A recent Steve Newton blogpiece on Uwe Boll has me thinking about how certain filmmakers, once they alienate critics, can have a hell of a time repairing their reputation.
Rampage is one of the most gleefully misanthropic films I've seen, starring the highly talented Canadian actor Brendan Fletcher as a man in homemade body armor who goes on a shooting spree in a small town. I admit that it adds to the fun for me that the film was shot in Maple Ridge, the small town where I grew up, nurtured my own misanthropic fantasies, and where I now find myself stuck, but I think anyone with a taste for darker cinema would have a lot of fun with it. Katherine Isabelle, currently enjoying some buzz for American Mary, is in it, too!
Lady In The Water (24% on Rottentomatoes) and The Last Airbender (a staggering 6%) are, by me, brilliantly entertaining, visually rich, and highly inventive and original films. It's no great mystery that Lady In The Water failed to impress critics, of course: Shyamalan, ass still sore after the drubbing he received for his previous film The Village - admittedly one of his weaker efforts - offers a return salvo in the movie, in the character of an arrogant, wrongheaded film critic (delightfully played by a stuffy Bob Balaban, pictured below) whose presumptions about storytelling nearly lead to disaster, and who suffers, as a result, A Very Nasty Fate, which Shyamalan clearly enjoys immeasurably. It takes a certain type of film critic to not take the bait, there - and a certain type of independent-mindedness to be willing to even approach the film, when almost everyone professionally writing about it assures you it's lousy. In fact, it's so entertaining - Paul Giamatti is great in it, too - that everyone I know who has actually seen it has expressed nothing but bewilderment that it should be so savagely treated by reviewers. It's no great work of cinema, but it certainly deserves more respect than it got.