Spike Jonze

April 7, 2011

Spike Jonze

Even though he has a dumb stage name, I think he’s the best of the music video guys-turned movie directors (though Romanek is catching up). His first two films are examples of substance over style, but Where the Wild Things Are was a failure. Spielberg is less subtle than this. This is the film: Bratty behavior. Get called on it. Act out. Allegorical conversation. Montage to the playlist of Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW. Repeat. Yes, being a kid can suck, but tell that story in something original and not from a beloved children’s book with over 45 years of history. I suggest Spike next make Green Eggs And Ham, but make it about molestation. Get back with Charlie Kaufman.

Being John Malkovich – Can you believe the cajones on this one? Malkovich’s best role yet (he’s ok in general, but his monotone voice can get annoying). Everyone was good in here. I even liked Cameron Diaz who was on a role playing some multi-layered characters (and then she threw it all away by being in Charlie’s Angels). This should’ve gotten the screenplay Oscar. American Beauty was good, but in no way was it a more original (or better) script than this.
Adaptation – Spike Jonze stole my idea. More than a decade ago I had the idea for being inside of a car as we see an oncoming vehicle hurtle towards it (inspired by an incident when I was a passenger in a car in Minneapolis). Of course, I never made such a scene or told anyone about it, but still. And now everyone uses that effect. It’s become the new “running away from an explosion” shot. Chris Cooper earned his Oscar. And Nic Cage was actually watchable for a change.

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