So they say that 1970’s Hollywood cinema, otherwise known as the second golden age, brought a revisionist approach to all genres but consequently after a decade of coked out Auteurs it reached it’s demise with Heaven’s Gate. It’s hard to fathom that Directors that once thrived and survived that era are now making class A shit. I mean Hugo? Anyway, point is that every generation has a stylistic stamp and just as this day and age’s lack of originality and fashion, it makes sense that it be the decade of the mash-ups. A confluence and conglomeration of tried and true genres that have been played out to death with pop culture references blended together to entertain savvy Cinephiles, who are seemingly more irreverent as opposed to the subversives who were camped out just a few blocks away at Union Sq. occupying Wall. St. Either way, I’m a Nihilist and was too busy going to see a movie titled the obvious – I mean aren’t most cabins in the woods?
But what sets The Cabin in the Woods apart is that it’s being monitored by high tech global Government and ancient forces that utilizes monsters to aid in a sacrificial ritual to save the fate of the world. Sort of like Hunger Games meets Scooby Doo. Though Kristen Connolly is no Katniss Everdeen, the rest of the cast are as fittingly silly.
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard fall short of making this a cult classic as it lacks that certain unintentionality movies like Troll 2 and Plan 9 from Outer Space and the inspired originality of say Shaun of the Dead. Still it makes up for it in laughs, especially if you see it with a packed like minded audience on an opening night. It may not be memorable, but at least it didn’t stink (bodily) like the protesters in Union Sq. the day after when I went to work in the morning. Where have you gone, Travis Bickle? A nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you….
Having read Lord of the Flies as a “young adult” I’ve only recently found out that far away from that isolated island their really in the midst of a nuclear war. Which is a total mindfuck to me now, as not only do I realize that how clueless I was back then but also that the whole concept of the novel now takes on a more apocalyptic urgency and relevance that precedes all the latter successors and imitators such as the recent teen phenom of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. But what sets apart The Hunger Games is that it is not as hokey as Harry Potter, nerdy as Lord of the Rings, or gay as Twilight, and light years better than any Star Wars prequels (but then again what isn’t?).
(can you say Natty Bumppo?)
The only thing keeping this young love story from totally making me want to vom, is that it’s less like a CW soap and more Darwinian in the game of the ultimate reality show on the survival of the fittest. Translating the simplistic writing of the novel to the big screen requires a Director able to handle the balance between the expositionary components of the rules and reality of this dystopian totalitarian society and all the while maintain the heroine of Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) perspective…but unfortunately director Gary Ross strays from her point of view and instead gives us some irritating overused handheld shakes along with cheesy cinematography and uninspired, cheap set design. Luckily Jennifer Lawrence who is coming off a similar role in Winter’s Bone of trying to support a family and survive bum fuck poverty, is such a force of nature, even with the Baker wuss Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) by her side, who’s name is associated with a fucking falafel. The delightfully deranged Elizabeth Banks, and over the top demented performance by Stanley Tucci’s also help provide comic relief, but no way compared to the laughter that was generated from the audience every time the movie cuts to Katniss’ meathead boyfriend back home with his stupid sad puppy dog face.
Of course the adapted movie franchise is always subject to comparisons with it’s source as some key elements and characters are omitted such as the reason behind the whole class structure and districts. I don’t blame them though, these days one can’t survive a theater for more than two and half hours without having an anxiety attack from fear of bed bugs or go without having to take a fucking leak. If it were a four hour HBO miniseries though…Regardless, instead they instilled us that people in Hollywood always look good, even after starving and sleeping in trees for weeks. I mean Peeta’s missing leg is rewritten to nothing more than a scab.
There probably is another franchise somewhere percolating in the near future after this hoopla is over – with grassroots beginning thru Young Adult novels followed by a Hollywood makeover and a whole other generation that will succumb to it’s mythology. The odds are in your favor…