So here we are again. I did have a reason for dropping of the face of the blog universe. Someday I'll tell you all about it. Let's just say that the blog and facebook is a wonderful way for people to collect information on you.
Or, am I making all this up just to lead you along? Making it up just to plant some intrigue in your brain like on of those little weird worms in Chekov's head? (Wrath of Kahn)
The REAL reason I'm back here talking into an empty room to myself is because I saw a movie that really made me mad. I started going off on it on my facebook and then I thought, well, might as well blog about a film that came out 3 years ago and nobody cares about anymore but me! So here goes!
ME AND ORSON WELLES, (directed by someone who liked Orson Welles but wanted to the money to do it so they decided to cash in on Zac Eff-ron's Disney Powers.)
Prologue: If a dinner at an expensive restaurant, where the food is overpriced but you are there because some critic that you respect (EBERT) said the food was the "best food representing theater that I've ever tasted", and then the food was Garbage in a lettuce wrap. That would be this dinner.
It was poo on a stick.
It was a naked old biker on a couch.
It was blasphemous.
And here's why:
Quick Summary. However, it's becoming more and more difficult to remember the film.
Me and the wife deiced to settle in for the night after finding out that the movie about Lincoln had been bumped by the Thunder God. We pick this film because Roger Ebert says that it's the best film on life in the theater, evar. We download it on the Apple Tv, then I turn out the light and right about when I'm about to find the little notch on the gummy-lifesavers bag the credits start. The credits look horrible. It's all black with the thinnest font I've ever seen. So it's basically too dark to start in on my gummy Lifesavers. Strike one.
Plot: Zac is a highschooler who likes books and movies and Shakespeare and stuff. Okay, okay. I'm trekking. He takes a train up to NYC on a whim and meets a girl in a bookstore: it's a presentable meet cute, but, it's basically a farewell-cute because you DON'T EVER SEE HER AGAIN TILL THE END OF THE MOVIE.
Anyways, she's a young writer and Zac flirts with her muchly. (My yawn engine started warming up after the third or forth gummy-saver.) He then wanders around the city and finds some older crazy actor-types standing outside a building. He offers to play the snare when the doof playing it can't and, well, whatayaknowaboutit? He's amazing. (More on that later) So, on-cue, Welles, (played wonderfully by Christian McKay,) enters and pretty much hires him on the spot. (Heretofore More on that later=MOTL) Then he meets Claire Danes who is answering phones at the Mercury Theater and she's way older than him but they end up flirting a bunch and eventually get it on. (MOTL) Then he rehearses with the cast and we find out that Orson is kind of eccentric and a big fat cheater who hides it with some code names so that the cast can holler the code name if his real pregnant wife comes in so his ballet mistress girl can have time to sit in the front row and hide her pouty face. (Yawn engine warmed and ready.)
Then the kid... well... he gets in trouble with his mom, but not really. I actually don't really remember what his mom looks like. Maybe she's an idiot. Or the worst mom ever. I-duuno. Neither will you if you see it. Anyways, Zaccky goes home backy to his class and sits bored while the Shakespeare teacher gives the literary lecture equivalent to "Bueller.. Bueller..." Come on. (First Yawn. Started to fantasize about how we should have picked Tron 2) (MOTL)
Then the kid kind of learns the Ukelele... but oh wait, see, he told Orson that he was the best at it, and Orson totally bought it, and so, it sets up this tension - like Orson is totally going to blow his top when he finds out, and then, Crissy and Janet come in and Mr Furly and Zac stumbles over the couch and Mr Furley demands that Zac play a concert and Zac fakes the Ukelele and Mr. Furley is totally ticked because he thought Zak was GAAAY. Oh, man, was THAT ever mix up. HA. Classic.
And then Zack sets off the fire alarm accidentally and Orson accuses him and Zachy denies it and calls it bad luck.
Finally, we get the one and only true tension of the film: Orson makes a move on Claire and Claire tells Zach she's going for it because she's a ho, um, I mean, she can't say no, and Orson is just evil. And Zach pleads with her to no avail. And then some actor veteran in the play (who was standing in the shadow, eavesdropping, smoking a cigarette, I AM NOT KIDDING) told Zac to "fight for her" and so Zack goes and waits on Claire and Orson to come out of his clandestine apt/love-cave in the Village and then Zachsy gets mad at Orson and tells Orson that Orson's really mean for cheating on his preggers wife. Of course, Orson tries to choke him and of course he fires him. (MOTL)
And then Zach is all like totally mad at the veteran actor for the bad advice and the vet actor says, "Hey dummy, I didn't mean LITERALLY fight for her. Whaaaat an idiot." And then Zach pouts until Orson (who is all-through-the-movie too busy to be anywhere until he's completely late, which is crucial part of Orson's character) wanders over where Zacc is pouting. Orson barters with him all-nice and tells him the show must go on. So Zack does the play (MOTL) and sings the song with the Ukelele (MOTL) and there is much rejoicing. And then he goes to the afterglow party with the cast and finds out he is fired (The first time I believed the film) Then he's really depressed and then he goes home and finds a secret note left in his theater keepsake box, and HOLY SMOKES! It's the meet-cute curlicue girl!
The dénouement begins with a Duck Tale vengeance and Zackyboy runs back to NYC and it is suddenly daytime (MOTL) and finds the the girl (oh yeah, I forgot, he sees her one other time the film and offers to hand her short story over to someone who can give her her big break) and guess what? She's totally been published! By the NEW YORKER. BULL CRAP. Then they talk some more about stuff like... how its Fri-day Fri-day and who is going to sit in the front seat and how Saturday comes after Friday and then Sunday afterwaaaards.
And then the talk some more about life and possibilities and then a bird escapes from the museum where they met, and the camera pans up melodramatically like the bird has a camera on it's foot. Then, the tears really start to roll because... wait, Zemeckis and his crew accidentally stumble onto the set, and we realize that they have double booked the set. At first everyone is all mad and confused until... Forest Gump walk up in the middle of the turmoil. The mob grows quiet, only Eff-ron's silent sobs to his agent can be heard. Forest pulls out his feather, and says, "hmm, maybe that bird is looking for this" Suddenly, Lutinant Da-un and the cast of High School Musical flood the steps and they all start singing about freedom and Friday, and Forest gets up on the bench and starts throwing chocolate into everyone's mouth as they sing and dance and make music. And that's it. The End.
Knuckles cracking. Three main reasons the film sucked.
Number 1. I'm an Orson Welles nut. So I felt that they had the opportunity to make a great film about Orson Welles and they blew it. It was like I was watching some cheeze-slathered Disney flick - decked out in a zillion dollar period production - about a kid who finds a secret rock that takes him back in time and he gets to meet and work with Orson Welles like he some great paleontologist on a ride in Great Actor Jurassic Park. Zac even reacts throughout the film like he is at Jurassic park. "Hey, is that___ or "is that ____? Whoa. Like totally cool." But you know what? That would have been a better film. Much more believable than this kid skipping school and winding up on Orson Welle's doorstep and playing a "perfect drumroll" on a snare ( because the guy playing snare is playing it channeling Steve Martin in "The Jerk" who couldn't clap in Rhythm with his adopted black family) and then getting a part in Julius Caesar, hand picked by Welles himself. Yeah. And THAT'S the "ah-ha!" moment where EFF-RON gets his big break? At that second, then and there, I knew this film was a vanity piece for Zac Eff-ron and that's a dumb idea when you are making a film with Orson Welles in it and I should have stopped the film and restarted watching TRON II where the free preview left off.
Number 2., I feel like Zac has some potential but he's going to have to sneak into the Department of Disney Artistic Molestation to burn the current files and rediscover who he really is. I didn't believe his character until he called out Orson for cheating on his pregnant wife and by then, he'd been so ... nothing... that he just seemed like a little psychotic idiot and I was glad that Orson had him in a choke hold. Zac needs to stop looking in the mirror all the time and find himself. You know, Leo made me believe every single on of those craptastic lines in Titanic. I never got the sense that he was in love with anything but Kate and therefore he sold it. Zac has that potential but... gag me.
Number 3. Just some basic core elements went AWOL in the storytelling. There was no antagonist. Now, I'm all for art bucking the norms and the forms but this wasn't the time to do it. We really needed an antagonist throughout the ENTIRE narrative, whether it be his mom not letting him go to NYC, or some guy in the cast hating him for being him, (I don't know, maybe start with the failed snare drummer?) or some father that never believed in him (Dead Poets Society) or some principle that hated him (Ferris Bueller)... SOMETHING. But we got NOTHING. The closest thing we got was when that guy stole his ukelele.. but then he found it in the next scene. Oh, there it is. Haha. funny joke. When there was foreshadowing it was about as subtle as belch in a cathedral. Take that fire alarm foreshadowing business. Bad film work. "Do-di-do, My name is Zack and I'm using this match to look at the ceiling, where some really tall guy has scribbled his name (camera lens is focused now so we can see the fire sprinkler) uhhh DUUUUH, what's this?" Fire alarm goes off. Orson throws a fit.
3.1.2. Other than Eff-ron, the actors were great. Orson was great, though the real Welles was much more magnetic and hypnotic than this fellow. I felt like this guy was "playing" Orson too many times. (Blame the director for that) and I suppose that's the real problem with the piece. It was self-conscious, or even self-paradoy. Maybe it's a good handbook on how to act like Orson Welles playing Orson Welles. The guy who played Mark Antony in the production gave the most believable performance in the whole cast. Claire seemed miscast and because she was both superior to Zac in acting and in maturity she was always condescending with too much cutesy smiling and blah blah blah and in the end she seemed like a chester-molester.
And what the heck was that meet-cute with the girl in the bookstore all about? What was the purpose? How about a real romance there? Maybe Zach is trying to work his way in and he has to make a choice between REAL love with the younger woman and BAD love with the older broad... But no. We don't realy know why. Was it so Zac wouldn't be lonely at the end and he could have someone to talk to? The final meeting with Zac and the curlicue girl at the end was one of the worst executed dénouements I've ever seen. He gets the note in the middle of the night after he's been fired (finally, some realism), grabs his coat and then he's there at the museum meeting her and its daytime? Um, did he fly around the world? Was there a pole shift in the night?
I think the film would have made so much more sense had they just left him back in his dull boring high school class, suffering from being a big immature dummy. LASTLY, his singing of the song in the Shakespeare play was like he was a little popstar. No one sang like that back then with the little High School Musical pop-scoops before every note. And the scene itself was set up to be some magical moment and it was .... (cue Price is Right tuba loser-music) B- SNORING.
That was fun!