Thomas Wictor

What makes me hate a movie

What makes me hate a movie

Today an Irishman told me I’m a very hateful person. He used the word “hate” and “hateful” at least sixty times. The reason is that he claims to oppose all violence under any circumstances, while I support violence to eliminate murderous terrorists. When I informed him that my brother and I came within two minutes of being killed by an Irish Republican Army nail bomb in Regent’s Park on July 20, 1982, he had no reaction. That’s how much he opposes violence. But since I’m so hateful, I’ll tell you what makes me hate a movie.

First, dance scenes. That’s not to say people dancing in a club or at a party. The kind of dance scenes I hate are the ones in which people dance alone in their bedrooms or while they’re cleaning the house or preparing for dinner. The worst is when they dance and lip-synch to songs we’ve heard forty million times. It all started with Tom Cruise in Risky Business, a movie I despised.

It reeks of self-consciousness, but it’s also smug. This sort of contrived, cocky-dork-dance has become such a convention that almost every comedy has one now. This may be the worst such abomination ever filmed. I can’t even bear to watch it.

Dancing in movies should be like this.

I want to see John Tavolta sit on his own head, the way the Ross girls do at 1:19.

The Fastest Gun Alive is a great movie, a straight drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it has a Russ Tamblyn dance scene in it.

We pay our actors so much they should all be required to dance like that. No more of this smirking, deliberately fifth-rate, man-of-the-people garbage.

The second thing that makes me hate movies is this.

Ezra_Klein

Where the in the name of Wepwawet did this pestilential convention come from? Kids telling adults how to live. Who decided that children are smarter than grownups?

I’ve known several people who gushed to me, “You don’t raise your kids; your kids raise you!” Guess how all their kids turned out?

Some former TV star had a reality show in which he battled his addictions and shot himself up with steroids. At one point he said that his daughter was his best friend, and she gave him the most insightful advice on his career and marriage.

She was nine years old at the time. Am I the only person on earth who understands how grossly inappropriate it is for a man in his fifties to ask his nine-year-old daughter for advice about his marriage? But this dynamic is in so many movies now.

The Upside of Anger is a pretty decent film with a truly spectacular twist. But it has a kid named Popeye—played by Evan Rachel Wood—dispensing all sorts of wisdom to her mother and the world in general.

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It’s insulting. Also, I find it sinister as hell. It’s a form of grooming. And you know where it’s headed. There’s one last taboo that western culture is trying desperately to break. That why so much of our entertainment presents children as adults who just happen to be short in stature.

One of the best novels ever written is The Far Arena, by Richard Ben Sapir. It’s about an oil company that finds a man frozen in the Norwegian ice. They figure he’s dead, so they give him to a Russian doctor who specializes in cryonics. When the doctor thaws out the man, he’s alive. After he’s stabilized they take out the tracheal tube, and though the man is unconscious, he begins speaking. In Latin.

Far_Arena

He’s a Roman gladiator who was sentenced to death for committing blasphemy, but the centurion who took him to the northernmost reaches of the empire gave him a poisoned liquid so that he’d die quickly instead of freezing to death. The gladiator was tossed naked into the snow; the poison knocked him unconscious, and then his body froze before he died. Whatever he’d swallowed served as an antifreeze, preventing cellular damage. Instead of dying, he hibernated for millennia.

When he wakes up, the only person who can communicate with him is a Norwegian nun having a crisis of faith.

It’s a fantastic story. One of the main characters calls his home because his life has fallen apart. His teenage daughter answers the phone, and when he tells her that he always loved her, she asks if he’s all right and wants to talk.

“Honey,” he says, “I appreciate the offer, but there isn’t a thing that a seventeen-year-old could say to me that would help.”

I always remembered that. Richard Ben Sapir and I seem to be the only people who get that it’s not the role of children to advise adults. Especially about their love lives. That’s another perversion that’s become mainstream. The most egregious example is Sleepless in Seattle.

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When Tom Hanks went into his kid’s room and found him in a egg-shaped chair with this creepy little girl, I turned it off.

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She was mouthy, disrespectful, and precocious in a sleazy way. Nobody in the movie had any boundaries.

Remember, I spent ten years in Hollywood. At one guy’s house, he said was going to show me a picture of an actor. Suddenly his computer screen filled with a photo that would get him one to eight years in prison, depending on if he had lots of images like that. And of course he did. He had to.

“What the fuck?” I shouted at him.

“Oops. How’d that get there?” he mumbled and closed it.

You know what he was doing, don’t you? Trying to see if I shared his tastes. They all get together and exchange photos. And don’t be fooled: It’s no accident that they make movies with little kids mentoring adults on their sex lives. It’s called “shaping the battlespace.” Their goal is to get you acclimated, degree by degree.

That’s why I watch mostly old movies. And videos like this.


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