I'll admit, sometimes I can be a bit of a hater, ask anyone who's met me. But honestly, if I seem to get overly worked up or overly critical of something there's actually a reason. You see, I genuinely enjoy my interests. Think about it... How do you really feel about the shows you watch, books you read, movies you see, music you listen too? Are they there just to pass the time, to entertain, or to place your mind into a vegetative state? There's so much stuff out there, so many things to occupy your time with, but how many of them are really worth your time?
Every once in awhile, I'll be reading somethng or watching something, and the realization will hit me, "somebody freakin' created this!" Somebody had an idea, then that idea became reality, and now I'm experiencing it. Somebody created something, plucked it straight from the ether, then transferred it to a medium, (book, film, comic, song, etc..) for the expressed intent of someone like me finding it. The whole concept of that amazes me. It's that realization that, I think, connects me to my interests. It's that connection that makes me so involved and, therefore, invested, and its that investment that makes it personal. I take this stuff personally. I've seen some of the astonishing things each medium is capable of, books that have broadened the horizons of my mind, songs that are nearly a religious experience, comics that have transported me to entirely different reality, and movies that are nothing short of pure magic. These things can enlighten, educate, stimulate, but honestly, (and this could, quite possibly be the philosopher's stone right here) they ultimatley have to entertain.
That's the real trick though isn't it? What is entertaining? Foregoing the answer completely, (since I don't have it) Let's look at some indicators shall we? If you watch TV you may surmise that watching people humilate themselves on reality TV shows, look foolish, get stabbed in the back, lied to, tricked, berated, rejected, laughed at, and judged is entertning. (I realize that some of these examples may seem unfair, but I ask your indulgence). If you watch movies you may think that only subject matter that is depressing is worthy of accolade, that only stoners are funny, that the presence of black actors means race is invloved, that animation is for comedy or for kids, or that women only care about relationships and shoes. Music my lead you to believe that the only things worthy of song are sex, drugs, and, uh, sex. Books all have 7th grade reading levels and are generally about helping yourself and teen vampires. Don't even get me started about the impression comics conjure...
Admittedly, these are narrow minded generalizations, but I can't help feeling, or more accurately "fearing", that the above cited forms are becoming more prevalent. I know not everything has to be a shining representation of it's medium, but neither does mediocraty have to reign. If I sometimes get irritated, well, that's why.
I recently saw The House Bunny, Tropic Thunder, and Wanted. Both comedies struck me the same way, as somewhat missed opportunities. I adore Anna Faris, along with most of the rest of the cast of The House Bunny, it doesn't hurt that Anna is blisteringly hot in the movie, but I can't help but feel that something is just "off" from really funny. It's not the timing so much as it seems the film makers seem to be under the imppression that the premise alone is funny enough that they can softball the jokes. This may go double for Tropic Thunder, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not the biggest fan of half the cast of this movie, (Ben Stiller, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey). Jack Black is plenty capable and RD jr is Freakin' stellar, but it feels a bit like the director, (Stiller again), is coasting along on the premise for laughs without earnest effort toward actual jokes. Wanted, now this could be the new action movie template. Based on a comic book designed specfically with movie property in mind, Wanted transcends the equation "comic+stars+$$$$$$=more $$$$$$$" and writes it's own formula with equal parts secret society-creative physics-mind warping action-deft camera work-sharp performances-clean execution. Sure, the narrative gets a bit muddy, and much belief is being suspended, but if you can buy the bullet bending, then your in for a slick actioner.
The pic is indicative of how my drawing is going. I'm finding a bit more time to draw and a whole lot more pleasure in it. Challenging myself more, having more output, and, most importanly, having more fun doing it. Which should really be the point I guess...