I don't have time to get into this right now ... finishing up a batch of paper grading ... but at some point, I have to turn my critique of a certain kind of art back onto myself. I'm v.inconsistent ... I get pissed off at the showy excellence of a Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and talk as if I have a stick up my butt when it comes to attempts to be "arty," but then I like stuff like Orson Welles and John Woo and Kathryn Bigelow, all of whom have made a lot of films that rub the audience's nose in their technique. I'll get to this eventually ... it may be something as simple as my old theory that first we decide whether or not we like something, then we concoct reasons to justify how we feel ... but it's worth pursuing.
To put it another way, I have a handful of movies I'm hoping to watch this week, and Vengeance is the only one that is truly ambitious, which means I admire it in ways I won't with the other movies. So why am I so hard on it, compared to, say, Mr. 3000, which I also am going to try and see sometime this week? (Perhaps the mid-range between artsy ambition and box-office chasing is Tank Girl, which is also on my This Week list.)