Have you ever read a movie review and thought, “wow, this is just way too coherent and concise?” I know I have. Is it too much to ask that a review be so weird, rambling, and incoherent that you wondered if someone just scanned a page of “Great Expectations” and called it a day? James Franco doesn’t think so. In his series of film reviews for Vice magazine he gives you all the pseudo-intellectual nonsense you could ever hope for. Here’s a particularly stirring excerpt from his recent Great Gatsby review:
“The challenge Baz Luhrmann had in adapting The Great Gatsby to film was similar to what Walter Salles faced with On the Road: how to stay loyal to the era depicted, while still retaining the rawness of the original text. Salles did a great job of capturing the ambiance of 1950s America, but it could be argued that his Dean and Sal didn’t have enough zeal—enough of that desire to live, live, live.”
This critique seems utterly valid to me. I mean, what DOESN’T a guy born in 1978 know about life in 1950’s America? You know, that desire to live, live, live.
His real masterpiece, however, was his latest review of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.
“I was also at Leicester Square earlier this year for the premiere of my film Oz, when the red carpet was a yellow brick road, but the night I saw the new Superman, I arrived incognito: 1) because it wasn’t my film, and 2) because I don’t think Henry Cavill would have wanted to see me there.”
“Not that we’re enemies. Years ago we worked on a film together called Tristan and Isolde. I played Tristan and he played my backstabbing sidekick. My hunch is that he didn’t like me very much. I don’t know this for certain, but I know that I wouldn’t have liked myself back then because I was a difficult young actor who took himself too seriously.”
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to find some self-awareness among young Hollywood! Please, James Franco, go on.
“What Henry took seriously back then was Superman. He wanted to be Superman more than anything in the world. Personally, I’m not sure why. I missed the whole Superman-film phenomenon. I was more a fan of director Richard Donner’s Goonies and Lethal Weapon. I can understand the appeal the original Superman comics had for the WWII generation and its need for a hero to rid the world of evil, but in my days as a young man, this appeal was long outstripped by the cheesiness of the character’s suit and his douchey invincibility.”
James Franco seems to understand what no one else in The Business does. The people don’t want to read a two page snoozer about “character development” or “narrative arcs”. We want to read a four page ramble that manages to belittle the star and subject of the movie it’s supposed to be reviewing. So keep them coming, Franco! As long as you keep churning them out, we’ll keep laughing at them.