Ah yes, the auteur that is Mr. Soderbergh. His body of work is a pulped, grayish mass of half-baked political ideas, self-indulgent stylization and very attractive actors. Though the aforementioned could describe scores of directors who are given enough money to house homeless populations of minor American metropolises in order to put there masturbation fantasies upon the big screen, Soderbergh stands out in his particular combination of egomania and utter lack of talent.
Sure Oceans Eleven through Twenty are entertaining. Who doesn’t love watching famous people having a whole bunch of fun half-assing their way to millions of dollars? It was like a live action version of the “Celebs. Just Like Us!” section of People Magazine. But it isn’t to hard to imagine Joel Schumaker or Barry Sonnenfeld doing a comparable job (please excuse the overtly Jewish names, honestly the first two blockbuster directors that came to mind who have nothing to do with special effects). But who is willing to defend Erin Brockovich as anything more than a tampon ad crossed with a High School Civics class? Or Traffic as anything worthwhile at all? But “Hey!” you say, “He used different filters for each setting of the film! That’s Artistic!” Is it really? Are you in Jr. High?
Now we are not in the business of just shooting down anybody who happens to make a movie that we don’t like. It is Mr. Soderbergh’s staggering ego tempered by false modesty that puts him here. To quote, “The fact that I’m not an identifiable brand is very freeing, because people get tired of brands and they switch brands. I’ve never had a desire to be out in front of anything, which is why I don’t take a possessory credit.” Sounds like a pretty reasonable guy. Downright modest. Except when he says things like casting baseball players as themselves (upcoming film version of Moneyball) is the way “movies will be made in the future.” Just like in the future all movies will be released in theaters and HDnet the same day with the DVD version for sale four days later but no one will see them because they are pieces of shit. Also porn stars will star in ‘serious’ movies in the future, but as prostitutes because, after all, they are porn stars which precludes one from being anything else unless Mr. Soderbergh swoops down from his intellectual mountain and raises you up to the dizzy heights of HOLLYWOOD. Does he have a “normal people R people 2” t-shirt somewhere? Ignoring that, let us applaud a man who refuses to possess his movie, to resign himself to the background of what he creates, just don’t you dare try and ‘steal’ it from him by making an illegal copy or putting it on the Internet. Mr. Soderbergh, if you want to know the future of movies, you have found it. Downloading for free. Though in his case it is simply a waste of bandwidth.