Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Starring: Julianne Moore , Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Danny Glover, Gael García Bernal, Yusuke Iseya
Directed by: Fernando Meirelles
The Official Site of Blindness
Discuss Blindness on the boards!
The world has gone white. It feels like you're swimming in a sea of milk, and it's contagious so… you know… freak out about it.
That's pretty much all you need to know about Blindness, at least it's all I needed to hear to know that it was a movie I wanted to see. I'm a sucker for this kind of alternate world, plague-ridden, mob mentality disaster movie that takes a closer look at the world we live in. Like any of those movie Blindness has a message in disguise and isn't bashful about leaning on you a little to make sure it sinks in, but that's to be expected isn't it?
Blindness won me over not so much in the message it told but in how they told it. The movie has a unique perspective and visual style that hooked me well enough to distract from the difficult subject matter and obsessive need to continue exploring a world gone white. Blindness is a little cluttered and more ambitious than it needed to be (the films desire to touch upon about a dozen more ideas than were necessary hurts it in places. Do we really need to know every little thing? Why were zombie dogs and the sensation of feeling rain for the first time as a blind person good enough to make the final cut?) but I found the full piece to be a complete and thoroughly interesting adventure.
As much as I love a good sci-fi backdrop like that, I wasn't prepared for how ingeniously inventive the film would be shot. One would imagine a film about the way people see would take some chances with how the film is shown, but not to this extent. Around every corner is another perfectly composed scene shot through glass, off a reflected surface or through some other filter you could never dream up. Everything is subject to a unique perspective. (Blindness features the most artistic gang rape you'll ever see, I guarantee it.) We're watching the film from a voyeuristic point of view and doing so through the glare of a stained window or the reflection on a slippery floor only adds to that experience.
It's remarkable well done though could easily be perceived as being gimmicky. Those that have problems with the movies insufferable unwillingness to come to an end will be looking for other reasons to bring the movie down, and creative camera work can be spun to suit those needs.
That refusal to end will be a common complaint. It's true - There are at least three places where Blindness could have closed its eyes on a satisfying conclusion yet it continues on in its blind stumble. At times the further exploration of blindness on society definitely feels like they're pushing it, as if with each step they're ruining the perfect little idea that got the movie made in the first place. In one respect it's very distracting because you'll be anticipating an ending and then forever be searching for one as the movie rambles on.
I would say though that it's more an unwillingness to let go of a great idea then a ramble, and I really enjoyed it. I was waiting for the film to end and trying to figure out how, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy each new scenario presented.
This may be a little too "inside geek speak", but the extended portion of Blindness reminded me a lot of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, a zombie graphic novel where things change, people die and characters that were SO important at one point in the story are distant memories overshadowed by the current threat. It's fascinating to see the story and characters evolve in a new world and while that wasn't something we necessarily needed or deserved in Blindness, I found it to be a very welcome conclusion. As difficult a movie as it was to watch at times, I could have watched it forever.
Thankfully this section of the movie moves briskly, as did the opening. As the movie says hello and goodbye it does so by giving us brief glimpses of life in the frantic passing of time. It works well
Blindness chooses an ending that is a satisfying one. Far more satisfying than an artsy film like this with an artsy idea behind it had to give us. I mean, they could have gotten away with a lot less. They could have faded to credits with Russia nuking the white-washed society and audiences would have walked out saying, "Yeah I could see that." I would expect instead something more along the lines of Children of Men where the bigger picture doesn't matter but this specific story is complete.
That would have been fine, I think people could have embraced that idea and left the theater feeling content. Instead Blindness puts a finer point on things. They hold your hand out the door, making sure you know what's up, and with a movie like this that could turn a lot of people off. But... Is hope proclaimed really so much worse than hope implied?
Rating: 8 out of 10 - An interesting ending to an interesting film that has great ideas and a fantastic vision battling a need to over explain or overexpose, something that will likely leave audiences cold. But this is all good stuff. It's a full experience, which is really rare these days. Blindness is a nice movie worthy of spending some time with.
Probably not. Blindness is the kind of movie worth rewatching to really soak up the stuff you may have missed on the first pass or to appreciate how well it's put together, but I don't think owning it and appreciate are mutually exclusive. A rental or two every once and a while should do the trick.
I got to thinking on the ride home from work today though about the cast and how they're portrayed in the film. Check out the cast list over at IMDB. Great group right? Now look at their character names. There are none. Doctor's Wife, Woman with the Dark Glasses, King of Ward Three. Those aren't names they're generalities. But why?
Are they just the titles of the faceless characters in the world of the blind or something equally ridiculously heady like that? I couldn't say for sure but I can say I was glad to have not been distracted by names. You get to know these people well enough without them, and that speaks to the strength of the story telling.
A DVD commentary explaining this choice (one originally made in the novel the film is based on) would be a welcome one. It's one of those creative, idiosyncratic choices that shouldn't have to be explained but the movie left me thirsty for more and interesting choices can often be heightened by the stories of their interesting origins.
Beyond a commentary track I'd also be interested in a "Blind Track". Some DVDs feature tracks with just the score of the film but what if the Blindness DVD stripped away the image and forced you to interact in this story with the same limitations as its characters. I wonder how well we would get to know them then.
Of course this could all be achieved by closing your eyes or breaking your TV but that's neither here nor there.
My eyes are so important to me. I honestly don't know what I would do if they were gone. No more art, no more movies or TV. I'm sure I'd adapt, probably read a lot more, but my life would certainly change a great deal. Still it must be hard to be a member in such a visual society when you can't see a damn thing. I would ask any of my blind readers to e-mail me their thoughts on the subject but I suspect I have as many blind readers as I do illiterate ones. Stay in school kids.
This character of Uncle Coldstone is one I originally intended to début back when the Jessica Alba movie The Eye came out. That Jhorror import was about a woman that began seeing ghosts after an eye transplant. It actually wasn't too bad for a PG-13 horror movie with a lead that could be out acted by a dead pigeon. If I'd gone through with my original idea Uncle Coldstone would have gotten an Eye transplant from the character Battlecat from He-Man followed by the normal hijinks you'd expect. Ah, missed opportunities. (Looks into the distance wistfully)
It's been a slow week for me updating wise. I'd been doing so well too. I think after back to back weekends of conventions with Baltimore Comic Con and SPX my tank was running on empty in the comic department. I've done a lot of work including a 15 panel strip for Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, but have not found the will to write a review until now. Sometimes the words just aren't there.
On top of all that is my day job. It's been pretty busy lately. Mostly because I've got one foot out the door. This time next week I will be a full time cartoonist or as the aristocrats say, "unemployed". Unemployed by choice though. Things just weren't working out and it was time to really give the comics thing a chance. Last month I gave my boss one months notice, promising I would stick around through the completion of a big project that needed the extra hands, but next Wednesday is my last day. Hopefully I'll regain some of that focus I lost the last couple of weeks.
Before I go, the auctions for the original art of Alice and Fletcher end tonight. Stay up late and get those last second bids in!
More updates to come including that monstrous Nick and Nora comic, SPX talk and more on the excitement and terror of being self employed in an economy that's crumbling around us. Thanks for reading.
Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V