pre·tentious·ness (from dictionary.com)
1. Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
2. Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious. See Synonyms at showy.
So I have been to the movies twice in the past week, once for Harry Potter and he Goblet of Fire and the second time for Rent. Been a lot of movie trailers before the films, and I do mean a lot. The common theme was obvious…an air of pretentiousness.
First off is the latest movie by M. Night Shyamalan, Lady In The Water. I know some people think Mr. Shyamalan walks on water, I don’t happen to be one of those people. The only one of his movies I found halfway watchable was Unbreakable, mainly because he didn’t try for some huge twist at the end. The trailer for this new film though just reeks of “Oh look at me, it’s me, M. Night Shyamalan, and I’m all moody and mysterious!” Dude…your films suck, your twists suck, you can’t write and you can’t direct and you aren’t doing youself any favors with these overwrought trailers.
There is a new king of pretentiousness and, oddly enough, his new movie is King Kong. Yes, yes, Peter Jackson is god, Lord of the Rings, blah, blah….Best Picture, blah, blah….good for him. The 1933 version of King Kong was 100 minutes long. The 1976 version was 134 minutes. The 2005 version? Well, nothing firm yet, but rumor is it’s around 180 minutes. Folks…there is no way this story needs 3 hours to be told…none.
I understand every filmmaker has a “vision”, but when does that vision cross-over into the realm of “ego”? When does their ego over-shadow the needs of the film and the story they have to tell? In both these cases, I think it has happened in both these director’s cases. After all the praise and kudos, their egos have become the driving force for their newst productions and it’s sad because in the end it’s the audience that suffers.
Don’t get me wrong, if you like these men and their films, I have no beef with you, I have a beef with their wildly out of control egos and sense of self-importance. Let us not forget Peter Jackson is still the scruffy little guy who unleashed Meet the Feebles on an unsuspecting world.