Monday, April 1, 2013

Upon Watching "Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog"

As I've often said, I don't typically watch movies, because most movies are terrible.  Maybe half of this blog is dedicated to complaining about the stupidity of various movies.  If it's less than half, it's only because I haven't seen any even worth complaining about, not because they've become any less stupid.

I actually don't even own a TV.  Or, I own a TV, and it sits unused in my closet underneath a pile of spare mattresses.  I don't own a DVD player either, though I still have a VHS player.  Somewhere.  It just isn't worth my time, I guess?

Anyway, I say that only because when I come out enjoying a movie, it is something rare and incredible.

I recently watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, which is available on Netflix.

My only complaint is that it ended too soon.

I actually have a hard time explaining my enjoyment of the film, as is typical for when I enjoy things.  I am not capable of being impressed by visuals or orchestral music or spectacle or anything really I can point to; I guess it's entertaining while it lasts, then quickly bores me after 30 minutes or whenever it ends.  But what movies like this do, is they plant this barb deep into my viscera, then tug and tug until my organs spill out.

Or something like that.

The movie is the kind of thing that tears my heart from my chest and shows it to me, and I am only delighted to learn that I even have such an organ.  It's been invisible so long and beating so low that I forgot where it was.

And it's silly because the movie is a silly musical about an evil mad scientist who falls in love with a girl he meets at a laundromat.  It's ridiculous and tragic at the same time.  Which is probably exactly why it enraptured me so.

The last scene is the hero/villain entering a room of supervillains including "Professor Normal", "Dead Bowie", "Fake Thomas Jefferson", and lead by "Bad Horse, the Thoroughbred of Sin", who is a literal horse -- while singing a disharmonious anthem of loss and grief and the death of the soul in response to tragedy, a song so appropriately and inappropriately titled "Everything You Ever".  The scene takes itself perfectly seriously while at the same time is openly, patently absurd; and all this absurdity and gravity is itself only a mask for the defeated, deflated, withered shell of Dr. Horrible that remains.

It's... I dunno.  It's an incredible movie.  It's the story of the tragic fall of Dr. Horrible, the hero/villain whose tragic flaw is simply being too kind.  It's melancholic and discordant, and yet gave me joy with the small hope that there is any merely human agency anywhere on this planet who might actually understand me.  Like someone read my xanga from high school and turned it into an unattributed musical sci-fi biography.  I imagine many, many loner, melancholic types will sympathize.

I recommend it - selfishly, perhaps - to anyone.  It's live-streaming on Netflix.  It's only 45 minutes.  Watch it.


The Frequentist said...

On a similar note, you should read this novel called Soon I Will be Invincible by Austin Grossman. It's told from the POV of 2 characters - a supervillain who breaks out of prison and tries to take over the world, and the newest recruit to a superhero team a-la the justice league. The parts narrated by the supervillain are simply... breathtaking. I had the same thought you expressed in this review - "finally a character who I can relate to."

Reece said...

Thanks for the recommend! I'll check it out.