Monday, June 24, 2002

I hope it's not too late for some of you, but I thought I'd give you a warning....

Whatever you do, do not see Windtalkers.

I was embarrased to watch it. Embarrased that this was the big Hollywood moment for the Navajo Native Americans. Embarrased that Adam Beach, who gave a great performance in Smoke Signals, has a huge watermelon sized wart on his movie career. Embarrased for John Woo, Hong Kong Cinema's premiere director, could put out such a piece of shit. Amazed, stunned and befuddled that Nicholas Cage actually won an Oscar. I never saw Leaving Las Vegas but man..... Was it lightning in a bottle that year? Or were all the voters that year deaf dumb and blind? Was Francis Ford Coppola giving out gratuitious blowjobs to the Academy?

There could be a lot of reasons why this movie stunk soooo bad. John Woo is great with action, or has been in movies like Hard Boiled. However he tries to go into some emotional depth with Nicholas Cage's character and it just comes off silly. The melodrama between the characters is marginally higher that an A-Team rerun. It doesn't help that Woo's first language is not english, although they do speak a lot of english in Hong Kong. And it's gotta be hard to get someone not from the US to present in a fair manner the hardships of what it was like to be a Native American during the 40's. The movie is littered with those lousy 90's PC moments. While I generally dislike that kinda stuff, it's not just aggravating, it's terribly distracting beacuse that shit didn't exist in 40's. Woo tries, and I know he means well, but the whole thing just comes off as horrible. The Navajo deserve better. I just hope that this movie's inevitable failure at the box office is not a another reason for Hollywood execs to not cast Adam Beach in something, or to not produce another film with Native Americans playing a major lead in the plot or theme or leading role.

If you're really interested in trying to experience a little bit of the Native American experience in movies, do yourself a favor: Rent Smoke Signals. I shed a couple of tears no less. It was very powerful and really hit me. It more accurately shows how the Native Americans have come to experience the US. They toss negative comments about the white man and this country but the characters still celebrate the 4th of July. It's hard to see so many of them suffer from alcoholism and the tragedies that accompany that problem, but also to see so many of them try to make the best of things. I don't cry easy...... SS really touched me. I just hope it's not too late for you with Windtalkers.


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