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Gregory Weinkauf Headshot

On Movies and Why They Just Aren't Any Good

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Hi. I'm not sure if you've ever seen a movie, but I've seen quite a few of them, and as a public service I'd like to tell you that they're just not any good. I've spent the prime years of my life being an award-winning professional cinema critic, while most of my peers simply sneered, "the Prequels suck!" and went about getting spouses and houses and babies. Thus, sadly, I know of what I speak -- or, write -- whatever.

Movies are filled with stuff which either purports to be "real life" or, conversely, purports to be very much not "real life," and in either case they always fail. For instance, take war (please!): Sometimes movies will have a bunch of guys with scary rubber heads warring against other guys who are comparatively handsome and merely have pointy rubber ears or the equivalent, and you might be, like, "Oh, check it out, there's an allegory for the inhumanity of our real-life skirmishes." That would be fine, but if you dare to say that while the movie is playing, a bunch of people will hiss at you and hate on you, the irony being that not one of them will even understand the word "allegory."

Then meanwhile, people with money to make movies also keep making movies about exhaustively-documented real wars, and I guess they're striving to say something about the "human condition" or what it's like to be Tom Hanks or a woman or whatever. Whatever. The thing is, it's like that movie about Andy Kaufman where they had some other guy play Andy Kaufman. What the hell was that about? There's already loads of film and video of the real Andy Kaufman! Why watch some other guy pretend to be him when you can just watch the real guy on your phone, anytime you want? Exactly. Same thing with war. Or, for that matter, Freddie Mercury.

I don't know if you know this, but there are also other kinds of movies -- for instance: science fiction. Science fiction itself is cool, and I know this because whenever you put a guy with a good brain into a job where he only gets to use half of it or less, he will start obsessing over science fiction, and then blow his paltry paycheck buying something sleek and "sci-fi" and completely useless on ebay. But really, science fiction movies are all malarkey. Like, take light, for instance: light (and this is provable!) does not just, like, stick out of a flashlight for three feet and then stop. Light does not do that! And especially, right, you can't hit anybody with light. Or if you were to try, they'd just laugh at you. So science fiction movies are all malarkey. Trust me, I've seen those movies, and I'm always like, 'Nice LOUD spaceships in the cosmic vacuum. Fail."

As an award-winning professional cinema critic, I have also viewed many movies about the topic which modern Westerners collectively call "romance." This is some pretty crazy stuff -- and what's crazier is that, instead of experiencing it firsthand, I was sitting in the dark, watching people with huge houses in Italy (which they never mention in interviews) pretending to experience it! Like, there's always some person who's, like, hurt. That character ("character" is movie jargon, BTW) always says something in the first ten minutes like, "Hey, I'm hurt!" But nobody cares. But then -- and here's where the female-demographic money rolls in -- then at around twenty-seven minutes, some other character shows up who's like, "Hey, don't you worry! I understand you! And for the majority of the second act I am going to challenge you by having a different culture, or having the same gender as you, or having a disability or something!" And then they do. And then there's love! Unless it's a funny romance movie -- then there's no disability, and it's usually in New York.

Casual moviegoers probably are not aware of this, but sometimes movies get made by cultures which are not American (while, notably, all so-called "American" movies are made in Canada). These blatantly non-American movies are a total curve-ball, because you sit down and start watching, and it looks kind of like a normal movie only cheaper, but then the characters (vocabulary word) start talking in languages other than American -- and usually really, really fast. It's bewildering, frankly, and while I recommend shunning movies altogether, these with the weird languages are probably the worst. It seems like there's always a soaking-wet little Asian girl who's really, really angry and can destroy you with her mind, plus she's probably a ghost representing the male filmmaker's repressed Anima; and if not, there's probably somebody smoking, and trust me, the smoker never shuts up. I mean, you're going to watch them smoke and talk for like an hour, and you're not going to understand any of it. If you're desperate to feel confused, I say skip the movie and just get on a plane and go somewhere really far away where you can cough a lot and be confused in person.

Incidentally, there are also movies in which the characters sound almost like they're American, except they speak American in a much flutier way, and their teeth aren't bleached, and every other line is "I say!" No clue.

There are also many inexplicably popular movies about other topics, such as sports and/or zompires (sic), but these do not merit intelligent discussion.

Lastly -- and this comprehensively concludes the entire topic of movies -- there are so-called "classic" movies. By this point you're probably catching my drift, and you're right: "classic" movies suck, too. I know this to be true, because (hello: professional) I have seen all three of them. The first classic movie is about some guy wearing a hat, and he's all, "Hey, let's do that difficult thing! Because I'm wearing a hat!" Yawn. Snoozer. The second classic movie is pretty freaky, because instead of talking to each other, the characters actually sing at each other! They just sing, in places and situations where people simply do not sing, ever. Avoid. And then the third classic movie is Citizen Kane. In my revamped creative capacities, and to satisfy the progressive tastes of a new generation, I'm currently at work on a remake-reboot-re-envisioning of Citizen Kane, which I've retitled Dude, Where's My Sled? But I'm only doing it for the money. Sorry, kids, it probably won't be very "sick."

Well, thanks for reading this valuable treatise, and saving yourself loads of time you might have wasted watching movies. I'm already feeling gratified for saving you from a lifetime of staring at illusory flickerings of other people mostly pretending to be doing stuff, when instead you could just stand up and go do stuff yourself. Congratulations! You have been saved from movies!

April Fool! Ha-ha. Gag over. In fact, I like movies just fine; and sometimes I truly love them. On that note, does anybody have Audrey Tautou's phone number? I've seen her in movies, and I know she's not real, but I am nonetheless smitten.

Merci, mes amis! Happy April Fool's Day!

~Gregory