Monday, December 01, 2008

This I believe: Cigarette companies should not be required to paste on warning labels. We all know cigarettes kill. Instead, the point should be driven home more viscerally: once a day, they must send out Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man to find someone smoking and brutally murder them on national television.

SMOKING KILLS.

Also then they'd get to keep their cute mascots, which is a plus.

~*~

Saw the new Baz Luhrman bit of glory "Australia" this weekend. The first half is pretty liberally cribbed from "Out of Africa", except instead of Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, "Australia" stars Hugh Jackman and Hugh Jackman's abs, co-starring Hugh Jackman's biceps, featuring Jackman's triceps, with small role played by Nicole Kidman, and a brief cameo by Hugh Jackman's forearms.

For serious: Baz Luhrman has a hard-on for Hugh Jackman, but then, who doesn't? He is a pretty pretty man. We will even forgive the lapses of judgment, in which Hugh Jackman pours a bucket of water over his head and we see each drop drip tantalyzingly over his musculature look I am just reporting the facts here. But come on, it's Australia! It's dry. They charge you for a friggin' glass of water. This movie used water waaaay too liberally. 

Baz Luhrman has a fantastic eye for colors and shapes; he assembles fantastic screen pictures. A scene comes to mind in "Moulin Rouge" in which Satin descends a staircase in front of the Duke, shot from behind her. She's speaking submissively to him--acquiescing to his demands--but at the same time the picture on the screen is of her literally going down on him. She descends in front of him, and stops when her head is, from our angle, directly in front of his groin. It's a dark and sinister and fantastically well-done visual pun.

In "Australia", Luhrman really uses that eye. He showcases massive and gorgeous scenes--bombings, stampedes, vast and glorious vistas, Hugh Jackman's abs--in a way that is absolutely stunning. It is a crime not to see this on the big screen. I especially love how he used trees like panels to separate the screen: two characters will stand on one side of a tree to enact a scene while we see a quiet cooking fire on the other side, effectively dividing our view into two rooms. It's brilliantly well done.

Unfortunately, the comparisons "Australia" draws to "Out of Africa" are to its detriment. "Australia" offers nowhere near the depth of character or complexity that OoA did, and certainly does not have the tragic passion of Streep and Redford. From an angry feminist angle, it interested me to see how they treated their female protagonists differently. Streep's character in OaA is based very closely on a real woman, while Kidman's in "Australia" is totally fictional. Both are noble women from Europe translated to a foreign continent. Streep's has a lot to learn but is tough and savvy from the beginning, riding out to the savanna and hunting without a flinch; Kidman's is shocked by the shooting of a kangaroo and lacks anything but rudimentary competence until Jackman lends her his testicles. The real woman is capable; the fictional one is incompetent. Huh.

It's still eminently worth watching. The eye candy is worth the ticket price, and Hugh Jackman--clean-shaven, tuxed-up, and grinning like original sin--is a glory in his own right. Don't expect too much from the story and you'll love it.

~*~

I'm a big fan of the old classic Bromance. A bromance, friends, is a totally platonic romance between two heterosexual dudes. It is manly. It is awesome.

The new BBC show "Merlin" has an absolutely adorable bromance between Merlin and young someday-king Arthur, which mostly consists of Merlin hero-worshipping Arthur's warrior skills and Arthur telling Merlin to polish his armor. Yeah . . . some weird undertones to that one. 

I don't consider Sam and Frodo in Lord of the Rings a bromance. They're already an item. And Sam's more his mother, and also wants to marry Rosie Cotton. In cases of a true bromance, any romantic feelings for girls are subsumed into one night stands. 

It's true.

I read it on the Internet.

Anyone have some real-life bromances to give me?

1 comment:

Haley said...

You can laugh all you want, but I say Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood from the OC had one of the greatest bromances of our generation.