Monday, November 11, 2013

Salinger review

What a phony.
J.D. Salinger is one of the most famous American writers of all time. He wrote on of the most famous American novels of all time, The Catcher in the Rye. This documentary is all about him. Yet, it seems to completely miss the point of J.D. Salinger as a man. Salinger was a man who hated all the spotlights and falseness of Hollywood. This movie forgets that and makes J.D. Salinger out to be some heroic writing god. He wasn't all that. Salinger said himself that he's just a fiction writer. Yeah he wrote a fantastic book that really personified the feelings some people had but he was just a great writer. At first glance the film seems like it might be trying to make the point that he was just a man, but it quickly goes off the rails and makes him seem like some sort of Jesus figure. J.D. Salinger would've hated this movie. I think Holden Caulfield would've hated this too. It's just as phony and cheesy as all the things Catcher in the Rye was against. Every damn frame of the film is followed by swells of classical music, the end of the movie felt so saccharine and syrupy that I almost puked. The film doesn't even explain most of the man's life. His childhood is barely even mentioned, it just dwells on how messed up the guy got from WWII. They have all these celebrities lined up talking about how damn great Salinger and his works are when really the famous people are just there to catch your eye and distract you. Also, why the hell did Shane Salerno direct this out of anyone in the movie world? The guys written such astounding classics as Savages and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. I was being sarcastic as you probably know but I didn't want to cause any confusion. Savages had the worst ending I've seen in any movie in a while, and AvP is just crap. And this is the guy we're trusting to handle our J.D. Salinger documentary. The whole thing just feels shoddy and fake. A lot of the interviews are shot with unnecessary and obvious green screen that takes away from everything some of the people are saying. The synopsis was saying that the documentary was absorbing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Salinger is boring, misguided, and overall pretty dull. The whole thing seems as if some overexcited high schooler made this for his school project, except had a much larger budget. At many points during the film I had a strong urge to just walk away from it or take out my phone. I actually found myself getting angry at the movie. As I said before, it's so stupid and phony. It's nothing like it should have been. Maybe if this had been made as a biopic with lots of talent attached, like The Aviator, it would've been better. This sorry excuse for a documentary disgraces the Salinger name. I know that sounds like a bit much, but this movie really bugged the hell out of me. It didn't inspire me or make me feel anything. Except for contempt. The only thing this film made me want to do was write an angry letter to Shane Salerno and reread Catcher in the Rye to try and forget this phony movie. Some people may like the documentary, I am not one of them. At the end of Salinger there's a long credits sequence which is basically a "subtle" commercial for some of Salinger's works that will be published soon. I get that these books are going to be famous and groundbreaking but please don't put a dumb message at the end of this dumb movie hitting you over the head with the notion that maybe you should read the books. J.D. Salinger would not approve. I saw a trailer for this movie a few weeks ago. It's already on Netflix. No wonder. This crappy doc should have never been released in the first place. I loved Catcher in the Rye. It's probably in my Top Five favorite books. This movie takes all the greatness of Salinger and his writings and does what never should have been done. Hollywood-ized it. I'll say it once and I'll say it again. This film is phony. I give Salinger 1.5 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing (just not of this). You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!      

1 comment:

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