Heard back from my agent--the Matrix looks fine, she says. Which is basically what I needed to hear--that it's okay, it works, and by extension the rest of the (completely unfinished but extensively drafted) book will work, because it's all pretty much like that. After doing Phantom this weekend, I did realize something (yes, something else) about the whole process, as well: the better the movie, the further afield I have to go for the funny. Like, dragging in something else one of the actors was in, or adding some surreal, loopy element. And say what you will about The Matrix, but the FIRST movie is extremely well-made. Great pacing, great story, great action sequences. It's when they made the sequels that the thing started to wander all over the place.
But if the movie--no matter how much I enjoy it; "good" and "enjoyable" are not necessarily the same thing--is sort of... well, I don't even want to label it, but if it's a Phantom of the Opera or a Van Helsing, you can pretty much just transcribe what's happening and it's dead funny. I almost feel guilty taking credit for it, you know? I just wrote down what I saw. Granted, I bring a certain way of seeing things to the table, I guess.
Speaking of which: it's time for the official Just Because I Wrote a Parody Doesn't Mean I Didn't Like It speech that I have to give out every few months. People who like the movies always seem sort of sad--or, in the case of Harry Potter, downright angry--that I'm making fun of something. (Strangely, King Arthur was the one movie that no one took me to task for. Make of that what you will.) Here's the thing: Everything is funny to me. I make fun of movies I hate. I make fun of movies I love. If I really love a movie, I tend to have a Rocky Horror-style running patter that makes it hell to watch with me. It's making fun, people--providing and creating the fun. FUN. Fun is not bad. We're not mocking the movie until it runs home crying
Because see, this is the thing: Movies are just funny. Just, as a medium. They just are. They're not real life, and the coincidences and contrivances necessary to make everything that happens relevant and timely and meaningful to this particular group of characters, even in the best movies, can be really, really funny if only you stop to think about it. Even the most realistic, naturalistic movies are still life compressed into two or three hours. And if it comes to that? Life's pretty funny, too.
And then, on top of that, you have "good" and "enjoyable" as two completely different--and subjective!--qualities. I find The Fellowship of the Ring to be both an extremely well-made movie and enjoyable as all hell on top of it. Another movie I saw recently that was both good and enjoyable: Picnic at Hanging Rock, an old favorite. So we're not even necessarily talking about popcorn levels of enjoyment here. I enjoyed the hell out of Troy and Van Helsing and King Arthur. In fact, Eye of the Beholder is a movie that is so incredibly, awesomely bad I went from pure hatred to adoration in two viewings. On the other hand, I wrote a review to that effect, and got taken to task by a reader who thought it was brilliant. But then take a movie like Unforgiven. Objectively, I can admit that it was a very good movie. But dear God, do I never want to see it again.
So you have to keep that in mind when you read a "Fifteen Minutes," or, for that matter, most Harry Potter or LOTR parody out there: usually it's done with love. I mean, I can point out how dunderheaded the casting priorities in Phantom of the Opera are, or how awesomely cheesy some of the songs are, or how ridiculous some of the plot holes are, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to go see it again next weekend.
P.S. I think most of y'all have been over at m15m, but there are a couple of icon entries up over there, too, and we'll probably be adding more. I feel bad spamming everyone over and over again, but... really, it'll probably be weeks before I put another movie up. Enjoy it while it lasts.