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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: Oscar grubbing

Pretty, pretty pictures and pretty, pretty movies stars who think they’re Important: is there anything more risible? From my review of The Last Samurai:

Behold the Prestige Picture(TM), the moviegoing experience that lets people who don’t want to be surprised at the movies feel like they’re seeing an Important Film about important things like Honor and Respect and Love and War and Poetry and History. So of course there’s nothing in the least bit challenging or unexpected in The Last Samurai. Like all Prestige Pictures, it’s Important-Lite, all beautiful, vapid visuals and entirely predictable emotional sweep and a movie star getting down in the mud and Acting. The Last Samurai is a starving-artist painting to hang in the living room of your mind because it matches the sofa there and doesn’t clash with your status quo and never demands anything of you except that you tell it once in a while how pretty it is while it reinforces everything you already think you know. The film is so innocuous that it’s barely even there, blending into the beige walls of inoffensive mediocrity.

review of The Last Samurai, posted 12.05.03

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