By: Hawk Ripjaw –
I often get reprimanded for my common anecdote that “Spike Lee is the Imagine Dragons of filmmakers.” I usually have to clarify that this refers specifically to consistency. Both Spike Lee and the band Imagine Dragons have an output that is bizarrely diverse. Lee’s movies run the gamut between “I really appreciate that movie and the message it was telling” and “What kind of asshole would make a movie like that.” The songs of Imagine Dragons likewise range from “That was very catchy and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it” to “I want to drive my car off of the nearest overpass because that song was everything that is wrong with millennial culture.” As far as BlacKkKlansman is concerned, Spike Lee is almost definitely about to land in the former camp this time. This movie looks great. The aesthetic feels authentic to the time period. It has apparent shades of Blaxploitation. Everything feels absolutely locked down. A big middle finger to white supremacists is always a major plus. It’s been a long time since I’ve truly enjoyed “A Spike Lee Joint,” but I think I’m past due for loving one.
Really though, can you even go wrong with John David Washington and Adam Driver?
Don’t you just hate the feeling of really, really liking an actor but having trouble working up the motivation to see a movie that looks like a real piece of shit? I think Adam Pally is hilarious and kind of adorable. He won me over with his audition tape for The Tonight Show, and furthermore with his wacky interviews where he wears a costume and/or can’t let the interview flow too far without acting like a good-natured jackass. The guy’s just great. Unfortunately, despite my love for him (and for the equally-adorable Nina Dobrev), I am finding it uncomfortably difficult to find any modicum of desire to go see this. I’m also probably the biggest dog person I know, but why does that mean I should want to see dog movies? I hate dog movies. There’s nothing a dog can do in a movie that a dog in real life can’t do more adorably. This does not look very funny, it certainly doesn’t look very adorable, and it’s almost definitely everything I probably hate in a dramedy. And is it just me, or does that trailer briefly spoil the (admittedly obvious) conclusion to every character arc?
Weirdly, The Meg is another example of me really liking the people involved but being really wary of the quality. Unlike Dog Days, I’m actually cautiously optimistic about this movie because it really could go either way. The cast is surprisingly stacked: Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson, Li Bingbing, Cliff Curtis, Ruby Rose—the list goes on. I don’t actually like this trailer very much, because it doesn’t appear to know what sort of movie it would like to sell. The way it’s edited feels weirdly suspicious, like this is either a very serious movie with a trailer making it look fun, or a very fun movie with a trailer edited to make it look serious. I can’t get a read on it, and it makes me uncomfortable. I’m going to have to have faith that Jason Statham and Rainn Wilson’s presence here will push it more into the fun territory, but I still have my suspicion that this reeks of studio interference.
If I can have just one instance of Jason Statham punching a shark, I will be happy.
I’ve come to a realization after seeing last year’s disastrously, hilariously terrible horror movie The Bye Bye Man: I have a profound appetite for shitty horror movies with urban legend supernatural beings that murder people. I know that Slenderman is vague enough to make for a shitty horror movie. I know that it’s been long enough since Slenderman’s height of exposure that that this will be a shitty horror movie. I know that having Sylvain White (The Losers) at the helm will make this a good-looking, but still shitty horror movie. I just want this to be a massive piece of shit that I can laugh at. I know that’s a really terrible thing to say about a creative project that a bunch of people spent time, money, and effort on. But that would require me to believe that a movie about a nearly-decade old urban legend that looks like a pastiche of Japanese horror remakes is intended for anything besides profit. So fuck that.
Also, I’m weirdly put off by how the monster’s name is two words here. I suppose that either one works, but Slenderman feels like a strange monster, while Slender Man sounds like an Eddie Redmayne drama. It’s not about a monster anymore, it’s a Oscar-bait remake of Thinner. Which might be a better movie than this.