Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Make an Academy Award Best Film/Script:
Start with three hours about a completely insignificant subject like your own family problems- Make certain you record it over twelve years. Ta-dah! the movie “Boyhood.” Produced, Written, and Directed by Richard Linklater, it will be a front runner for Best Film/ Script.
You must know that nothing exacerbates me more than a pretentious person, story, or movie.  In my opinion, Boyhood, a 12 year pseudo-documentary of a family growing up in the hip-state of Texas is beyond BOREDOM! Clearly, I am in the minority of reviewers who feel the opposite according the blurbs on the movie jacket:
“One of the most EXTRAORDINARY movies of the 21st Century” . [A. O. Scott, NY Times.]
“A New American Classic. ACTING OF THE HIGHEST RANK. A four-star game-changer that earns its place in the cultural capsule. Boyhood makes us feel euphoric about movies again.”

I found the opening fifteen minutes of the film intolerable in terms of subject matter; acting; and a major lacuna of storyline. However, never one to take myself completely seriously, I sat down again at the grueling insistence of my friends and neighbors who convinced me that I should watch the whole film.
Well, I did.
Let me say this. I would rather be tortured by counting the blades of grass in my front lawn than watch this exceedingly boring movie. Imagine your most narcissistic family member, insisting on your watching family movies with a Bell and Howell projector for three hours; wherein, your relatives about whom you cared less than nothing, grow up in front of your eyes from bratty little kids to surly, mumbling, angst-ridden teen-agers… who, of course, are Obama enthusiasts!
Next imagine that there is no drama whatsoever except for the fact that the rotund Patricia Arquette transforms from a single mother without work to a sophisticated Psychology Professor at one of the Texas Universities or extension courses. Imagine the usually talented actor, Ethan Hawke, aging in front of you over three hours, splattering inanities about life while his son the surly, angst-ridden boy/teenager who wants to be a photographer, read: Director Richard Linklater, goes through puberty at the same time as the rate of catabolism breaks down our bodies.

If by now, you are still hooked on this film and consider it a classic then you have too much time on your hands. The dialogue in general is simplistic, if not prosaic. The story line of a liberal film turning toward Christianity and supporting the second Amendment has more to do with the Director/Writer/Producer’s [same guy] incredibly patronizing attitude toward the town/people with whom he grew up in Texas.
Full disclosure: I also hated Million Dollar Baby —and it won, Best Picture Award. My point is that spin doctors have taken over reality and quality be it films, politicians, or events –so that the mundane and boring—bereft of drama or organic tension—is HIGHLY REWARDED and GLORIFIED.
As for those other films in which there was drama, tension and real acting---GOOD LUCK. You don’t have a prayer than to receive anything but a few head nods and maybe a good review from this blogger. However, amidst 6000 plus Academy Members, I really don’t count.

Too bad, “Whiplash” and “American Sniper” were great films.


  1. A glowing testimonial Dr pieczenik! I particularly liked the lines "beyond boredom" and "gruelling insistence" intolerable was a good word too! Seriously though what is it with "reality" television? Its so beyond the realms of reality it becomes all of the above descriptions!! Even worse is that people buy into this unreal reality and emulate its shockingly bad "realism" it eventually becomes part of reality!!! TV is full of such appalling content and I'm sorry to my American friends but I blame jerry springer! He started it as far as the UK is concerned and now we are force fed reams of this flaccid drivel! And yes the film industry is no better! Once over you'd have either factual or "pure escapism" but now I've realised its the pure escapism that usually displays the truths! Why worry about global events when you can keep up with the kardashians or spend a day with the real housewives of orange county? I don't know about America but we have "soap opera" which is supposed to reflect real lives and I'd say reflect is the operative word because that's what I do every time this nonsense is given airtime! Tell you what though I love the New Yankee workshop!!! You never see norm shout and scream or throw a hammer in disgust whilst sporting a new tattoo do you?

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    2. MIT/CIA have good reviews also but i would say they are more accurate, because MIT/CIA does NOT watch movies he is going to review. I am sorry, but Dr. Pieczenik can not be taken seriously because Dr. Pieczenik watched movie and his review is biased. I never watched movie and i will not watch it, and i rightly and rejoicingly foresee that we have another winner.

    3. I would go further with my review and compare this masterpiece with another winner i personally liked very much and i never watched, "The Blair Witch Project". Who would think that 16 years had to pass for another great movie to emerge. I guess there are no unlimited number of talents around us.

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    5. Now about movies i watched, and seriously, one of best movies i watched was "Under suspicion" with Gene Hackman and Monica Bellucci, while i was watching that movie in cinema i thought, what kind of idiot could produce such idiotic movie, this is so boring, like whipping of dead horse, yes he is under suspicion, ok throw Gene in to cell, boring... Than his Monica starts to see him also as killer, and start believing that he was guilty, and start to accuse him and cooperate with police as all evidences are against him, ...ok... yes... boring... should i go now out of cinema... this is movie?? but than 2 minutes before end of movie real killer is found, Gene is released. Last scene 1 min before end: he and Monica sit on one bench, silent, and Gene stand up and leave... And puff, whole movie becomes good movie, everything is changed. Good movie with great story line. I can say one of best movies i watched... Real masterpiece.

    6. Meaning movie can be bad and dumb if end is good, revealing, and puts you in different perspective, like "Under suspicion". Of course, now again seriously i believe Dr. P and i believe this is another dumb and bad movie even without such end.

  2. The clue was in the wording of the review: Acting of the highest "rank". : )

  3. I must admit I felt like this with ' The Bridges of Madison County' absolutely nothing happened and 'Dirty Harry' was in it, no shit got blown up, although I think my wife's Oxytocin levels went up, as did every other women in the Cinema. I think 'Theory' if past Oscars history follows like 'My Left Foot', etc should get it. But 'American Sniper' will lift best Actor, so even more folk go to see it. The other day caught a show I vaguely remembered from the 60's 'Hogan's Heroes', a sitcom set in a Nazi Prison camp! I would like to have been a fly on the wall when they pitched that idea. Still humour is quite good for taking down blowhards. Here we had a show with puppets in the 80's (Spitting Image), which took out several Politicians through derision.

  4. Here are a few "zingers" that come to mind from the late Roger Ebert from movies he had reviewed;

    "Watching Mad Dog Time" is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line."

    "I will one day be thin, but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of The Brown Bunny."

    "Valentine's Day is being marketed as Date Movie. I think it's more of a First-Date Movie. If your date likes it, do not date that person again. And if you like it, there may not be a second date."

    "Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; It's unpleasant in a hostile way."

    1. Roger Ebert was insane. Here is a guy who asked his doctors to remove the bottom half of his face, including his entire jaw, tounge, etc. when they found there were some cancer cells in his jawbone.... So he can no longer speak or eat.... And therefore he grows so weak that he can't even stand, but he keeps on writing because of all the profound thoughts he has AS A STUPID MOVIE CRITIC...

      And here's the best part...

      After all that mutilation by his Dr.s Mengela IT TURNS OUT HE DIES FROM THE CANCER ANYWAY...

      Oh yeah Roger nice call.

  5. Once again I have not watched this film and therefore I'm going to express my opinion, and my opinion is that it's good.

    Dr.P have you ever seen Italian cinema or film from France or Germany?

    Most of the civilized world doesn't want or need the high pitched phony drama of hollywood full of it's contrived, improbabilities and impossible conincidences in which the universe bends so as to have a happy ending in a world of improbable events....

    The rest of the civilized world is more than satisified with REALISM and AUTHENTIC STORIES about REAL LIFE in which....


    It is called....ART !!!

    Yes Dr.P cinema can be about real people and their real lives and the meaning therein.....

    NOT ABOUT.....

    War movies where the enemies always run in front of your guns so conveniently so they can be shot while the hero gets shot at by scores of the enemy but their bullets never manage to hit their mark....

    There is a difference between commercial/escapist entertainment and art.

    Dr.P I think you've just shown us that your pleasure need by the escapist kind least you get...bored.

    1. In a previous review I did of "Gravity" I explained how it was totally improbable so as to move the action along and bring it to a tidy, impossible conclusion...

      But it transcended that and became ART because it had a subtext which was about the meaning of life and why some people are not fated to die when others are.....

      That was profound and true because in situations where everyone dies there's always one or two people who survive and they survive against all odds BECAUSE NOTHING CAN KILL THEM.

      For years and years NOTHING TO COULD HITLER.


      The TRUTH of life is that if someone must live on for a particular reason they will always survive and everyone's plans to kill them can never work.

      Try that on for's called truth.

    2. The whole idea of art in fiction is that the fiction is used as a device to illustrate a truth of life and it's meaning........

      It's okay if the fictional content is improbable or impossible as long as there is a theme which transcends the devices used to convey it.

      2001: A Space Odyssey was such a film, as are a few others.....

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    4. Yes but Europe is full of such ART movies, because there is no movie industry, making it only genre in town, with few exceptions when production is american. Resulting that only one of 100 films are watchable which is far worse then american average, where one of 95 are watchable. Those scientific results i achieved by applying tests on to people who were on given sleeping pills in their prison cells just before they would fell to sleep, also on people who were on intensive care in single hospital rooms, and by testing people who were working on oil platforms, in moments when they were blocked by sea storms and under stand by order (when talk or sleep was not allowed). For such expertise i have spent almost 20 years of my life and 2 000,000$ of my own money so i am very proud that i can for first time in my life announce those results which i am not going to reveal ever again.

  6. WHEREAS......

    "American Sniper" is the OPPOSITE OF ART because it MISLEADS THE PUBLIC and fills there heads with LIES...LIES...LIES.....

    It comes from the sick mind of a film-maker from Hollywood who enjoys distorting truth and making life harder for people to cope with because their minds are twisted and their opinions made fallible because the film-maker/autor is a sick sack of shit...

    Sorry Clint but you and Spielberg and John Melius and Paul Schader and your ilk may make lots of bucks but your films will only be remembered for their DISTORTION.

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