16) Hardware (1990) Dir: Richard Stanley Date Released: September 1990 Date Seen: January 17, 2010 Rating: 3.25/5
I find myself as unimpressed with Hardware, Richard Stanley's minor claim-to-fame, as some people were with Avatar. Specifically, I identify with one memorable putdown of James Cameron's bank-busting, game-changing extragavanza. The commenter, whose name I'm forgetting, lamented, and I'm paraphrasing here, how moviegoers have become so conditioned to accept mediocrity that they're ready and willing to accept a crappy story so long as it looks good. I similarly don't see anything in Stanley's career, er, cult-making film that makes me think he's anything more than a talented stylist with a lousy tendency to confuse thematic content with heavy-handed pontificating. Hardware is pretty joyless once you get past its gorgeously desiccated sets and costumes. I mean, who thought Christian doomsaying and cyberpunk would go well together? The moral condescension of the former takes all the fun out of the latter. They, like, cancel each other out, or something. The robot's kinda cool-looking but I hate how Stanley cloaks his haughty cynicism in obtuse Biblical quotes.