First Impressions

 Ah the first blog post, arriving far, far later than what was academically expected of me. So: I’m Jenah/ that copyrighted picture of Howard the Duck playing the guitar I’m 20. I live in the most beautiful city in South Africa (or so I’m told) land of the wine (or so I am told), I don’t know about any of this stuff because I am primarily stuck behind a  desk. I can however see bloody Table Mountain through the window above my desk. I promise that this narcissistic rant has a purpose. The reason that I am stuck behind said desk for every  waking  (I sleep there too) moment of my life is because I attend the University of Cape Town, believed by some proud Ikeys to be the best university in Africa. BUT as a second year film and journalism student, I am perfectly underqualified to run a blog that is focused on the true love of my life, terrible movies.

I have always been the rare sort of creature who preferred reading about films to actually watching them. I had just finished reading Pet Sematary for the fifth time, and, having exhausted the content of my own bookshelves, decided to move onto that of my parents. Whilst snooping through my dad’s study I came across the thick gray book that would become my bible and irrevocably alter the course of my life: The Empire Film Guide. I flipped through its 1136 pages of film reviews and drew a pencil star next to every film that Empire had given… one star. With these guidelines, I knew to always go to the discount bin at the crappy video store where I worked for R15 an hour, for five hours without bathroom breaks. But it was in that soiled shop, constantly smelling like fried chicken from the KFC next door that I found them. the films that will be analyzed on this blog. The 80s blessed me with`Howard The Duck & Mac and Me. The shade Goddess Queen Mariah Carey bestowed upon me her two greatest gifts to cinema: Gigli and Glitter, The minimum wage was worth it, even if only to extend my twisted personal cineliteracy. The man with an egg on his face who serves as the feature image of this page is in reference to the idiom: “egg on your face,” meaning someone, (in this case an actor or director) who looks foolish as a result of their actions.

 

Although this first blog post falls outside of the confines of the bad movie review that forms the basis of its content, it is important to provide this context. There are countless film opinion sites on the blogosphere, and it is thus very hard to distinguish oneself from the masses. Cinematic Musings was designed to give a personal and humorous perspective on terrible filmmaking, although it will be using ScreenRants 25 Worst films list as a guideline. To continue with this post’s deviation from said guideline, a little bit of discussion over the last terrible movie I saw: The Brothers Grimsby. I must confess that I could not get through the entire film, as the elephant scene left me too queasy to keep watching. Sacha Baron Cohen( the star of the film) has led a highly paradoxical film career due to his boundary-breaking humor, with Borat at the top of the comedic apex and Grimsby at the bottom. His character, Nobby, reunites with his long-lost brother, an M16 Agent on the run from hired assassins. A simple enough premise, but what earns the film a space on the worst film rankings is its reliance on the exploitation of stereotypes. Particularly African stereotypes, which come across as crass, racist and classist. For some reason, the excellent Gabourey Sidibe, who is American, stars as an African maid with the worst Zulu accent seen on screen since Blood Diamond.

Photo via New York Times

 

The film represents the extreme laziness of bad filmmaking. Rather than being ‘edgy,’ or pushing the envelope, Grimsby’s plot and jokes just come across as insulting the intelligence of its viewers. But directors would do well to remember that their audiances ultimately talk with their wallets, and the dismal box-office performance of the film shows that.

 

Anyway, here’s the promised elephant scene if you really, realllllly want to watch it:

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