Monday, January 05, 2009

Weekend Movie Viewing

Okay, I was stuck in bed. Hubby took care of younger son so I could rest. Younger son cries in pain all the time. From birth to 18 years. So one can imagine what it's like for a mom with fibro taking care of a sick 18 year old who can't tell what his problem is. Exhaustion, despair. So there I was hanging out in bed ...which of course can be either a good or a bad thing when it comes to weekend TV.

First the bad films.

Reign of Gargoyles. Oh my gosh! If you ever have a choice of seeing a movie where evil Nazis bring stone gargoyles to life to help them win the war, let it not be this one. I could take the Saving Private Ryan cinematography camerawork. I could take the crappy CGI because it was scifi channel and that is to be expected and certainly it was better than the CGI of the Cyclops (to be mentioned later) but if there is one thing I can't stand it's enduring a movie where the hero gets on my nerves. He was supposed to be a cocky fly-boy but I kept wanting him to grow and to discover what a jerk he was. But noooo, the scriptwriter gave us all a chance to see what a great guy he was. To make matters really bad, everyone in the film kept coming up out of the blue to tell him what a great and noble guy he was. (The kick-butt babushkad gorgeous woman who could double as a gunslinger, the guy from the scottish/english regiment, his own commander. It was all too much.) And the cocky guy kept looking healed when they said that. Who knew this jerk needed healing?

Then there was Elizabethtown. Please, please, please do not ever see this flick. Everyone acting in this flick was so universally bad I kept thinking that it couldn't be the actors fault it had to be the director's. IT simply had to be. I know folks sometimes freeze up and do weirdly pretentious amateurish theatrical acting when they are told they are doing a great novel. But this took the cake. Everyone had a "aren't we all deep?" look on their faces. All the lines were spoken in a kind of "aren't we all saying something precious and real?" tone. There were continuous odd moments when
the characters didn't seem to be talking to each other but at each other. Okay, movies like "Rich in Love" had some trouble. But they managed to seem vaguely real while doing the "we're in an arty real story" thing. Not this. The only folks who liked this movie were probably those folks who brought their own emotions to the flick and so it worked for them. But if one sees this thing objectively...it's totally horrendous. I kept hoping folks who watched Elizabethtown would stay up and watch Little Miss Sunshine. A great film. Very human. Not pretentious in its "reality."
Now the good.

Okay, I totally totally squealed when I flipped through the channels and realized I had missed the first half of A history of Violence. This has been a movie I have wanted to see for three years! And it did not disappoint. First I've got to say I love guilty heroes trying to find redemption or at least "release from past" stories. Hidden secret pushing at the soul. Second, I love Viggo Mortenson. Forgive me, Lord, and I will try not to lust but there is something about a steely-blue-eyed blondish emotionalless older guy that makes my heart flutter. The weird thing is that generally my types are more like my husband. A dark-haired Euro type that reminds me of the Plantagenet dynasty. Yes, folks may get all hot and bothered about the Tudors but they were not nearly as hot -- in my humble opinion-- as the Plantagenets. But back to the movie. It was totally what I had been waiting for all these years. Now I just have to see the beginning.

So yeah, my favorite movie over the weekend was one I didn't even finish.

Another good movie I didn't finish -- but didn't make it to favorite status-- was The Book of Ruth. It was about a girl who has an abusive bitter mother. Girl meets shiftless lazy but generally kind-hearted lout and they fall in love (because they are both simple folks who desperately need love.) But they live in mother's house. After the baby is born there is peace for a good two years and it looks as if love will heal all involved...but then.... But then what? you ask.

Sorry, I didn't wait to find out. This movie made the very very very bad mistake of starting with Ruth (aforementioned abused insecure daughter) tied to a bed with black eyes, bruised lip, and folks saying, "Folks are saying you did this but you didn't, did you?" Know what? I really hate depressing movies like this. Check that: I don't mind depressing if it turns out well. But well, when things started going downhill for the family because of mom's weirdo behavior...I just had to turn the channel.

Other good movies I saw were 40 year old virgin with Steve Carrell whom I love, My big fat greek wedding, which I love, and Virus with Jamie Lee Curtis which I love. I liked them all but hey I've seen it before. Sat through a great deal of them -- to avoid seeing crappy stuff-- and loved them again.

But something entirely new was Cyclops. Oh gee, that badly-animated Cyclops creature touched my soul. I kept turning to my husband and saying, "I am so touched by this movie." Okay, he had this "I'm going to laugh at you if you continue like this" look on his face. But I couldn't help it. I even got weepy about it. Because the Cyclops was deformed and not part of his world and in pain and had speech issues. Okay, my mind obviously turned him into a disabled person who was being abused. And by then I was lost. (Okay, I'll admit that my own issues helped me like this flick. I gave it a lotta leeway, in much the same way folks who like Elizabethtown might give it leeway. The human heart can make anything likable.) Yep, I don't like seeing any non-verbal creature suffer. Effect of having son. I just hate seeing anything suffer. Even a cyclops.

The hero centurion, Marcus, was way hot. Not really my type which surprised me. I don't go for stocky hero types but he was so honorable and normal and kind to the Cyclops, and his goodness wasn't overly trumpted in the script. He was a decent person who understood the pain of a non-verbal creature. That won me over. Then there was Eric Roberts. I have loved this guy since King of the Gypsies. He seemed to be having total fun in this camp epic. I mean...we're shown this tiny little circle of folks who are supposed to be a crowd in the Amphitheater. Come on! But it was such fun.

I've heard it said that there are two kinds of mothers: those who have children who have died and those who have children who have lived. I suspect that's true. I have my fears sometimes for younger son. I can't imagine what it's like to be in pain every day for all the 18 years of my life. I don't want him to die. But I think there is a category in there for moms who have had kids who have suffered long illnesses. I find life a bit odd all the time because it seems my life is just utterly, utterly weird and my son's illnesses and mine quite cruel-- the length of it, I mean. But I know God is on our side. And I still believe we will both be cured. 20 years or illness or no. God can do the impossible. And when son and I are finally healed, I think we're both gonna become champions of the ASPCA and of sick children everywhere. We identify with them too much not to help them out when we get the power to. Now, back to writing.
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