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June 28, 2011


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In retrospect, and what with its location shooting, political cynicism and blue-collar characters, 'Jaws' has a legitimate claim to be part of the same 'New Hollywood' it ostensibly helped end.


Jaws, T2, Jurassic Park, Die Hard, The Dark Knight...anything but this garbage.


"Had I had my wits about me a little more I could have mustered a good one-word answer: 'Jaws.'

Perfect response. I'm stealing the shit out of that.

Unkle Rusty

Yeah, Jaws didn't kill the New Hollywood, the marketing and distribution of Jaws did. Jaws, itself, is quite a humble little piece of work, relying on off-camera scares, performance, snappy dialogue...you know, film making and shit, for its everlasting power.


I'm also going to steal that line (I might have said E.T. instead, since that's my big summer Spielberg movie memory, but...). And in addition to what the others have said above, one other great thing about JAWS is how it seldom, if ever, insulted your intelligence. I don't understand people who think that "entertaining movies" and "movies that don't insult your intelligence" should be mutually exclusive.


ANYTHING but The Dark Knight. I'd rather watch Transformers 5: More Stuff before slogging my way through Chris Nolan's overwritten "masterpiece" again.


More good one-word answers:

Incredibles (bit of a cheat, was a fall release)
Raiders... (another cheat :-)

Pete Segall

Have they put Marina City across from the Wrigley Building and Trib Tower? Because that's just unacceptable. Unfuckingacceptable.


Speaking of Superman, Jaws, and Raiders, how about a little verisimilitude, some themes and dialogue geared towards anyone over 16, and an editor who wasn't raised on 10,000 hours of Halo and Grand Theft Auto.

The larger problem may well be any serious discussion of the 'Summer Movie' as though it was a season or a religious holiday. Jaws and Star Wars weren't 'summer movies', just movies who established a marketing plan.

Steven Segal

Yeah, but 'Jaws' sucks too. The better question is why do we (supposedly so desperately) need mindless entertainment? Summer or otherwise... is it that hard to think when the sun's out? I mean JP Melville's crime films are entertaining, couldn't those be great to watch in an AC filled matinee theater during a July? What about a prime era Argento?


this isn't my thread, but i'd dare say we've confused the desire to be delighted with the ravenous craving to be entertained. And if we're not entertained then we MUST be bored.

btw, to say that Jaws sucks is an overstatement. It's a good movie that understands both its form and the lives at play in it. It's not Melville but it has its own qualities.


'North by Northwest' was a summer release, beat that.



This is what movies are ALL ABOUT.


"Thousand Plateaus of the Anti-Epistemological Perplex of Optimus Prime"

As someone who just got out of academia with his mind and soul in tact, but not unscathed, this bit had me in stitches. Thanks, Glenn.

Tony Dayoub

I could list a number of reasons why some people misapprehend JAWS, its effect on movie marketing and its nearly unappreciable superiority over TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON but, to steal our host's expression, the direction of this extrapolation on his initial comparison is #fromengland

Tom Russell

"...and an editor who wasn't raised on 10,000 hours of Halo and Grand Theft Auto."

I'm assuming since HALO and GTA, like almost all video games, track their in-game action in long, wide-shot takes that you're privy to some epidemic of ten-minute master-shot blockbusters that I'm not. Otherwise, you're using the old "this movie is edited/shot like a video game" critique against films that, no, are edited nothing like video games.

Peter Damm

Speaking of the academy, it looks like Lex has boned up on his Laura Mulvey.


Tom, i'm sorry i didn't bring rigor to my video game comment. I guess I'm not as caught up on them as you. But your assessment rings of BS. "like almost all video games, track their in-game action in long, wide-shot takes that you're privy to some epidemic of ten-minute master-shot". Really? By your account Halo and "GTA" should feel like Bela Tarr films, but they don't. Do they? Use a better argument or show some generosity.


Today I watched 'Spetters', (Kitano's) 'Outrage' and 'Brand upon the brain!'. Laptop, fan (it is fucking hot) and cigars. That's a summer movie evening for me.

Tom Russell

Reno: You said that editors seem like they're brought up on 10,000 hours of video games-- the implication I read, and perhaps I'm misreading you, is that video games are responsible for the replacement of sense-of-space and mise-en-scene with rapid-fire close-ups. If that's not the argument you're making, than I apologize.

video games are *all about* sense of space. Halo is a first-person shooter, with each level presented in one long, contiguous take. There are no cuts, and certainly no cut-cut-cut-cut-cut. No disorienting close-ups. They are, indeed, "shot", and presented, and thus "edited" in super-long takes.

I'm sorry if I was ungenerous, but whether or not they "feel" like Bela Tarr films is irrelevant. My argument is to the formal aspects of video games, not to their "feel". Saying that today's crop of disorienting cut-cut-cut editors and directors are raised on, and thus taking their cues from, video games (and, again, if that's not what you were saying, I apologize) is an argument that makes no sense, because video games are *nothing* like that. At all.

Jeff McMahon

Anorexic narcissists aren't attractive, Lex.

Tom Russell

The funny thing is, I don't even like Halo or Grand Theft Auto.


Oh, yeah, and speaking of Mulvey's male gaze, who was that other guy who said that movies all come down to "a gun and a pretty girl"?

That's right, Jean-Luc Godard. Take that line as a statement that the MASTER of the French New Wave not only would give Monsieur Bay a rousing, awed thumbs-up, but basically there would BE no Michael Bay without Godard. Except Bay is better.

YEP YEP. Also: LOOK. AT. HER. Do you not go to movies to see chicks you want to bang? I know I do. Only thing would make it better is if THE FOX was in it too and they had a LITTLE CATFIGHT then made up and scissors each other while wearing heels.


Bilge Ebiri

You know who I miss? Rachael Taylor, the OTHER girl from the first Transformers movie. She was a lot more alluring than either The Fox or the Not Fox.

Nice review, Glenn. I chuckled mightily at the "It blinds! It deafens!" remark.


Yes, we all know Bay is a worthy disciple of Jean-Luc. Only a certain corageous NY film critic dared to say it aloud for us.

Still, Lex... LOOK. AT. HER. In that particular photo, not elsewhere where she appears to be, well, attractive, and not weirdly distorted and bloated. Tell me those bags below her eyes aren't going to explode the next second. Tell me those cheekbones, as lighted there, aren't going to collapse due to the strain required to form that moronic expression of awe. Tell me they didn't have a less disturbing photo of her to unleash on the world.

Tell me, please.

Sal C

Glenn - When you wrote "counterintuitive raver" is this EXACTLY the type of review you were anticipating?


@ Sal C: As oppossed to the "post-graduate academic realm", which I guess refers to those reviews of Lady Gaga videos at Slant, or that counter-thing on 'Sucker punch', or the entire 'Music' section.

Still, kudos for the 'Film' section. Keep it up.

Glenn Kenny

@ Sal C: Actually, that's kind of funny because...well, I sat next to Andrew at the screening last night and we were both a little giddy before, during and after (we had to rush down to the Regal from Lincoln Square after "Larry Crowne"). So I may have influenced his notice a little bit. I'm pretty sure that "crank it up to 11" line re Bay's instructions to projectionists was one of mine...but as you'll note, we both use pretty much the exact same kicked in our reviews. What are you going to do.

That Fuzzy Bastard

@ Tom: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Video games are the last pop-culture holdout of the long take, and it's endlessly maddening to see them blamed for what is quite obviously a music-video and cell-phone influence. As you rightly say, GRAND THEFT AUTO is all about continuous space; I would love to see a movie where the world was as detailed and defined as, say, Los Santos.

Dan Coyle

Outing myself as a Transformers nerd, I would like to point out that crowbaring American history into the mythology like Kruger and Bay have done here was never a part of any TF stuff until now. I don't why I feel the need to say that, but I do. I'm just as offended and disgusted by it as Glenn is.

What's mindblowing about the collection of scenes Kruger called a plot is that you have to pretend the last movies didn't happen in order for it to work. How the hell did Simmons and Sector 7 NOT know about what was on the moon?

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