Project Valentine, Day 13: Brokeback Mountain

2/14/2011

Man, all of these late nights are starting to add up.

Since I spent three of the last four days watching Twilight movies, it seemed like a natural next step to watch a few days of gay-themed movies.  Too easy, I know.  Anyway, tonight starts the next block of Project Valentine - Dude, That's So Gay.

I feel like I have to get something out of the way up front.  I am going to watch every movie on my list with an open mind and an open heart.  That said, this is still Look What Danny Made!, and sometimes jokes just have to get made.  I joke equally because I love equally.

Because it's probably one of the most visible and talked about movies of the last decade, Brokeback Mountain is the movie I've chosen to lead off with.  I've seen it before, but that was a few years ago, so I feel like I'm still coming to it with fresh eyes.

Now, before I get into the movie, I have to tell you what I thought of the very first time I heard its plot described.  Are there any other South Park watchers here?  Maybe you remember in one of the early, early episodes when an independent film festival comes to town, and Cartman refuses to go see any of them because "all independent movies are about gay cowboys eating pudding."  And then this happens...


So anyway, that's what came to mind when I first heard of Brokeback Mountain.


This movie is the story of two young cowboys who are hired as shepherds for a summer on Brokeback Mountain.  They fall in love, and the movie follows the course of their relationship over the next twenty years, during which time each is married, has children, and struggles with his desires for a different life.

I apologize - I'm not going to do this movie justice in my review tonight.  I'm afraid I'm just too sleepy, so I've got to keep it a little shorter than usual.  I'll say this - a few times a decade, a movie comes out that is so pivotal and so influential, that it becomes a focal point for all kinds of attention that its makers probably never even intended.  I think that this movie was one of those, and when that happens, amidst all of the discussion, hype, and attention, you sometimes grow tired of hearing about it, and forget that the movie which started it all is a very good movie.  Brokeback Mountain is a very good movie.

I'm not saying anything new here, but watching Heath Ledger in this makes me sad all over again for his early death.  The guy had a lifetime of great performances ahead of him.  I've never, ever liked Randy Quaid, not even in the National Lampoon movies, but I'll say that he's pretty well suited to play a jerk, which he has the chance to do in this movie.

RATING - I give this one five sheep out of five.
LESSON - Happiness lies in following where your heart takes you, and the sorrow of not following it will reach beyond just yourself.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's kind of amazing Crash won best picture over this.

I say that without ever having seen it. I feel like I don't want to spoil it. The Annie Proulx short story (which I also haven't read) and the Ang Lee movie - for some reason I feel I've already seen it, already know it, and I think it is really terrific and sad, and don't want the reality to spoil my imagination of what it is. It was basically an instantly iconic movie.

But a 5 star review from you will change my mind. It's about time.

Danny said...

I still haven't seen Crash. Not for any reason other than I haven't gotten around to it yet, but many of the reviews I heard said that it was kind of a mess.

If nothing else (and I forgot to mention this in my review because I was so sleepy), it's worth it just for the scenery when they're in the mountains. I'm told they actually filmed it in Canada, not Wyoming, but it's just breathtakingly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Crash is just... not good. It couldn't stumble to the level of gravitas of, for example, Grand Canyon, which was all kinds of a politically whitebread-liberal mess itself, but was at least watchable. Didn't hate Crash, just thought it was... not.

Will Meekin said...

The final scenes, Ennis meeting Jack's parents, up in Jack's room, Ennis' daughter drops by, Jack's shirt hanging in Ennis' wardrobe, they just tear your guts out.

Forget they are two men, whether or not that's something that might bother you, and imagine them merely as two souls who can't be together. Devastating.

Ang Lee. "Hulk" is forgiven.

Also. Anne Hathaway's boobs.

Wm.

Danny said...

Not just also. Especially. Especially Anne Hathaway's boobs.

Yes to everything you just wrote. I was particularly moved by the scene when his daughter visits. You can tell that she's been disappointed by him before, and that she carries that with her, but you can also see how much they both love each other and want greater access to each others' lives.

metallikyle said...

Here's my big problem with Crash. I live in L.A. and it is simply not a realistic representation of the city. Almost every single exchange in the film follows the same pattern...

"Hello person of different racial, ethnic, or religious background, mundane statement or question."

"I think I may have to disagree with your statement, or perhaps be unable to answer your question."

"Well then, you are a HIGHLY OFFENSIVE RACIAL, ETHNIC, OR RELIGIOUS SLUR/EPITHET!"

The escalations are literally that extreme, that fast. It's totally ridiculous to the point of feeling like parody. I was pretty surprised by the Best Picture win but that's the Academy for you.

Danny said...

The main thing that I am taking away from your comment is that I have never found anybody else as fun to watch movies with as you are, Kyle, and I'm including people who let me make out with them in that assessment. You and I should liveblog "The Avengers" together sometime for old time's sake.

Will Meekin said...

"metallikyle." if it weren't so awesome, it'd be awesome. hmmph.

Danny said...

I feel like a complete creep, because I just realized something. Michelle Williams' boobies are in this movie, too, but nobody has complimented them yet. MW, I've got much love for your boobs, too. Thanks for getting them out.

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