There are days when I question the sanity of the human race. Today is one of those days. As if the news of Peter Jennings untimely demise was not bad enough, I had to log on to www.msn.com this morning only to discover that The Dukes of Hazard was number one at the box office over the weekend. This is just wrong. Wrong on a level I can’t even begin to contemplate. The television show itself was bad enough, but to make it into a movie and to add Jessica Simpson strutting around with her ass hanging out of her Daisy Dukes to up the cheese factor is just…shudder…there aren’t even words.
And yes, I suppose I’m hardly one to talk considering I do have the whole Hot Guy factor that guides many of my movie choices, but jeez, at least I expect some semblance of a plot. Sure I want the guys to look good, but I want them to be able to act as well, and I want a story that holds the whole thing together. For instance – Keanu Reeves. Hot guy. I rented Constantine on the weekend and, well, it just wasn’t that great. Keanu Reeves, for all his hotness, simply can’t act. I also noticed he’s rather pigeon-toed, but I suppose he can’t help that. So given the opportunity to see that movie again, I probably wouldn’t, despite the Hot Guy factor. Although I must say, Gavin Rossdale (lead singer from Bush and Hot Guy himself) did a spectacular job. Perhaps they should have given him the lead role.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the cheese factor that is Dukes of Hazard. Or is it Hazzard, with two ‘z’s? Better yet, does it even matter? Here’s another thing about movies these days – what is with all the remakes of bad television shows that would never get on the air in today’s market? And if they aren’t remaking bad television shows, they are putting comic books heros on the screen, which I don’t actually have a problem with if it's done well because they can be fun, but whatever happened to the original ideas? Have they all wandered off to the independent film realm so that you never get to see them on the big screen because your local cineplex can't make enough cash off them, forcing you to then scour the aisles of the local video store in the hopes you’ll be able to find them?
Sure, I’ve heard the old adage that there are no original stories left, but the originality isn’t necessarily in the plot premise, but in the storyteller’s ability to make it new and fresh through setting, character and dialogue. And you know what? Dukes of Hazard/Hazzard – not new. Not fresh. Just down right stanky (that's a hybrid of stinky and skanky by the way).
Where are the really good movies? The ones with strong plots that grab you and pull you in so that you completely forget you’re sitting in a movie theatre? Characters that come to life and follow you out of the theatre? Dialogue that plays in your head long after the credits role? Make me laugh, make me gasp, make me squirm in my seat or sit on its edge, hell even make me cry in public. Just make me feel something other than having wallowed around in a thick ooze of bad taste while wasting the price of admission. And yes, please for me, throw a hot guy in there while you’re at it, will you?
The summer movie season is almost at an end and of all the movies I went to see I can count on one hand those I truly enjoyed. I can’t wait for the fall movie season, when the Oscar contenders get rolled out and I can once again believe that Hollywood isn’t filled with morons and that bad taste, while prevalent, doesn’t always win out.