My Architect: i don’t feel mad or sad that i gave some put-upon box office kid $5 to see this movie. i feel great that i creeped out the high school kid working at the concession stand by looking at the menu (which had beer on it) and saying excitedly “you guys have beer! that’s great” and then grinning at her like a jackass and then ordering a diet coke and demanding my free bargain monday popcorn. my feelings on the actually movie are more complicated– the deal with this documentary edutainment is that the guy in question who directed and is the main guy in his own film, his dad did not marry his mother or be a part of his life and did this to two other families as well, although to his minor credit he did at least marry one of the three women he had a kid with. now, this type of thing is sort of frowned upon, but then the guy’s dad, as the guy spends the entire movie reiterating, was like the jeff george of modernist architects or something. by which i mean he had like 7 out of possible 5 tools except he was also a mildly retarded philanderer. i dont feel bad laying out the plot, because you get that much within the first 30 seconds. but then the rest of the movie is pretty much this guy finding people who knew his dad and surprising them by saying “i am your former coworkers bastard son!” and they either give him a hug and share a tender anecdote, or nod politely, or in the case of the one crazy fucking 9339058 year old guy, swear a bunch and remind him in no uncertain terms that his dad was a real fucker. then at the end he finds an indian guy and a bangladeshi guy to tell him that his dad was a fucker, but damn, look at this building. and then there is no more movie. i don’t get it, and i am not sure that i missed what there was to get, but this movie was not unpleasant or loud. but the only two songs on the soundtrack were “long may you run” by neil young (or whatever the name of the song is that has that as a chorus) and beethoven’s 5th symphony. get more songs next time.
The Alamo: my first critical reaction to this film was that Jason patric’s head obviously weighs approx 70 lbs given its size proportionate to the rest of his body. phase segundo of my critical response was they sure were taking a long time to start blowing shit up and dying all over the place. at that point my brain pretty much shut down. it wasn’t as bad as all that, but it was close. i was worried they were going to do everything they could to paint the mexicans as standins for arabs or something– like throw in a totally unreasoned Arab sidekick guy who is like santa anna’s weather guru or something a la Morgan Freeman in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (although he did fine by me in that). but they didn’t and there was even a Token Mexican fighting for the white man, and santa anna even had a bonus Reasonable Evil Mexican who constantly reminds him of his hubris/inhumanity until someone sticks a sword through his head in the last part of the movie. but those are extremely minor redemptions. for a brief five minutes, i thought the movie was going to end on a great note. i thought the take home message was : “nothing, especially a shithole like Texas, is worth dying for, but if you are contractually obligated to die, it is your soverieign right to kill as many people as you like before you go, but don’t go off thinking texas or the alamo were good things. these people were drunk perverts and would shit on you if they had the option.” unfortunately, there were another 30 minutes in which they edit the message to be: “if something goes wrong for you or the state of texas, find a mexican and kill him.” so boooo on the alamo. but 1 star for correct use of billy bob thornton and giving him a a good one liner for when he dies (“i have to warn you, i’m a screamer”) and another .25 star for not impugning all mexicans, just most of them.