While I don’t think it was anywhere near best-movie-ever-made status, there was a lot I enjoyed about it compared to your average sf movie, which as a genre I mostly hate. Seriously the amount of sf films I think are okay (in a non-camp way) is very very small. Sunshine gave me a mission to save the world without big long speeches about saving humanity, uniformly good acting, no boredom, plus it was pretty.
What I didn’t like were the standard annoying Hollywoodisms, like, and here come the spoilers, the saboteur captain of the previous mission turning out to be a near invincible monster straight out of any bog standard slasher movie. Yawn. They didn’t need to do that. The disaster wreaked on them by going off to salvage the previous mission was more than enough to keep things tense. Also there wasn’t enough world building to make me really care about the world saving, or enough time spent with the characters to know who they were, and thus care about them.
But that problem had more to do with the format than anything else. Increasingly movies just aren’t doing it for me. They’re too short and—especially the Hollywood ones—too constrained by their genre and dumb rules like the baddie-must-be-a-superhuman-monster which destroyed, for example, Wes Craven’s Red Eye.
I saw Ratatouille recently and while I could see why there’s been such a fuss—technically it was amazing—it just didn’t do it for me. There wasn’t enough stuff. Plus all the rats were male—how did they reproduce? While it was supposed to be all about food and cooking there were precious little details making that cooking come alive. I couldn’t tell what the ingredients were most of the time and the rescue of the soup made no sense in terms of any cooking I’ve ever done. I didn’t buy it. I can see the charm but, well, it didn’t charm me.
I cannot remember the last time I loved a new movie.
But I can tell you the last television show I fell for: Flight of the Conchords. Singing Kiwis in New York! Making mock of Australians (occasionally). What more could I ask for?
Right now tellie is doing it for me in a way that cinema just ain’t. You’ve got your Deadwood, The Wire, Rome, Weeds, The Sopranos, Big Love. Go back a little further and there’s Prime Suspect, Cracker, Blue Murder, Homicide: Life on the Streets and my recently discovered love, American Gothic. I don’t rent or buy movies hardly at all anymore—I want discs and discs of television goodness. Otherwise why bother?
Movies have become the deeply unsatisfying short form and television the deeply satisfying long form. I want arc, I want character development, I want to be surprised and wooed. I’m getting all of that from the best tv right now, but not from the best movies. (Unless they’re a series like Infernal Affairs.)
Sunshine isn’t a bad movie, neither was Ratatouille, but, wow, are neither of them a patch on even the mediocre tellie shows like Dexter or Entourage.
Am I alone?