Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brokeback Mountain

Well, I guess you could say I'm back with a bang. After the long hiatus without movie reviews, I'm sure you all have been wandering aimlessly through the dark and lonely theaters. Without further adieu, I bring you a controversial movie about gay cowboys.

Let me first begin by saying that I had no interest in seeing this movie. It is not something that I would normally go out to the theaters and pay $8 to watch. However, I was discussing with a friend how this movie will win Oscars simply because of the controversial themes presented and how Hollywood loves to play the weeping sympathetic. Basically, she called me out by saying that I can't judge a movie before I have seen it, so we both decided to see it to prove each other wrong.

If you aren't familar with the story behind Brokeback Mountain, it is essentially a film about two men who meet while working in Wyoming and unexpectedly fall in love with each other. But, since this is 1963, it isn't exactly the best idea to display these feelings to the world. These two men seem to lead normal lives by getting married and having kids, yet they cannot stop longing for each other and they meet several times a year for "fishing trips" to Brokeback Mountain, their only place to express how they feel.

Here's the good: the cinematography is excellent. Ang Lee certainly knows how to bring the best of his film experience to capturing the rustic landscape of Wyoming. Also, the musical score was great too. It was simple and effective but not overpowering.

Here's the bad: I never really cared. It was hard for me to become emotionally involved with this movie because, one, I found the "love" scenes to be harsh and aggressive. King Kong had more emotion and he was a giant ape. Secondly, there was never really any conflict through the movie. When there was conflict, it was short-lived and generally empty of meaning to the rest of the movie. Lastly, Heath Ledger's accent could use some serious work. I had trouble recognizing what he was saying because he mumbled throughout the entire movie.

Here's the ugly: it is slow, tedius, and boring. After some time had passed in the movie, I glanced at my watch and noticed we still had another hour to go. I felt like it was almost time to end the movie and we were really just getting started.

So after all of this, why is it getting so much critical acclaim? Maybe because it is the politically correct thing to do. But, that can't be enough to consider this an Oscar-worthy flick. I have seen other movies dealing with these themes and I can say that this is nowhere close to matching them. Check out "Kissing Jessica Stein" if you are curious. All-in-all, Brokeback Mountain took the boring story of a man and a woman and just replaced the woman.

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