Sunday, April 13, 2008

Black Jack!

For the second week in a row, the box office of 21 dropped only in the 30-percent range from the previous week. That most likely means it's getting good word of mouth, and has basically become the first big word-of-mouth hit this year (The Bank Job being a modest word-of-mouth hit). It probably means that Jim Sturgess can now be called a new young star.

Why do I care? Because I was right about it, naturally.

It also points out something I increasingly feel about film critics. Too many have lost the ability to go to a film and just kick back and have fun with a breezy, entertaining fantasy. Look at Boston Globe critic Ty Burr's capsule review of 21, in which he calls it a depressingly shallow morality tale, or something to that effect. To which I reply, duh! Anyone who is watching 21 to examine the morality tale is either 1) missing the point, or 2) setting it up to fail. In style, it's like calling The Thin Man a depressingly simple-minded murder mystery. It misses the point entirely.

21 is a light nothing, in the end. But it's a very satisfying light nothing. Which explains why the screening audience that I saw it with gave it the best ovation that I've heard in a while. Which explains why its box office is going the way it's going.


Daniel G. said...

Hmm...OK, so the critics don't agree with the public here. Well I'm definitely not a critic, but I thought it was terrible for different reasons. It wasn't the shallow themes (which actually weren't that shallow), it was the inaccuracies and poor acting. I tried to have fun, but I just couldn't get past the fact that it was such a fictionalized version of the "true story." Oh well, I'm still glad I saw it. I've been burned a lot worse by other movies that aren't as much fun.

K. Bowen said...

Well, it is a "get into it, or don't get into it" sort of thing. The inaccuracies didn't bother me, but it seems to be a big hangup for others. To each his own. I"m just reveling.