So, I hate using words like ever or most about movies. There are actually weird movies that completely lost me, but not because they are crazy or weird, but because they are bad. There are movies that don’t make sense. There are movies that are going to be weirder than anything you’ve seen, or strange in inventive ways, but this one, this one baffled me. I was baffled. I’m rarely baffled.
This one is going to be a weird one folks.
You see, I’m going to tell you all about the weirdest movie going experience I have ever had the pleasure of having. This is one of those stories that I will never forget. I may get dementia, I may lose my mind, but I will always remember laughing the hardest I have ever laughed at a movie theater because my mind was completely blown.
I can hear what you’re thinking. Sure, the guy with the bearded lemon for an avatar was laughing at a baffling movie. He must have been high, or drunk, or mentally unhinged. I was not. I was stone cold sober, sitting in a theater over the summer with a smattering of other people, and one of my best friends in the world, who could confirm all of this.
Good movie, right? Cool noir story, attempted to do some interesting things with comic book panel style framing. Some of the little moments in that film are really well put together. I frequently think about “The Customer Is Always Right” which opens the movie on the perfect tonal note. It’s an aside in a movie of asides. You are completely taken in by the use of color, the passing of cigarettes, and the noir voicing.
So, you’re a Hollywood executive. You had this tremendous hit on your hands, made money hand over fist, and looks like it could be extended. The original director isn’t super interested, but the guy who wrote the original comic has this idea.
He’s adapted a classic comic
He comes to you and says, I have this classic comic that has been rattling around in my brain for a while, and I want to adapt it Sin City style. I think it would make a great movie, but if you guys make it, I want to direct it.
Oh, and did I mention, Samuel L. Jackson will be playing a villain? And that we’ll use our sway to get literally every hot young actress in Hollywood to take a part? And that it’s about two immortal human beings bashing each other over the head with toilets and weird shit like a 1920’s cartoon, cause that is what it is based on?
I can only imagine that this is how this went. I can imagine it because this was the result.
So yeah, I had to go see this movie, right? Sam Jackson, weird shit, going to be amazingly strange, right?
It wasn’t though. It was very flat. It feels like a movie that really needs a great director to balance the weirdest tone that you’ve ever seen. It is not only the most bonkers tonal shifts from one place to another, with violent murder being contrasted with hilarious murder, but also incredibly sexist weirdness.
Look, Frank Miller can make a comic book panel look really cool, but when those comic book panels are put into motion, they really really really don’t work. Every frame of this movie looks wrong. Everything looks too slow or too fast, there is incredible amounts of objectification shots, and the violence goes from comical to serious to comical to serious.
The hero of the movie was a police officer who got killed and got a serum in him that brought him back to life? Or a cat breathed life into him? The movie is so disorganized and weird that my brain, which can remember nearly every line of Airplane (Ladies :wink:), has trouble remembering what happened. I’m about to watch it again, so I’ll just check in with you at the end of the movie.
Anyway, then there are the Villains. And holy shit, this is a who is who of who the fuck agreed to be in this. Sam Jackson plays a man with facial tattoos who LOVES outfits. Every scene has him in a different outfit. Scarlett Johansson is his assistant. Who also dresses up in weird outfits like him.
So yeah, baffled.
We sat through this movie, and Peter and I were just looking at each other, wondering what was going on. And then, it happened.
Sam Jackson and Scarlett Johansson showed up in Nazi Uniforms to interrogate The Spirit.
And I lost my brain.
I could not stop laughing. I found it to be the funniest thing that I have ever seen in my entire life, because not only was this one of the greatest intensity actors of all time dressed like a Nazi screaming at a white boy in a domino mask, it was so tonally fucking weird that I didn’t know what to do but laugh. My whole body rejected the idea of the movie, and I was completely overtaken by laughter.
I like comedies and I think that people intentionally being funny is very funny, but what ever this insane thing on the screen was was obviously the greatest metacomedy that could ever be made. It was just so wrong, on every level, that I couldn’t help but laugh.
That’s a real scene from a real movie. I’m not like posting some weird outtake from a movie. That’s for real. It’s in there.
It’s stuck with me. This dumb movie that is bonkers weird and no one saw has remained in my brain, because I have never seen a movie that had more going for it get it so wrong. There are movies that are made that are terrible. There are movies that don’t have the budget that they need. There are movies that don’t have a tenth of the star power on display here that effectively tell a story and launch careers. This movie … holy bananas.
I want to invent a time machine so that I can watch this movie being made. I want to be on the phone call when Sam Jackson gets called to play the most insane character ever. I want to talk to Scarlett Johansson about this movie. What was it like? How did it happen? Are you okay?
Maybe it isn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen. Maybe my life would be different if I didn’t put this movie into my brain. Maybe I’ll never get to talk to anyone involved in this movie.
But I am never going to forget it. So, is this great art?