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Friday, May 23, 2008

A Few Notes on the Opening Night Gala

posted by on May 23 at 17:24 PM

I know it’s been covered a lot today, but I had a couple things to say about the movie, too. And it’s too late in the day to be linear, so…

I was surprised to see Mayor Nickels effectively applauding the WTO protesters during Michael Seiwerath’s wonderful acceptance speech.

This was a bad, bad movie. It was very, very bad. If it didn’t have local interest, I seriously doubt if it would even be considered for SIFF at all.

I was so happy when the crowd booed and hissed at the archival footage of Howard Schultz talking about how much money Starbucks was going to lose thanks to the protests. It was simply lovely.

Fake Gary Locke’s accent was completely inexcusable, much moreso than the shots of Safeco and Seahawks Stadium in the opening shots of the film.

The dialogue was worse-than-TV-movie bad. The actor who had to refer to motherhood as “The greatest adventure of all” should get an Oscar for keeping a straight face.

Also: He did a fine job with a shit part, but instead of Django, Andre 3000’s character should have been named Jar Jar.

I will watch Woody Harrelson in anything for ever and ever.

Similarly, I would like Ray Liotta to be Seattle’s for-real mayor right now, please. As an aside: Does anyone know if he wears eyeliner, or if he has the world’s thickest eyelashes?

Mayor Liotta’s first law as mayor should be a ban on Seattle Q&A’s. The beret-wearing woman who told the cast of this schlockfest that they accurately depicted “the heart of an activist” should be ashamed of herself.

The party was beyond lame, but the non-VIP party was better than the VIP party.

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I'm gonna wait for it to come out on DVD, and watch it really, really drunk.

Better yet, might have friends over, get really drunk, and double feature it with that film where the non-law abiding bicyclist gets crushed by the Space Needle.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 23, 2008 5:27 PM

Man, you guys are way way too critical.

Seriously, I'm sorry, but people who don't live in Seattle aren't going to notice most of the things you're obsessing over, other than how bad Charlize Theron was.

You obviously need some sun - stop watching movies and go see Folklife, you're seriously tired or something.

... but I do agree about the VIP party, although Andre 3000 (not Jar Jar you whiny ...) was the best part of that event (and the movie).

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 23, 2008 5:32 PM

Ray Liotta's liberal use of eyeliner was distracting after awhile, but it gave me something to focus on during scenes of excruciating bad dialogue or the multiple "the aide comes in and tells the mayor something important happened!" segments.

I agree about the VIP/non-VIP party as well. I didn't see any cupcakes in VIP.

Posted by madamecrow | May 23, 2008 5:44 PM

My "favorite" part of the Q&A was the dude on the right who started off with, "I have a half question, half philosophical comment...". Then was pretty much cut off by the cast when the whole audience began to chuckle at the rest of his "question".

Posted by Dan | May 23, 2008 5:52 PM

Paul, you have obviously never seen The Walker. Woody Harrelson as a swishy DC escort will make you want to DIE.

Posted by annie | May 23, 2008 5:58 PM

Ok, I was mildly interested, but after reading thi.... wait, ANDRE 3000????!?!?!?!

Posted by w7ngman | May 23, 2008 6:38 PM

Geeze, so do most people at the opening event get free tickets? It seems like every single Stranger person went.

Posted by stinkbug | May 23, 2008 6:39 PM

My tickets were certainly free, @7, but it had nothing to do with the Stranger. Just coincidence.

Also, @2: people are going to notice that the dialogue is atrociously bad. Or at least, they should. Although I do agree that the Seattle connection makes us commenting here a little more critical than otherwise, because it's disappointing that the movie wasn't as it could be.

I maintain still that Townshend could be a good director. He just needs someone else to write the script. Or an editor, or something. There's some promise. Which is frustrating.

Posted by Abby | May 23, 2008 7:35 PM

@2, I think they'll notice the cliched characters, the trite dialog and the stupid story telling. The movie was a song and dance number away from being a parody of itself.

And really, I'll accept magic Negros and man-needing women in my mainstream films, but form SIFF I am going to demand just a bit more.

Posted by Giffy | May 23, 2008 7:37 PM

On the other hand, the fennel salt kicks total ass.

Posted by Abby | May 23, 2008 9:17 PM

Do they still do Folklife?

And by the way - nothing good ever came from Seattlelites wearing berets.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | May 23, 2008 9:32 PM

The only Seattleite I ever knew who wore a beret was really from Edmonds. No, it didn't help.

The Gary Locke accent thing is really creeping me, out, sorry.

Posted by Fnarf | May 23, 2008 10:23 PM

The lashes are real.

For I would know.

Posted by Ebony Thicket | May 23, 2008 10:27 PM

I apologize for that unforgivable comma.

Posted by Fnarf | May 23, 2008 11:15 PM

Who gives a fuck about an unforgivable comma?
I've seen those Seattle melodramas too...

Posted by pgreyy | May 24, 2008 1:45 AM

Gary Locke had an accent in the movie? That's just fucked up. What next? A movie about a panda who does kung fu?

Posted by Andy | May 24, 2008 2:51 AM

The unforgivable comma was in comment 12, not the movie. Don't Slog drunk, kids. Let this be a lesson to you.

Posted by Fnarf | May 24, 2008 9:27 AM

Yeah, but was Townsend drunk when he left out the apostrophe on (the possessive) "countries"? It showed up in one of his Grand Statements that rolled at the end of the film.

Seriously, you gonna spend that kind of money making a preachy (but fun) film... spring for a copy editor. Bad grammar trumps outraged pontificating every time.

Posted by copyed | May 24, 2008 11:28 AM


Our whole row exclaimed, "apostrophe."

Ah that most read city, Seattle.

Posted by hunh? | May 25, 2008 9:13 AM

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