiney kid who really just gets what she deserves.  You dad is a deadbeat and a loser; your attempt to forgive and forget turned out badly and we all know exactly why.  Shouldn’t have bothered.  Randy does drugs and they nearly kill him.  Wait…are we supposed to feel sorry for these folks?  Are we supposed to empathize with their situations?  I sure hope not, because by the end I found myself hoping out loud that the final match would actually kill Randy.  And did it?  We will never know because apparently Darren Aronofsky doesn’t know how to write an ending.

                Yes folks, I hate the works of Darren Aronofsky.  They are contrived, pretentious, self-important pieces of cinematic garbage

“Really Barry?  Didn’t you see Requiem for a Dream?  Or Pi?  Those were awesome?”

“I saw them both, and no they weren’t.”

Okay, I admit I never saw the end of Pi. To this day it remains the only movie I have ever stopped watching halfway through and hope that I NEVER see the rest.  At the time I saw it I considered it among the worst films I had ever seen, and it hasn’t moved very far down that list today.  Requiem for a Dream was no better.  Look at all these sad people and the terrible situations they get themselves into! Junkies and poor old ladies who become addicts unbeknownst to them.  How tragic!  But not really.  All I got was an overwhelming sense of disgust for these people who made so little effort to control their lives.  To this day the only reason I don’t hate Jared Leto is the fact that we got to see his Angelface get beat to mush and that he got his nose broken here in town.

Succumbing to the horrors of drug addiction is terrible, don’t get me wrong.  I have seen it destroy people’s lives.  But to subject us to watching it on film, in such a heavy-handed parable is insulting.  I wanted each of those characters to suffer the exact fate they did, and that makes me less of a compassionate human being.  Even in a “fantasy” world, I don’t ever want to have that feeling of near-hatred for people like that.  Thanks, Aronofsky, for destroying my karma for the next decade. (I know, I know, I don’t really believe in karma.  That’s a discussion for another time.)

The main point I want to get across here is that I will never again subject myself to one of his films (I didn’t realize he directed The Wrestler until the opening credits rolled; and immediately grew apprehensive.)  Nor will I base my watching habits on what critics or others say.  I watched the new Alice in Wonderland, with all its Depp-y glory.  Sorry, I didn’t mean glory.  I meant boringness.  Is that a word?  I did not enjoy it.  So there.  I’ll watch explosion-y blockbusters and artsy Viking movies equally, and make no apologies for either.  I’ll watch Jim Carrey talk with his butt and turn away from the gore wrought by Rico’s Roughnecks.  I will go to Star Wars prequels then drag Tommy out to see Fred and Shaggy place space men in the same day.  I will probably cry every time I ever watch Dancer in the Dark and be eternally grateful that The Godfather was made.

I’m going to watch Congo again, and hope the new True Grit is awesome

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