One of the worst things that can ever happen happened this weekend - my TiVo broke. Again. For the third time. As much as I love my TiVo, those things aren't made too well. And if you think you're in the clear cause your TiVo has never had problems, just wait. It will happen to you, and I'll be here to say "Welcome to hell". Once that baby goes down you realize you're like a crack addict. I've never done drugs in my life, but I've done TiVo, and I'm pretty sure it's somewhere worse than marijuana and somewhere better than heroin. I've got the shakes right now just writing about it, who's going to record 90210 today? what if i can't make it home in time for the contender finale? what about, oh lord, lost tomorrow night? This can't be happening! Tell me that's not worse than a little crack.
So last night, not having my TiVo to turn to now that The Bachelor is over, I had to flip the switch and go to Defcon 4. Defcon 4 is also known as Netflix. I love me some netflix, but my turnover rate isn't very good when TiVo is always sitting there, calling out to me, "hey, you, don't you want to watch the 3 episodes of Dinner for 5 you have recorded. They might get erased." But without that siren call, it was easy to pop a DVD in. And last night that DVD was a movie called "Primer".
I had heard a lot about the movie and was dying to see it for a long time now - that's how strong the TiVo drug is, I was dying to see this movie but it had been sitting on the floor of my room for the last month while I season passed spin city. Anyway, I thought the idea for the movie was amazing and I heard it was really good.
Holy fuck, it's really good. I've never loved a movie that i didn't understand so much. I don't care how smart you are, this movie will utterly confuse your ass. And that, I believe, is a good thing. Acutally, it's a great thing. You know why? Because nothing you watch ever dares to do that anymore. Everything's got to be spelled out. This movie basically says "Hi audience, fuck you." It's genius. I can't believe this movie wasn't mentioned during oscar time. It sickens me. Sideways? Ray? No, I don't think so. This movie is about, a thousand times more brilliant than those movies could ever think about being. And now when I look back, I'm getting more and more angry about the whole "awards season" and how stupid it is. It's all PR and critics bullshit that has nothing to do with anything. Have you ever met a critic? they are the saddest people you will ever meet in your life. That's why they liked Sideways so much - because that sad sack asshole Paul Giamatti is them! They watched that movie and we're like, "That's me! i should be dating Virginia Madsen! someone should discover my writing talent but no one ever does! Finally, a movie about the hero that i am!" You're not a hero, you're a talentless wannabe, middle aged overweight balding white guy who never made it in the entertainment business so get over it.
i don't want to give away story points of the movie because i don't want to ruin it. pretty much just want to say how great it is and why it's great. but i'll just say that it's about 2 guys who invent something in their garage that has huge implications. it's a story that could've easily been a huge budget, spielberg movie. in fact, it kinda was. but that's why the movie is so cool. it takes one of those "high concept" ideas (that's hollywood fancy talk for an ideas like "aliens declare war on earth!" "a meteor threatens earth!" "earth!"), and makes it small and sorta real.
Now let me throw this out at you: Total budget for the film - $7,000. You read that right, $7,000. I really hate when anyone talks about budgets for movies because it shouldn't matter. A good movie is a good movie, and you shouldn't hate on a movie cause it cost them $100 million dollars to make it. What do you care? It's not your money. If it's good, it's good. But in this case, that number is a little ridiculous. It seems impossible. It just goes to show that if you have a great idea and focus on storytelling, you can make something really great, no matter the budget. I'm talking to you, Lucas. I could give a fuck about how real your digital stuffed animal aliens look like, write some dialogue that isn't total hack crap. that's something that the boys at ILM can't fix. $7,000!!! I'm sorry, I don't want to go overboard but this has to be one of the most stunning feats in the film world. It's just impossible to make a movie for that low of a budget. And to make it good is even more of a stretch. It made me think though, if I had written that script I couldn't have just made it. I would've been like, this is the most genius thing and I'm selling it for a million dollars. But that's me, i'm a greedy asshole.
Okay, this movie is far from perfect. It not only is confusing, it seems like it's trying to be extra confusing for no good reason. In the first 20 minutes I had no idea what the fuck they were talking about, and the confusing parts hadn't even started yet. But it made me think. And it didn't hold my hand and say "here's what we're doing here". it just went, and I was forced to do something I never have to do while watching Brandon solve problems at the Beverly Hills Beach Club - I was forced to pay attention. Really pay attention, and actively think about what the fuck was going on and try to figure it out. And it didn't even really bother me that I couldn't figure it out, i just knew something cool was happening and it was done in a way that i knew they knew what they were doing. and i love that. that's one of the reasons i stopped watching "24" during the first season. They don't know what they're doing, they're making it up as they go along. oh, you like Nina? well now she's a bad guy! yeah, we showed you! no, you didn't know she was a bad guy till the moment she turned into one. that's not a real story. that's bullshit. That's not storytelling. That's hack. That's why Lost is so good. The've thought of this shit ahead of time. they have a plan, and that's all you can ask for. This guy had thought of this beforehand, he has the answers, and knowing that is good enough, even if you can't figure out what the hell is going on.
The biggest problem i have with the move though, and this could have something to do with the budget, is that they didn't do enough with the brilliant ideas. there were so many great ideas in the movie, but they weren't capitalized on enough. when they started to reveal the implications of the invention, what's possible, what COULD be going on here, i was like holy shit! but they really didn't follow through enough. And the movie could've been really, really scary. but it stopped at being a little spooky. I think with more money, maybe a more experienced producer or something, they could've gone all the way with all this stuff. then again, they could've fucked it up entirely. so i'll just be satisfied with the way it is, brilliant.
sorry this is so vague, but i really don't want to ruin the movie for anyone. so, just see primer.