Monday, January 12, 2009

BURN HOLLYWOOD BURN (or: HORTON HEARS...oh, i hope you all just FRY IN HELL)

so, i've got a million things i ought to be doing... laying out a book of my "early work" that's due from Fantagraphics this summer, finishing Sammy #2, finishing 2 new songs, getting isaac out of diapers and into BIG BOY UNDERWEAR, lesson plans, and oh yes the american economy (and the comic book/ publishing industry along with it) is heading straight down the shitter, etc etc etc yadda yadda yadda.
...and not only THAT, but there's actually a great number of wonderful things that i've been MEANING to write about on this blog lately; and YET, here i am, so HONKED OFF that all i can think to do is BLOG ABOUT IT.
yeah, NOW you're with me: ok fine then i'll TELL YOU.
from the beginning then-- anyone who's even had a passing glance at the aforementioned Sammy The Mouse comic i'm working on (and will be working on for the next 8 years...) knows that, among a great many other things, it's got a lot of... things i took in before i knew what "ART" was, you know? things from childhood. stuff you loved before the world turned you rotten with things like "taste" and "intelligence" and "critical faculties". and i'm not saying this is even a CONSCIOUS decision on my part, it just seems like that's what i'm vomiting up (so to's actually NOT unpleasant at all, like vomiting is). i don't know the what or why of it, but i'm sure becoming a dad and re-experiencing all the childhood stuff through the filter of ADULTHOOD has a lot to do with it.
which is a long explanation of my newfound love and appreciation of the genius of Ted Giesel, aka Dr. Suess.
like i said, anyone who's seen Sammy can probably see it from a mile off, but...really; the stuff is absolutely AMAZING.
isaac and i read a Suess book every night before bed, an i've certainly got my favorites, but each time we crack a new one, it's got some moment in it that's just astounding; i mean, the guy was SMART.
but here's the thing: he was smart enough to not have to SHOW IT; the cleverness on display never detracts from the point of the book, and most importantly, there is NEVER a sense that Suess is PANDERING, or talking down to his readers, or... whatever. there's a... respectfulness that's pretty striking, even in the odd book where he's...making a "point". this, to my mind, is also why the books are/ were so successful: they're HONEST. kids have a radar for that stuff, and they respond to the real thing. and "the real thing" is a note that Dr. Suess hit just about every time.
so. Horton. the elephant.
"Horton Hatches an Egg": A+ MATERIAL.
isaac and i made a special trip to the bookstore this past weekend and paid $15 (which is actually kind of big spend in this family) for a BRAND NEW (i know, it's insane; who would pay FULL PRICE for a Suess book? there's like, 350 MILLION of them IN PRINT...someone who really wanted a good copy from which to-- ahem-- "reference" the drawing, i guess...) for "Horton Hears A Who".
and, right. at the SAME TIME, this MOVIE VERSION has just come out recently on DVD. and while i'm out getting diapers at Target (see above, toilet training) or whatever, i keep seeing this DVD and thinking, well heck; i remember this movie got pretty resoundingly good reviews when it came out ( i don't know how may of you rely on Metacritic like i do, but a 71 on that site actually carries quite a bit of weight with me...), and at $14 i should probably just pick it up. but for whatever reason, i didn't. i didn't purchase it.
and so last night. returning overdue movies (one of which was American Psycho, which was also really underwhelming); there it is, and i think: this'll be great. isaac an i can watch this together.
and, finally, the point of all this:
ok, sure, some of the animation "bringing Suess' world to life" was neat to look at, but...seriously, i'm too old to be expressing myself in this kind of terminology, but FUCK YOU PEOPLE, YOU PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS THING.
you gotta take this thing, this simple, sweet little thing about the idea that "A person's a person, no matter how small", and "update" it? add new subplots and characters and get Jim Carrey to do "crazy comedic riffing" all over the thing, make Horton all wisecracking and IRONIC, folks who "wrote" this thing have got to pull in every stupid-assed bullshit hollywood storytelling trope from out of the trashcan to make this thing fly?
and, look, i know-- what do i expect? this is, by and large, what hollywood does. it's what they ARE. and...yeah, i ALSO know; there's a MILLION people and factors involved in the making of a movie like this, and a hell of a lot of people, amazingly TALENTED people pouring their hearts into the thing.
but, you gotta have all the characters do a SING- ALONG TO JOURNEY AT THE END?! that's...what, funny?
fuck YOU.
and now i'm almost done, but... it is what it is, right? and usually i'm just fine, i don't really get that mad about stuff like this anymore (honestly). but tonight i read the book to isaac, and on every page i COULD NOT GET THAT MOVIE OUT OF MY HEAD-- what parts they took from the book and shit all over, what other parts they just peed on.
look, hollywood; do what you need to do. i understand.
all i ask is that you not RUIN THE THING YOU ARE STEALING FROM.
that, and just the fact that this movie was not excoriated by the just makes me a crazy person (which i am NOT, by the way...). I'M the only person who thinks this thing is not just trash (because there's a lot of trash that i'm really fond of, to tell the truth...), but DISEASED TRASH?

weird. i actually DO feel better now.
this blogging thing really works.


Blogger Joss said...

There aren't enough good old-fashioned rants on the internet these days. Any post that brings up the rant ratio is good by me. I hate those guys now.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Kochalka said...

Yeah, that Horton Hears a Who movie was a crime. I saw it in the theater. I was pretty pissed off about the whole thing, just like you. Well, I fell asleep at one point, so that was good.

7:32 AM  
Blogger pa said...

You are dead on, It did suck... and I brought a family of five to the theater to see it. - a

8:54 AM  
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