Thursday, April 30, 2009


The best film of 2009 so far is "Crank 2", the story of a hitman chasing down various baddies who stole his heart, literally. Yes, it is the BEST film of the year (so far). Now I know there are more "artistic" or "indie" endeavors out there, but that kind of authenticity is soooo boring. It's been quite awhile since I sat in a movie theater and thought "I can't believe this! This is cr-a-zy!" I don't want to ruin the witty fantasia on display too much, but suffice to say I never imagined I'd see Godzilla, REO Speedwagon and hilariously gratuitous public sex in the same movie.

Perhaps a better approach would be to say that "Crank 2" belongs at the top of the cinematic pantheon of Kinetic Eye Candy. This is a relatively new sub-genre of film (that I coined - due props, represent!) that combines an aggressively personal (and often innovative) visual style with breakneck pacing. Most (but not all) Kinetic Eye Candy films are either Action or Sci Fi. They include:

The Road Warrior

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

The 5th Element

Natural Born Killers

Baz Lurhman's Romeo and Juliet

Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle (
no joke)

Hard Boiled

Fight Club

District B 13

To varying degrees, style is the substance in Kinetic Eye Candy. This is also the main criticism of the genre's detractors. But if "meaning" in gallery artwork is often expected to be found solely on the surface, why can't that apply to commercial film?

The visceral jumble of metal and motors in the last 20 minutes of "The Road Warrior"

is a celluloid counterpart to the work of John Chamberlain:

The ballet of gunfire in "Hard Boiled"

is as elegant and detailed as any Renoir

The bombastic explosion of color, composition and cultural reference in "Charlie's Angels 2"

belongs to the same pop art tradition as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and David LaChapelle

Visual art, regardless of the medium or role in the marketplace, can equally and legitimately lead the viewer into a moment of the sublime or emotional catharsis by the unfolding of carefully crafted and intelligently executed imagery designed to inspire and exhillerate. This is the expressed purpose of Kinetic Eye Candy, and "Crank 2" is one of the best examples. Go see it!

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