Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Harsh criticism

Uwe Boll, that misunderstood cinematic genius, recently followed through on his threats. Back in June, Boll challenged critics who had spoken badly about his films to step into a boxing ring with him. Four critics responded, and boxed Boll in what they believed to be a publicity stunt.

A short time later, after the dust had cleared, Boll had knocked out all four, and the "publicity stunt" was unveiled as an obviously deranged individual attacking his harshest critics in the only way he knew how.

Who knew that German directors had that much in common with American Presidents?

But I digress. Boll, like a good percentage of filmmakers, has been panned by the critics. His films tend to be sloppy and faithless translations of video games; games that, while popular, don't truly carry enough of a plot within themselves to deserve a full feature film. This is part of the nature of games. Yes, there are those rare few that are rich with story and characterization, and can be translated, at least partially, onto the big screen. However, most should be avoided, as surely as one would avoid that last piece of bread that somehow got wedged into the back of the fridge weeks ago. They were fresh at the time of their initial release, but trying to put them into a new package only showcases the mold that has grown on the story.

That being said, in the hands of a skilled director, even the oldest story can be made new and receive that vital influx of life it needs to appeal to any audience, let alone a new one. As we've recently learned, the only thing that Boll is truly skilled at is boxing against people that have no actual training in the sport (he does). He also decided to take out his anger over the bad reviews against a bunch of internet critics, including one 17 year-old kid. Somehow, this doesn't fill me with confidence that he'll be able to film something better than House of the Dead ever in his lifetime.

The most telling piece of the entire story would have to be the quote issued by an overly smug Boll after everything was said and done. "Now they are brain dead and they will like my movies," the director stated. That pretty much admits the extent of Boll's talents. He creates movies that only the brain dead can truly enjoy, because anyone with higher level thinking will realize schlock when they see it, and will avoid such films like a special brand of plague.

The problem is that Boll even overestimates himself here. The brain dead will watch movies directed by the Wayans brothers, but even they'll pass on Uwe Boll. There are levels to what even zombies can put up with.

Boll has been mentioned in the same breath as Ed Wood in times past. The problem with that comparison is that Ed Wood, while a horrible director, had a vision that was all his own, and had a certain level of genius about him. Ed Wood's films can even be watchable, in the right mood. The right mood for watching a Uwe Boll film is catatonic... and even that isn't quite bad enough.

So cheers, "Raging" Boll. Maybe you've found a new career people won't immediately scoff at.

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