I saw Swingers for the first time in several years tonight, and I'll be goddamned, that's one hell of a movie.
A colleague and I were talking earlier this week about films these days — she teaches drama, gets a Film Fest pass every year, and so on — and we both lamented the current state of the art. She saw Avatar recently and hated it: "It's like you sit there and people talk, and then there's an explosion and they run around a bit. Then they talk some more, then run, then another explosion. That's all there is these days: talking and running and explosions."
Films with explosions really aren't my thing, but she has a point. Think about all those amazing films from the '90s which didn't ever try to explode anything or tell disgusting jokes: Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Seven, Swingers, Twelve Monkeys, Sling Blade, Glengarry Glen Ross... the list goes on.
That's not to say I don't like disgusting jokes — I laughed my ass off at Old School, Borat, Role Models and the like — but because that's what pulls in the giant bucks, flicks like the above never see the light of day. And if it's not a gross-out humour movie, it's going to be some sort of 4-hour epic (Avatar, Lord of the Rings) or a chick flick (take your pick, there's plenty).
Why not make a 94-minute, $250,000, well-cast, quick-witted film in 2010?