Posted: August 13, 2006 in The Roper Files


Seen a good movie lately? I sure the hell haven’t. Or if I did, it’s only because I dug a DVD out of the File23 archives and put it on.Before I go any further, let me ask you this…ever been to LA? It’s candy-coated on TV and in the movies with a sweet, sugary coating of fast sports cars, beautiful blondes, beaches, palm trees and stores and nightclubs dripping with marble and neon. 

Allow me to key-job the surface and show you what’s really underneath. If you get a window seat on the plane and watch as you descend through the cirrus and cumulus clouds the first thing you see is the horizon-to-horizon cityscape and it’s no doubt undeniably, genuinely exciting. Landing at LAX you get off the jet, stroll through the terminal, get outside and…hey, what’s that smell?

It’s called smog, stupid. Get used to it; it’s your first souvenir. It’ll stick in your clothes so bad, you’ll get home, open up your suitcase and want to burn it and the clothes. And you’ll stop wondering where SEINFELD got the idea for the low-flow shower heads episode when you take a shower, don’t say I didn’t warn you. State law; gotta have ’em. Because of this, I think BO is the official State Smell. It’s everywhere. Walking down their packed-as-sardines sidewalks on any crowded avenue, the thick cloud of body odor digs trenches and sets up a base camp in my sinuses that won’t go away until I leave.

The Govenator should pass a law demanding that once a week everyone put down their cellphones and laptops, pick up a snow shovel, broom and a trash bag and clean up the damn place. The nicest neighborhoods have trash piled up to the curbs. While dining in the backyard of friends I watched rats the size of squirrels scurrying down the phone and electrical wires, obviously their rodent version of the 101 or the 405.

THIS is Americas’ entertainment capitol. Which is part of the reason why I haven’t gone to a theater and sat through a film in two years. Think of all the Barton Finks, Ed Woods and Quentin Tarantino-wannbes who sojourn there all year, every year in hopes of writing the Great American Screenplay. For all the money and drugs that flow through there and for all their state-of-the-art production facilities, Hollywood hasn’t produced a film I could sit through all the way in the last two years.

And on those rare occasions when they do, it’s almost like an accident, a fluke. How’d that happen?

Going to the movies these days is like paying premium prices to watch a cartoon; most of what you’re watching is CGI. Everything is digitally manipulated so heavily, very little of what was actually filmed makes it to the screen. Nobody in real life looks like the people in Hollywood films; no one.

Don’t get me wrong. Every once in a while Hollywood gets it right. I liked GHOST WORLD. I liked AMERICAN SPLENDOR. I liked O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?

I even liked SIN CITY, in spite of its multi-layed CGI.

But I’m sick of re-makes and sequels no one wanted to see. I’m tired of models, wrestlers, rappers and other people who have no business in movies being offered to me as actors and actresses. I’m weary of films whose subject matter is in no way “urban” but has nothing but rap on the soundtrack. I LOATHE movies that star ex-SNL stars; these people should NEVER be given 90 minutes worth of celluloid for their 5 minutes worth of material, ever. And Hollywood has obviously exhausted all their ideas when they’ve gone and turned my favorite TV Land shows into movies. What’s next, HEE HAW – THE MOTION PICTURE?

Sorry, but I’ll take the old black and white KING KONG over that CGI f—fest anyday; it had charm, something that doen’t exist in movies today and CAN’T be CGI’d.

I hear they’re even re-making DAY OF THE DEAD. Why? Most of my favorite directors are people like George Romero who work outside the Hollywood system and now even they’re not safe anymore due to the creative vacuum.

If that’s the best you can do, then to Hell with you, Hollywood. You can stretch the stretch marks, pile on the make-up and the toupees, but you fool nobody.

You’re an old wore-out dinosaur, a geriatric Frankenstein gone more senile than amuck. Remember how comical Mae West and Liberace looked towards The End?

You’re worse, much worse and it ain’t pretty.


August 2006


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