Friday, May 23, 2008

Connaisseur Obligé - examining the snob

Ah, starting a new project. The enthusiasm mixed with uncertainty that goes with it… There’s something particularly comforting about watching something born. Even critics.

Here is an example. Judging by the archive, it looks like this particular blogger is just starting his walk down the movie-blogging road. And since the actor in question had a recent movie opening, nothing more natural than making a quick reprisal of the actor’s past work. BUT, there’s an issue: obviously, the blogger is certainly not interested in tarnishing his image among the movie buff elite. After all, you don’t want to start in the wrong way.
Any other actor would most likely deserve a fair assessment of his work. Not when the actor is named "Keanu Reeves", though. True to the class the blogger wishes to belong to, as any self respecting movie connaisseur would do, Keanu Reeves shall not be consistently analysed: Keanu Reeves shall be slugged.
And in this aspect, one has to congratulate the blogger. If the blogging community was all concentrated in one big building, he would be getting the pats on the back of his seniors for a job well done. Or at least a nice try.

Nothing better than a hasty, awkward mash between completely different parts and force them in to a diffuse mass. Because Keanu Reeves HAS to be bad. No matter what. No matter the variety of parts he has played, no matter the years he has worked, no matter who he has worked with, no matter the importance of some of the movies he stared in, no matter if he “has the charisma to play the leading man in any script he wants (…), has the power to make most any movie into box office gold, (…) enough credit to sell the tickets to any movie by simply attaching his name to the project.” Yes, the blogger actually started off in a positive note. Fortunately for him and his street-cred, the blogger quickly revised his first lines. Suddenly, all the characters are the same. Suddenly, the insecure, questioning, concerned Neo is nothing but a sarcastic, sure of himself, tired old bastard like his psychological doppelganger Constantine, which in turn is just like the robust but sensible cop Jack Traven. No, forget the fact that Constantine is seemingly frail due to a deadly illness, and looks like a gush of wind might blast him through a window: he most certainly could run off in a football field, tackle every single player and score a touchdown in The Replacements. In fact, I’ll raise you two more: the surfer in The Gift’s redneck, and the dude in the suave, elegant doctor in Something’s Gotta Give.
Contradicting and absurd analysis, perhaps? No? Maybe a little bit strange… Well, this is what movie junior-blogger is defending, and truth be told, he is not straying from what the hot-shot critics over at the press usually sell. After all, he’s in the clear, when making such strange mashes, because, after all, he’s scribbling about “Keanu Reeves”.

The premise of the junior-blogger: the actor doesn’t make an effort. In fact, this thesis is somewhat clear on the deceivingly positive initial notes: Reeves “simply has to attach is name”; nothing more than that. Because it’s not like he is “even trying”. It’s not like he put his career on the line by going for The Matrix after the failure of Johnny Mnemonic, both movies with philosophies that could have looked similar to the general public, and thus automatically refused. Or risking his health and straining his body to play Neo. Or taking the chance of playing a homosexual character in a time long before the more open minds that received Brokeback Mountain; or taking pay check cuts to allow other actors to join in like with Gene Hackman in The Replacements. Because "Reeves gives you different shades of the same guy he regurgitates over and over". How a scope from innocent lamb to sarcastic wolf is just a "shade", it's left unexplained. It's like reducing, for example, Depp to "shades of weirdo", or Al Pacino to "shades of open-eyed hysteria", or Jack Nicholson to "shades of cynicism". But stop right there: this is something you, the starting movie blogger, must certainly not do: touch the sacred-monsters. For your trashing purposes, leave it on Reeves. Maybe this “same guy” deal comes from the fact that, with varying degrees in sturdiness, all the mentioned characters are tall, dark-haired, and with chinese eyes. As if a “shade” of a character can be reduced to short hair. To looks. To “attempt to change his speech, mannerisms, or walk for different roles”. But let’s grant this, at least. After all, that too is a part of what constitutes acting. And for a change, let's let the man in question cover this aspect (Youtube spot - ignore the giggling, go to 00:31).

And, in a heart-warming circle pat-on-the-back, here we have it: "He is the semi-spaced out surfer dude the gives 'whoa' new meaning." Now, where did I hear that one before? Congratulations. You're part of the gang! Funny how this particular blogger complains about "following formulas", though.

And I walk out of the blog with the confidence of what to expect from present and future critics.

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