Mind if I chime in about Brokeback Mountain? Seems everybody’s had their moment on it, and I finally saw it last week on a break from skiing, so here’s a quick note:
As many have already said, the star of this movie for me was the scenery. Being from out West, I was taken immediately by the grandness of the cinematography and beautiful backdrop for this love story. After that I liked the sheep. The way they moved like a river of wool through the mountain valleys must have been quite a trick to choreograph. Sure, Heath was alright, Jake was alright (although I liked him much more in Jarhead), but I’ve never been much for mushy love stories (even when tinged with two hot guys going at it).
Then there’s Gene Shalit. Wow, how the “Community” has gone after him. Big-shot Colorado Gay Society Guy Tim Gill has posted Shalit’s groveling reply to critics which has received mixed results from those commenting. So he called Jack a “sexual predator”. Yikes. Certainly the connotation of a trench-coat-wearing, panel-van-driving pervert who stalks children’s playgrounds isn’t what Gene could have meant. But I can definitely see how super-sensitive victim-baiters in the Gay Left could have seen it that way and seized on it for publicity’s sake. Gene was right to apologize for a bad choice of words, but seeing the firestorm coming from the “Community” kind of makes me laugh. Have they grown so bored with arguing with James Dobson and Pat Robertson they’ve now got to pick on Gene Shalit? That’s like right-wingers boycotting Disney because they offer same-sex partner benefits to their employees. To all, I say, get a life.
And in defense of Gene Shalit, it’s certainly not deniable that Jack’s character is a predatory one. Think about it: After that first summer on Brokeback, he initiates every communication, he’s the one who drives all the way from Texas to Wyoming, he’s the one who is constantly harping on Ennis to leave his wife and run away with him so they can have their own ranch. He’s the one who goes to Old Mexico and then hooks up with that other rancher (and even suggests the same living arrangement to him). And in the end we’re led to believe that it was perhaps his carelessness with his cravings that leads to his outing and violent demise (and NO I’m NOT “blaming the victim” or excusing his murder, and anyway it’s a movie, lighten up). Not a “sexual predator”, but definitely does sound predatory. Yes, there are emotions involved too, between those guys, but you don’t have to deny those feelings to admit that Jack was predatory.
At the end, unfortunately, a yawner. Good story, good flick, beautiful backdrop, but not nearly worth all the hype. I think I’ll go see an ape movie to cleanse my palate.