jenn downloaded some movies onto her laptop and brought it on our roadtrip so we could watch flicks on shitty rainy nights. one of the movies she got was beasts of the southern wild. i think it was a smelly, awful piece of shit. i hated it so much, i made a mental note to blog about it. and here i am, back at home, bored and ready to bitch.
the soundtrack was the first thing to piss me off, and it did so on multiple levels. first, it’s all typical hipster folk instrumentation: toy piano, fiddle, banjo, some ‘ass shaker’ percussion…pathetic. this whole beards/cardigans/vests/wool caps/’old world style’ music movement is for fucking posers. it’s 100% imitation, and brings nothing new to the table. it’s the same shit we’ve already heard rehashed for the last 5 years. it sucked when it started and it still sucks now.
second musical complaint: typical ‘touching’ chord progressions. if i hear another 1-5-6-4 progression (or 1-6-3-7 in a minor key, they’re the same thing), i’m going to hop onstage at a mumford and sons concert and blow my fucking brains out.
i don’t need to get into why i hate this chord progression so much. it’s been well documented how overused it is by every saccharine pop musical hack (and some decent musicians too). see the following popular comic video that illustrates the point.
enough said on that. my third complaint about the music in beasts of the southern wild: TOO MUCH OF IT. it never shuts up. something touching happens, bam, queue the touching hipster folk bullshit music. something else happens, BAM more touching hipster folk trash music. i think that relying on crappy predictable music to build the emotional peaks and valleys of your film is weak. it’s like saying “i know this piece of shit lacks its own substance so i’m relying on familiar-sounding ’emotional’ music to connect with viewers.” grow up. make a real film that doesn’t rely on cheap techniques to elicit reactions.
ok, that’s it for the music. now for the film itself.
whoever made this piece of crap made some feeble attempts to shock the audience with lots of shots of ‘gross’ stuff. like the people inhabiting ‘the bathtub,’ their living conditions, the kid’s father spearing chicken carcasses in a cooler and tossing them on the bbq, a close up of the cat food and vegetable oil the kid cooks for herself, blah blah blah. EEWWWW, SO GROSS, OH MY GOD. the only prisses who would be shocked by any of this stuff would be folks who’ve never had diarrhea, or had a pet die, or walked through a large city, or taken the garbage out before — folks who’ve never encountered anything unpleasant in their daily lives. i just feel like this director was trying to tag along on the the trashy gross-out vibe of gummo but 15 years too late, and watered down to boot. and i think gummo sucked too so that’s a pretty lousy jumping off point.
my other big complaint about the film is how heavily it relies on the star saying what i imagine are supposed to be beautiful, simple, child-like truths, like “sometimes you just gotta let things go and see what happens to ’em,” or something generic like that. they did this at just about every other scene change. i can see why. everyone loves cute nice kids, and everyone loves cute nice kids pulling through adversity with the grace that adults are incapable of. i’m sure everyone sees those scenes and thinks, “she’s so adorable and helpless, i hope she makes it through ok, she’s so wise and strong for a child.” well, not me. i got angry. it’s just another cheap technique to tug heartstrings, like the crappy typical music that makes every wistful jerk want to cry.
so fuck beasts of the southern wild. that kid did a great job in it and under more sincere, thoughtful directing, i’m sure it could have been good but the people in charge made it a tawdry attempt at a tearjerker. 0/5 stars. stay away. download it just so you can delete it immediately without watching. and all those ‘critics’ calling it a masterpiece and a triumph can suck my dick and die. critics are fucking losers to start with, and critics that laud this piece of shit are either super high or corporate shills. kill em all.