Baz Luhrmann Takes A Great Crapsby

Man, I should be getting paid for writing post titles like that! Or else put away in a very small, windowless room for the rest of my life.

What’s inspired such a thing? Why, it’s the preview for the upcoming Baz Luhrmann adaptation of The Great Gatsby:

So anyway, maybe it’s just me, but this looks like the most bizarrely ill-conceived interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald imaginable by humans. Then again, I’m not entirely certain Baz Luhrmann is indeed human. He might very well be an alien from another galaxy where his movies are perceived as subtle, well-paced, and intelligent. Here on Earth, his movies make me feel as though I’ve been given enormous doses of LSD and speed and locked in a Toys-R-Us overnight with the equally drugged out cast of a Rocky Horror Show revival riding through the aisles on giant neon alligators.


I know people gush over Moulin Rouge. And sure, I appreciate the giant musical set-pieces, in their over-the-top absurd flashiness. But then Luhrmann shoots and edits every single scene the exact same way. A scene with people talking in a bedroom? Put that fucker on hyperdrive! He does his editing in a blender set on puree. His movies have no pacing at all. The brain-raping super-speed never lets up, to the point where it’s as though the movies are standing still. They’re like photons of light, moving so fast they’re everywhere at once, with all percepton of movement gone. Which is fine for light. If your movie reaches this point, you’ve got something seriously boring on your hands.

shiny lights? swirly cameras? bad music? tell us more!

shiny lights? swirly cameras? bad music? tell us more!

And now Gatsby’s getting this treatment? I’m not the biggest fan of the book, but isn’t doing a Luhrmann on it going to destroy the torpid mood of creeping ennui that permeates it? The loneliness? The sad, still, depressing absence of any animating force? What else is left? Vast, stupid parties? Car chases? Looks that way.

Also featured in this trailer, the worst cover of all time of the Turtles’s “Happy Together” by a band I’m thankful never to have heard of before. My ears are actually crying right now. Or is that blood?

Okay, deep breath. It can’t all be that bad, right? Let’s see what other trailers are out there. Oh, what’s this? A new movie by M. Night Shyamalan? NOOOOOOOOOO!

13 responses on “Baz Luhrmann Takes A Great Crapsby

  1. Holy Jesus Bumblefuck! The Great Gatsby in 3D?

    See the malaise POP out at you! FEEL the LISTLESSNESS! Yearn you sad bastards! YEARN!!!!!

    This trailer reminded me not of Fitzgerald’s book but of a prime-time soap. Wait? Is this actually an episode of Falcon’s Crest? It is, isn’t it?

    Baz Luhrmann shot J.R.

  2. I feel it is entirely unfair to pre-judge a movie base on the trailer. More often than not, they totally misrepresent the film. That said, I can’t stand Baz Luhrman and anything he touches, and so I’m sure you’re right.

    • If a trailer is not intended to help prospective viewers to pre-judge a film, what else is it for?


      They can be intentionally misleading but the key word there is intentionally.

  3. the point of yammering about trailers is specifically to pre-judge the movie–but only as the trailer suggests the movie will be. what else do they exist for?

  4. Wow does that look fucking hideous. Way to completely miss the point, Luhrman. This looks like the Great Crapsby set in Chicago (the movie) co-starring Spiderman. I would probably leave the theatre (if I were stuupid enough to see this) in as much of a rage as I did after the Hobbit.

    Here’s my pithy review: UGH.

  5. I feel like Hollywood has done this to itself. Years and years of promoting spectacle over story. It’s a constant escalation in terms of making movies all about spectacle so now people won’t bother to go to the cinema to see a decent drama anymore, so every film has to have ever more spectacle to draw them in. It’s like the cinema is now a roller coaster.

    Next up – Motion Captured Schindler’s List 3DD in colour and with a soundtrack by Kanye West.

  6. I’m glad I’m not alone! I actually thought the opening of the trailer was going to lead to some sort of punchline. I guess it did, if you consider “coming this May” a punchline.

    What ever happened to Style AND Substance? Its not a logical impossibility (like “Katherine Heigl AND Actress”). You can have all the style you want, and still have plenty of substance.

    Gone with the Wind. Lawrence of Arabia. 2001. Zombi 2! Its not like there isn’t a precident for this.

  7. Baz Luhrmann is brilliant, Yet I was afraid that this movie might lose steam and slow down like Moulin Rouge did. (such a shame)

    After reading your 2 minutes hate, I have only been reassured in my hope that mistakes of the past shall not be echoed.

    All this has only reinforced my eagerness to see this previously and ineffectively adapted story, now turned on its end and bestowed a healthy and much needed dose of sipidity!

    I feel the ‘real’ Gatsby would be pleased by such extravagant use of surrealistic pace and imagery. (Perhaps another hearken to the 20s?) In the fantasies of Gatsby, 3D is a MUST! If you don’t believe so, I think you missed the point.

    Baz Luhrmann’s use of now juxtapositioned pop music seems to mirror Fitzgerald’s own practical use of then contemporary jazz music in his classic book. Hopefully it too can capture the same outrageously shocking and cutting edge ethos that jazz offered patrons in the 1920’s.

    If only Baz did more than two movie a decade I might be all and willing to shell out my arm and leg every time I want to be delighted with a bit of SHOWMANSHIP!

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.