Gentle Humor

I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Category: Movies (Page 1 of 2)

Rodents and Shutter Island

I saw the movie Shutter Island late last night with my daughter and her friend. We didn’t get finished with it until almost midnight, and then I could NOT get to sleep. It was pretty creepy and made me think.

I don’t have anything against thinking. I just don’t want to still be doing it at three a.m.

I know better. If I watch a haunting movie just before bedtime, with dark windows all around and low hanging tree branches scratching against the roof, and the kind of music that makes you feel like someone’s going to jump out from behind the couch with a butcher knife, it is not a recipe for relaxation. I’m getting that tingling feeling up my spine right now just thinking about it.

This morning I went to church and then came home and watched the movie again, in the daylight, with my husband, so that I would have plenty of time to think about it all day. I figured I would exhaust all my thinking and be able to sleep like a baby tonight.

Let me assure you that you are going to want to watch it twice. My husband got done with it and said, “I don’t know what’s going on – is it this or is it that?”

I’m not going to tell you what “this” or “that” is, or it will spoil the movie for you. You’ll know what I mean when you get to the end. And if you watch it a second time, you’ll know whether it’s actually this or that.

Speaking of this or that, I love those KIA commercials with those rodents doing that rap song, “Now you can go with this, or you can go with that.” I think they’re very cool dancing rodents. I wish I could dance like that. I dance the same way I did back in high school. I definitely don’t know how to do those rodent moves or I’d be in the street like they are, singing that song and doin’ those moves.

It might appear that I do nothing but watch TV and movies. I am not going to deny that the perfect down time for me is watching a mindless movie on TV and eating chocolate chips. I like ‘em one at a time so they can melt and extend the enjoyment. That way I don’t have to eat so many.

If this post is rambling more than usual, it’s because I’m exhausted, and it’s that movie’s fault. I am going to bed and dream of dancing rodents all night long and wake up feeling like I’ve got some moves. I’ll point at the dishes in the sink and say, “Now you can go with this,” and then point at the dishwasher, “or you can go with that.” Then I’ll point to the oven, “Or you can go with this,” and then at the microwave, “or you can go with that.” My daughter will roll her eyes at me and tell me to stop, but I don’t care. I’ll be cool. And rested.

Movie Madness

Yesterday we went to see the movie, Inception, which was really good. I talked my husband into going. He’s not a big fan of movies because they cost so much. “I’ll see it when it comes out on video.”

But I told him how good this movie was supposed to be and he consented to go. We got in the lobby and he wanted some popcorn. “Just get a small one,” I said.

“Why, it’s only a dollar more to get the medium.”

“Because the medium is huge, and I’ll eat the whole thing.”

“I’m starving,” he said. “I’ll eat most of it.”

I know this isn’t true because he only likes the top and middle layers that are dripping with that fake movie butter. He’s not going to eat any more than that, and then I know I’ll eat all the rest because I have zero willpower when it comes to popcorn.

“Look, just get the small. It’s plenty of popcorn,” I whined, but he ordered a medium because it was a better deal.

“Lots of extra butter, too,’ he told the clerk, “and a medium diet Coke.”

The concession stand girl gets a bag the size of a grocery sack and starts shoveling in popcorn. Five minutes later she’s got it about half full and she starts pumping the butter on it. Pump, pump, pump, pump…these dots stand for about 30 more pumps. Then she starts shoveling in more popcorn. She’s staggering under the weight of the bag as she pumps more butter over the top.

She hoists the bag up onto the counter and starts filling a cup with at least two gallons of diet Coke. She has to lift it with two hands.

“That’ll be $13.50,” she says.

My husband pays, complaining the whole time. “Seven bucks for a bag of popcorn.”

“You could have gotten the small bag,” I said.

“Yeah, and just saved a buck. It’s a better deal with this one.”

As we walked to theater number 6 – on our right, I’m worried that the popcorn bag isn’t greaseproof and a waterfall of butter is going to flow out the bottom.

We found decent seats and my husband starts in on the popcorn. I am not joking, he plunges his big fist into the top and crams the greasy kernels in his mouth and dives in a second, third, fourth and fifth time. He’s after the butter, and he’s not going to offer me any of that popcorn until he gets the lion’s share of it. Then he hands me the bag.

I grab a mouthful and it’s as dry as Death Valley. It doesn’t taste good but I keep eating because popcorn and potato chips are the two things I can’t stop eating until the whole bag is gone.

I munched my way through that bag until I struck oil – the second layer of butter. I tried to be nonchalant so I’d get to enjoy some of that delicious grease but my husband caught on quick. My slick fingers kept reflecting off the movie like they had a flashlight shining on them. He again snatched the bag away, gobbled up the butter, and then handed the bag back to me when the well ran dry.

Just like I knew I would, I continued to eat that popcorn even when the button flew off my shorts and hit a bald man in the back of the head. Even when the zipper unzipped itself. Even when the muscles in my arm were getting sore from the repetition. I finally put the bag down, but only because I just couldn’t lift my arm again to grab another handful.

Of course I was thirsty after eating all that, so I drank practically all of the pop. Diet Coke makes me need to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW. The movie was so complex and captivating, though, that I didn’t want to get up. I sat in misery all the way through it, and when I got up I knocked down and trampled several people to get to the bathroom.

All in all, it was a great evening except for my discomfort. I highly recommend the movie, but do yourself a favor and get the small bag – or else make sure you bring a safety pin to close up that zipper.

Cartoons No Laughing Matter

Tonight my daughter wanted to go see Toy Story 3 and I jumped at the chance. Mostly because she doesn’t find much time to spend with me between her job and friends and boyfriend. Although we live in the same house, a teenager’s priority list has “spend time with mom” way down there, after cleaning out her closet and doing her laundry. I wasn’t nuts about seeing Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, although I remember liking the first Toy Story many years ago.

It was in 3-D, and I was glad to be wearing the 3-D glasses because I got choked up toward the end and my eyes were misting like a foolish old woman who gets sentimental at a movie about a bunch of talking toys whose “boy” grows up and goes off to college.

I identified with those toys. When my son, my firstborn, was a baby, I used to look down at him in my arms and know that, even at that very second, he was getting older. I could see him outgrowing one set of clothes after another until he packed them up and moved away. It broke my heart.

He’s moved out, but his closet is still full of clothes I’ve kept because of their memories. His Tae Kwon Do uniform is still there, plus all his tees and sweatshirts from his high school snowboard team. His Boy Scout shirt is there, even though he was only a scout in 4th and 5th grades. Every souvenir T-shirt he got at Disneyland or at Trailblazers basketball games is there.

What does this have to do with Toy Story? Beats the hell out of me. My son had this big stuffed parrot about the size of a real one that he took everywhere. He’d fly it around the back yard where it found every kind of adventure. Once he propped it up in a swing and took a picture of it, then made a wooden frame and put the picture in it and put that in his bookcase where it still sits to this day.

It’s obvious that this train of thought is not going to produce anything funny, is it? Since I’m on a roll, I might as well see this through. Remember that song, “Puff the Magic Dragon?” I used to sing the chorus when it came on the radio but never knew the rest of the words until it was on a tape of kid’s songs. I listened to the words in the car because those tapes played everywhere we went. I discovered that Puff was a toy, not a real magic dragon. Turns out there was a kid named Little Johnny Paper who played with Puff in a land called Hanalei. Who knows if I’m getting these names right because those tapes were scratchy. This little Paper boy played with Puff until one day he grew up and put Puff away, and Puff never got to come out and play again.

When I first figured out poor Puff’s fate, I was so sad. “What kind of story is that for a kid?” I thought. It ranks up there with Ole Yeller. Ever seen that one? About the sweet family dog that was so spunky and made you wish more than anything that you had a dog just like him, and then… well you ought to rent it if you haven’t seen it, but buy a box of Kleenex.

Oh good grief, I’m whimpering and my eyes are watering. I could think of some more very sad things, but I can’t take it anymore. I have been on an emotional roller coaster ever since I saw that Toy Story movie, and there’s no cure but chocolate. Thank goodness I made some of those no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies. That’s what I’m going to serve right now at my pity party. Wish you could come. We could have a regular bawl-fest as we stuffed cookies in like we were stuffing stuffing into a torn toy. Let the healing begin!

The Complexities of Good and Evil

Mae West said, “When I’m good, I’m really good, but when I’m bad, I’m even better.” Mae was a saucy gal decades before her time – a woman using such innuendo was uncommon whenever Mae was around a long time ago.

Today’s  bad girls don’t use innuendo at all. They probably don’t even use deodorant. They just come right out and do whatever they want. Like Miley Cyrus, who was a good girl until recently. She did a pole dance at some teen award thing that got everyone up in arms. She went from  sweet little Hannah Montana – the darling of the tweens, to a stripper wannabe. Obviously she was trying to shed her good girl image to attract a new segment of the audience – lechers and pedophiles.

I’ve concluded that we like to put people in our “angels” and “demons” folder, and we want them to stay there. When someone like Miley no longer fits in the “angels” folder, we get confused. We scrtatch our heads, look from side to side with a furrowed brow, scratch our heads again, and burp. The same holds true in the opposite direction. Madonna and Lady Gaga are in the “demons” folder because they strut around on stage in underwear, killing two birds with one stone by singing to a crowd of thousands while acting in a porn movie all at the same time. When one of them does something humanitarian, perhaps to get publicity or not – I generally tend to be suspicious of the motives of people I’ve put in my demons folder – then it throws us off guard.

I use the words “us” and “we” as if you agree with everything I’m saying, which would be the smart thing to do in my humble opinion.

I think people in show business go from angels to demons and visa versa to rope in more market share, which is good for their careers if it works. Robert Downey Jr. used to be a very bad boy and I tended not to like watching him. Now he’s decided to be good and has become a very fine actor, and I’m not just saying that because my eyes get all soft and twinkly when I see him in the movies. I’m being objective. Honest. I tend to admire people in the “angels” folder a lot more.

In fact, when they move over to the “demons” folder, I’m less likely to want anything to do with them. I think this is more a factor of my age than anything else. Younger people love bad people because they identify with the expression of freedom and being rebellious. Rock stars busting guitars on stage used to be quite a thrill. Now I just think, “Who’s going to clean up that mess? Are they going to grab a broom and sweep up those guitar splinters? Hell no. They’re going to make someone else do it. Just like teenagers to have their fun, make a huge mess, then expect their mom to come in and pick up after them. I bet his mom is backstage, hair tied up in a bandana, old printed housedress, fuzzy pink slippers, leaning on a speaker with her arms folded, just standing around waiting to tidy up and make macaroni and cheese and never get a word of thanks. Yeah, go on, have your fun while I cook and clean all day for what? For ungrateful kids who don’t even give me the time of day.”

This is what I personally say to the TV when I witness rebellion these days, but when I was rebelling myself, I’d raise my fist in the air and yell “Whoo-who.”   

So being good or bad is a complex thing. There was an episode of Seinfeld where George figured out that a young woman was attracted to him because he gave the appearance of being naughty. So he played it up, and she couldn’t get enough of him. Of course he couldn’t keep it up, and she drifted away, or something like that, I can’t really remember how it ended, or for that matter, what the point was of bringing it up in the first place. It probably had something to do with being good or bad, but we’ll never know.

As I’ve matured, I find I’m more drawn to angels. I think it’s because I have faith that angels put their dinner plates in the dishwasher without being told, and they pick their dirty clothes off the floor more often than every six months. I like angels. When Lady Gaga comes on, I flip the station.  She’s very interesting in interviews, but I just know she’s sloppy. She doesn’t even put forth the effort to get dressed all the way. I bet Robert Downey, Jr. has a spotless home. I bet he puts the toilet set down, too.

Score Some Gore

I just watched a movie called, “Zombieland” that was a gorefest, and yet it didn’t bother me. Knowing it was just a fake spoof or something made me not care that zombies were biting into people’s faces and yanking off their arms to eat like Henry the VIIIth gnawing a turkey leg.

The lead characters, two guys and two sisters, one of whom was 12, survived by blasting the zombies in the face with shotguns – twice – and running over them – and backing back over them – with cars, and smashing their heads in with baseball bats. Anything that would have had me pressing the off button on a regular show.

The blood and guts looked real, the shooting looked real, but I continued watching without blinking an eye. However, I have to turn my head if there’s the least little finger prick on a “real” show. I can’t stand to watch people hurt themselves or being hurt.

One exception is “America’s Funniest Videos.” Those skateboarders who ride down handrails and lose their balance – the boys who end up crashing down spread-eagled on the metal bar – I cringe, but I laugh. Same with the guys on bikes going up homemade jumps that collapse, the guys on sleds, the guys on stage that are either drunk or lose their balance. All that stuff is so funny, even though you know some of those guys are getting pretty bruised.

This Zombieland wasn’t much of a movie – I don’t think it’s going to get an Oscar. But it had a few entertaining moments. Woody Harrelson was in it, and my favorite line of his was when he was rallying the gang to be brave: “It’s time to nut up.” Half the gang was female.

I can’t remember much more than that. It reminded me of “Shaun of the Dead,” except that movie was way funnier and not nearly as gory. There were some old drive-in movies we teenagers used to go to that were gorefests, but they took themselves seriously. None were memorable at all because the acting was so awful and they were so poorly done. One thing I vaguely recall was a guy smacking another with a rubber hose. It struck us as hilarious. What screenwriting genius came up with that?

I’m not a fan of blood and guts, and I can’t stand war movies, but give me a good old gory spoof to pass the time, especially if it has a laugh. My favorite horror spoof is “Bubba Ho Tep.” Rent it if you can find it. You won’t regret it.

Avatar Again

I saw Avatar for the third time today. The first was in 2D with my son and daughter on my birthday. The second was in IMAX 3D with two girlfriends last Thursday. The third was with my daughter, also in IMAX 3D because she hadn’t seen the 3D version yet. All in all I’d say I’ve gained three pounds because of this movie – a pound of popcorn each at the first two and a pound of candy today.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t go into any building where they are showing a movie without gorging on popcorn. As I go in the door, waves of popcorn smell lift me in the air and carry me, half hypnotized, to the concession stand where I get the biggest bag because it’s a much better deal. The concession stand guy says, “Do you want the large bag for $50 – that’s only a quarter more than the medium bag.” Who can pass up a bargain like that?

My daughter wanted candy, so we were forced to buy a two-pound box of Reese’s Pieces that could have satisfied an elephant. Human-sized boxes are not available anymore. As we worked our way through the box, the remaining pieces rattled from the very bottom to the small opening in the top. Very often my daughter had to shake the box to get a fistful out. If you haven’t seen Avatar yet, let me explain that this is a very engrossing movie, and many parts are wondrous and quiet, so no one talks or makes a sound. A rattled box of candy sounds like a mariachi band. I could feel eyes boring into the back of my head. I kept slumped down in case someone decided to take a swipe.

I’m at least smart enough to get a large diet soda because I figure I can burn off substantial calories lifting that huge container up and down, which might offset some of the “butter” calories on the popcorn. I put the word “butter” in quotes because we all know the substance is artificial oil that comes from a “butter” tree, a tree that was scientifically engineered by Julia Child and only grows in France. The oil from the butter tree has 10 times the calories and toxic chemicals of real butter, but at a fraction of the cost.

Unfortunately, the carbonization in all sodas, particularly diet sodas, acts as a bladder massager – the more you drink, the more your bladder gets massaged. Scientists studying the phenomenon believe that carbon bubbles go in the bladder and mutate into actual fingers that push on the walls of human bladders, thusly simulating the urge to pee – and pee right this instant. Therefore, even though the giant tumbler seems like a good deal on the surface, the average moviegoer will end up missing about 25% of the movie due to frequent bathroom breaks. When you consider that an IMAX 3D movie like Avatar costs $15.50 at today’s prices, and you’ll have to see it at least twice to try and catch the 25% you missed the first time, your good deal, just like your bladder, doesn’t seem to hold water.

Today it was unfortunate that even at 3:00 in the afternoon the movie was sold out, so the only two seats left in the house were in the middle of the row, and they weren’t even together. I had to beg people to scoot together so that my daughter and I wouldn’t have to sit on opposite ends of the theater. On my frequent trips to the restroom, because the rows in the theater are built for pygmies and are impassible without forcing fifteen people to stand up along the way, there were many angry patrons hissing, “SIT DOWN” behind us as I made my way back and forth. It was like one of those “waves” at a football game, except this was a wave of hissing.

All in all it was a fun experience, except my eyes felt like cotton balls after wearing the 3D glasses for 3 hours. But who’s complaining. I’ve finally gotten to see the whole movie from beginning to end. And if I have missed anything because of going to the bathroom, my husband still hasn’t seen the movie so I’m sure I’ll get a chance then.

Inspiration on a Tightrope

I’ve just been watching the coolest documentary called, “Man on Wire” about a guy who did a tightrope walk between the World Trade Center buildings just after they were built in 1974.

This guy is amazing. He could be a child, flitting around on a unicycle through the streets of Paris, dodging in and out of traffic as horns sound all around him. He’s exactly like one of those people who you would call weird in school and either avoid or stare at with your mouth gaping.

His name is Philippe Petit and he’s got a group of friends who are totally devoted to him and his schemes. They help him string a tightrope on Notre Dame’s cathedral, knowing full well they could be arrested.

I want friends like that. I remember my friends and I doing some pretty crazy stunts, but nothing like this. These guys have to plan for months to set up the wire, what it will anchor to, and so forth, and they are gleeful and very serious about it.

What is it about this tight ropewalker that inspires his friends to risk so much so that he can realize his dreams? They have nothing to gain – they aren’t going to be in the spotlight. I want to be like him.

On the other hand, people are always trying to talk me into doing things, and I’ve gotten so tired of it that I refuse to try and talk others into something. What I forget sometimes is that I get talked into things that turn out very well – like my daughter convincing me to go to Paris summer before last. I had a fantastic time, but she worked on me for months before I said yes. Now I’m inspired, again, to lead people. I used to have that ability, and generally practiced it to generate mischief or have adventures.

From watching him, he’s got this childlike wonder that is infectious. He’s not handsome at all, and yet he decided on a girl and pursued her with such enthusiasm that she jumped on board and allowed her life to meld into his.

He and his friends were practicing in a field what they’d need to prepare for the World Trade Center. They had to get the wire between the buildings – a space of 200 ft. – and came up with the idea of shooting an arrow across the distance with a string tied to it. The friend shot several arrows but they couldn’t go the distance because the string would snag. Finally they tried fishing line on a spool and it worked. The two men ran across to where the arrow landed and rolled in the grass with delight. They were grown men who let themselves be loose and free and delighted and excited enough to roll in knee-high grass. Oh how I envied them as I watched.

I am halfway through the movie and very anxious to finish. My brother was here tonight to watch the BCS championship, and he’s the one who told me about the movie. It’s on the Free Movies on the Comcast On Demand station, and it’s on the Sundance channel, and you can see a trailer at http://www.manonwire.com/

I am going to go and watch this wonderful little Frenchman achieve the impossible with no more than a dream and some very good friends who just want to grab hold of him and take whatever crazy ride he leads them on. I want to be him because he’s totally alive. I hope after I finish the documentary that I discover he still is…

Movie Madness

I just saw a great movie, The Blind Side, with my mother-in-law and her friend Ruthie. Isn’t Ruthie a cool name? When my son was little, he called her, “Root-a-toot-a-toot-toot-tootie.” The little darling.

When the movie started, Marlene, my mother-in-law, made a few comments out loud but then quieted down as we got into it. This is in sharp contrast to my friends Pam and Gina. If you go to a movie with either of them, they talk out loud all the way through, or at least until someone in the audience turns around and gawks at them or says, SHHHH! really loud.

But they are nothing compared to my friend Elfriede, the German bombshell. She’s an older lady who talks non-stop, not to me but to the movie itself. Imagine being alone at home watching a TV show and someone is hiding with a knife behind the door, and you’re telling the actress, “Don’t go in there, don’t go in there, turn around.” This is what Elfriede does throughout a movie. “Don’t believe a word he says,” she’ll tell the actress. “He’s got a girl on the side. You can do better than him.” She doesn’t whisper these comments, she leans forward toward the screen so the actress will be sure to hear her and says them OUT LOUD.

We once went to a film festival documentary about monks in Germany who only spoke one Sunday a month for a couple of hours. The camera is following different monks around doing their routines, and no one says a word. There isn’t music in the background. It’s total silence, and in the theater you could hear a feather drop. Then Elfriede says, “I wonder if you miss women,” and “Aren’t you going to talk to that cow while you’re milking it?”

What’s amazing is my friends don’t think anyone else can hear them. Pam once got very indignant when she was shushed, as if the person shushing her was the one being rude.

I don’t know what’s worse, my friends talking all through the movie and people shooshing us right and left, or teenagers in the row in front of me texting with their bright cell phones.

Nonetheless, and in conclusion, The Blind Side was a really great movie that I highly recommend. And Tim McGraw, if you ever get tired of Faith Hill, give me a jingle – but only if your personality is exactly like the guy you played in the movie. He was sweet and had a nice sense of humor and let his wife get away with anything, which I guess in clinical terms would be called “supportive.” My mother-in-law and Rootie-Toot-Tootie are also interested in connecting with you, as we discussed at length over dinner after the matinee.

And so thus ends today’s post, and here’s a disclaimer. It goes without saying that certain portions of these posts are fiction. My girlfriends’ behaviors are greatly exaggerated so in case any of them ever read this – you know I’m just kidding. I LOVE going to the movies with you guys, and it’s not just because I’d have to go alone which I don’t want to do. I think your comments are FUN! And the shushing is pretty amusing too! I’m just trying to write something funny – digging deep, making stuff up. Honest.

A Movie to Kill Time

I just watched the most asinine movie called, “The International.” I don’t know what the critics had to say about it, but here’s my review.

We were renting this in the comfort of our own home, thank goodness, and so we saved $150 between the three of us when you add up the price of the movie tickets, popcorn, sodas, Milk Duds, and Jujube’s)

It started out and you knew SOMEBODY was going to get offed because of the music and the tension, but we didn’t really know which of the two characters it would be. And the method was fairly ingenious. It was looking like a good choice as the plot started to gear up and everyone seemed suspicious.

Then the other guy from the opening scene gets killed, and the good guys (Clive Owen and Naomi Watts) begin an “international” manhunt that leads to more plot twists and suspects, one after the other. My daughter asked, “When is this movie ever going to be over? It’s been on forever.”

This is not a good sign. An exciting movie, full of intelligent plot twists and suspense, will yank you in so that you don’t come up for air long enough to even think about the time.

Not this egregious curse of a movie. Everyone who could take us out of our misery by ending it gets killed off. In one magnificently stupid scene, the bad guys (a mean, selfish bank) decide they need to kill their hired assassin because the good guys are on to him. A bad guy meets him at the Guggenheim to set him up. He gets shot, and Clive Owen, who’s been tailing him, runs over after the shooting to try and get a couple of names out of the assassin before he croaks. The guy’s on the floor, looking like he’s dying, and says, “Help me out of this thing, I’m suffocating.”  Turns out he’s got on a bulletproof vest so he doesn’t get a scratch from all the bullets fired at him.

We all breathed a sigh of relief because finally, FINALLY, one informer is left standing who can squeal and the movie will be over. The second Clive Owen gets his vest off, big surprise, someone starts shooting – BEFORE he talks, of course. They shoot the crap out of the Guggenheim, with new bad guys appearing like cockroaches in the night.  And you won’t believe it. Mr. “Get This Thing Off of Me” is hit by 40,000 bullets to the chest after two hours of shooting during which one of the good guys is hit in the neck and spews a geyser full of gory clots into the air like Old Faithful. “Oooo, that’s gross!” my daughter said, and it was, but in the stupidest way.

With this informant dead, my daughter and I discussed whether to commit slow suicide by continuing to watch the movie, or walk away without knowing the ending. My husband had done the smart thing by falling asleep in the Lazy Boy.

Finally, Clive convinces a brand new informant to end the movie, and it looks like it might just work until that one gets killed, too. “Will this movie never end?” wailed my daughter, which woke up my husband.

The movie did end, ridiculously, when the script brought in a hit man out of the blue hired by the sons of one of the informants killed early in the movie. No real justice is served. Clive Owens doesn’t get to see the bank’s activities brought to light – this final bad guy could have been persuaded to talk if he hadn’t just been killed. The final scene is of Clive standing on a rooftop looking bewildered, probably because he’s thinking that if he’d hired the hit man a couple of hours earlier, he could have taken out ALL the bad guys and avoided a lot of useless film time for nothing.

In a desperate attempt to bring closure to this monstrosity, newspaper clips are shown during the credits about how the bank ends up getting huge profits, how its behind the scenes dirty dealings are causing weapons to proliferate in Third World countries (which is what the plot is based on), and how Naomi Watts is appointed to lead a new investigation, which she spent the whole movie doing, to no avail, so you know the bank will continue with business as usual.

So thanks Hollywood, again, for stealing what seemed like nine hours of my life to watch a movie with no intelligent plot that didn’t even have the basic decency to satisfy the suffering audience at the end. However, my husband thought it was good, but considering that he slept through most of it, I don’t know if I’d count that as a recommendation. My Final Grade: F –  See it at your own risk, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Men Who Stare at Stinkers

I wanted to go to a movie, and let me first say that just about every one out lately sucks. There have been a couple of good ones, but I’m going to ignore them because they’re not as fun to write about.

I went to Fandango to check out what was on and the reviews. What’s amazing to me is that the reviews are all over the place. One movie fan says, “This is the funniest movie ever,” and the next one says, “don’t waste your money, wait for the DVD.”

I could understand if these reviews were in the middle, like “it’s not a great movie but it’s a lot better than cleaning the toilet.” Then you know that it’s nothing to get excited about but something good enough to pass for entertainment. But when the reviews are so far to the left and right, who can you believe?

I also get confused about the professional critics at the LA Times, Variety, and USA Today. For instance, I read the LA Times’ review of “The Men Who Stare at Goats.” I read the whole review and can’t tell if it’s a movie worth seeing or not. The only thing clear is that they like George Clooney. Well, so do I, and he’s almost enough of a draw that I’d go see anything he’s in, except that I don’t quite trust him anymore. He was in “Burn After Reading,” a movie I thought was beyond stupid.

Which leads me to my main complaint about some movies. They try so hard to do something new and different, and if it’s really really different, the critics will praise it just because it’s not the same drivel they see all the time. They’ll give the movie a good review even if the director thinks a plot is something in a cemetery, even if the story is remarkably unbelievable, and even if the characters act bizarre just for the sake of acting bizarre. In other words, in my and the rest of the sane world’s opinion, the movie stinks, but the critics love it.

Sometimes the reviews are obviously slanted to favor a movie. Maybe the critic is getting a kickback. You see this a lot on DVD’s. There will be some glowing remark like, “the best movie of the year” and then the reviewer will be in microscopic letters under it, and it will be someone like, “The North Dakota Plains Mostly Monthly Observer.” My favorite, though, are those movies released at the first of the year and someone reviews them, saying, “One of the top 10 movies of 2009.” There have only been 4 movies released so far, and this one is so bad it can’t even make the top 5 list.

Well, enough griping about movies. We’re going to see “Couples Retreat” which promises, according to the fan reviews, to be both a “laugh out loud comedy” and a “complete waste of time.”  But it sounds better than “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” because of these telling reviews by fans: “this movie suct really bad,” “This movie was beyond horrible!” “This movie would be declared cruel and unusual punishment if shown to Guantanamo inmates,” “a stinker of gigantic prortions,” “Pointless yawner and time waster,” “I want my money back.”  See? These kind of reviews I can trust. Sorry George. You may be pretty, but I’ll stick with watching you again in “Brother, Where Art Thou?”  Now that was a fine movie, and you were brilliant every time you said, “My hair!” Can’t you please get Hollywood to wise up and give us a good, quirky, entertaining story to spend our hard earned money on? We’re counting on you. And quit taking parts in these lousy movies, it’s not fair to us women who have to give up the eye candy because we don’t want to be pistol whipped by a lousy plot.

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Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Olsen