Mr. Bill George Presents

TIAW On Hiatus

In Site on March 9, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Hello Friends.

Thank you for supporting me and this site for the length of its existence. While I’ve enjoyed writing for it, I’ve really loved bringing in other minds and making it a collaborative effort.

However, given the format (long-form essay) it has been a challenge maintaining a consistent stream of content. And instead of updating the site once a month, I’d rather just say goodbye. If a thing can’t be done right, it isn’t worth doing at all.

I have already moved my efforts over to a new web endeavor entitled: Should I Go See It?

I encourage you to check it out, bookmark it, add it to your RSS reader, leave comments, whatever.

Hope you all enjoyed the ride. Perhaps you’ll hear from us again at this location, but not in the foreseeable future.

Thanks again.

-Mr. Bill George, Founder / Editor / Contributor


‘Up In The Air’ (And Other Movie Talk)

In Film on January 1, 2010 at 5:31 PM

I think it’s fair to say I see a lot of movies.

And to be honest, I like a lot of them. As I get older, I find myself liking what I see more and more and there are a few reasons for that. One, I’m starting more and more to look for value than for criticism. I feel no need to validate myself by pointing out flaws. Focusing on the positive is much more productive. A.K.A. I’m going soft in my old age.

Secondly, I select what I see based on what I’m interested in and what I’m predetermined to like. I used to see movies just for the sake of seeing them and being able to review them, which lead to a lot of wasted time and unnecessary aggravation.

Finally, I think movies are getting a bit better as well. It just feels like more things are coming out that I’m into than before. (Obviously I have no way to substantiate that claim or back it up, it just feels that way.)

With all that being said, only a few movies (out of the many hundreds that I really like or love) have truly spoken to me. Only a choice group have affected and actually changed me.

Don’t get me wrong, Casino Royale, Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes are entertainment of the highest caliber and I adore them, but I don’t think differently or live life differently because of them or their message.

But there are some movies that once you see them, you cannot picture a time before them. I can’t imagine what life was like when I hadn’t seen Batman Begins or Vanilla Sky. Those are just two examples and they may seem like odd choices but I’m sure you have your own. I’m not saying Vanilla Sky deserved Best Picture, I’m merely saying that I, Bill George, connected with it. There are some others (Apollo 13, A Few Good Men, About Schmidt, Cast Away) but today, I am adding another one to the list:

Up in the Air

I would write a straight review for it but I’ll spare you the pure gushing that would ensue. In a nutshell: not only was the movie technically sound, scratch that, flawless, but the script was astounding and Clooney’s performance was masterful. I hung on every word, every image, every sound, every cue.

But the best part is: I can’t really explain why. It just spoke to me. I’m sure it had to do with the brilliance of all the aspects listed above combined with my general personality and everything that has happened in my life leading up to the point of viewing. But it isn’t worth pinpointing, sufficed to say the film is now a part of me. A part of my life.

I don’t know how others have reacted to it or will react to it, and I certainly can’t guarantee the same results, but it earns my highest recommendation. See it as soon as possible.

A Tale Of Two Blockbusters

In Film on December 25, 2009 at 11:55 PM

Twice in recent weeks I’ve visited the cineplex to watch the latest blockbusters Hollywood has to offer. First, I witnessed James Cameron’s opus Avatar. (And yes, I did see it in 3D.) While moments ago I finished watching Sherlock Holmes, the latest Guy Ritchie film and Robert Downey Jr. vehicle.

While both are ‘big’ movies with not an insignificant amount of marketing power behind them (more so in the case of the former) they both left indelibly different tastes in my mouth and only one demands a subsequent viewing: Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes succeeds in a number of places that Avatar fails. Most importantly having a strong lead actor playing a mesmerizing character, coupled with a riveting and thought provoking narrative. Granted, Avatar is a visual marvel and is aesthetically stunning. The motion capture, the 3D, the amount of detail. There’s never been anything like it before. Period. (But Holmes is no slouch either, with Ritchie providing a nice stylization all his own.)

However, at the end of Holmes I felt fulfilled. While Avatar left me empty. The story was so dragged out and shallow that I’m convinced the film as a whole will not stand the test of time as anything more than a tech demo.

Where Avatar was a feast for the eyes, Holmes was a feast for the mind. It’s a smart movie with clever plotting and an unmistakable wit, all the while being carried by a leading man who is nothing short of riveting. Downey Jr. is an inspired choice to play the titular character, capturing Holmes’ essence in a way no other actor could. And his chemistry with Jude Law’s Dr. Watson is enthralling.

Every piece of Avatar‘s story has been done before in other movies and done better. So many of the subplots and twists are cliches and even the dialogue feels stale. Yet everything in Holmes feels fresh and adventurous.

I understand I’m being very vague and I apologize for it. Part of the reason is because I don’t want to delve into too much detail surrounding either film so has not to spoil any part of them. The other reason is that my feelings stretch far beyond words. I can’t adequately describe how amazing Sherlock Holmes made me feel, bizarre as it sounds, but I know it did move me. And let’s just say Avatar had no such effect.

What did everyone else think? Sound off in the comments.